Reform and expansion of “La Maresma” Hall and urbanization of the surroundings in Cabrera de Mar

Cabrera de Mar, Barcelona

2nd prize, competition 2022

Competition launched by Cabrera de Mar City Hall

Built Area: 817,33 m² (public space) + 650,08 m² (hall)

Co-authors with Nil Brullet

Structures: BBG Estructures, Recerca i Rehabilitació

Energy consultancy: Aiguasol

The proposal aims to enhance the urban area resulting from the concatenation of public spaces, from the Church Square to the access square of Can Martinet, passing through the village square and descending in an integrated way towards the Cooperative Square. A new topography is proposed that integrates the different levels progressively using terraces, creating a visually unified space.

In order to create a spacious area that can accommodate various activities, the circulation system is pushed to the perimeter, allowing for a new square that, together with the surrounding terraces, will become a socialization space with great flexibility of uses. Therefore, the topographical integration strategy also serves as a social integration strategy.

La Maresma hall features a simple yet noble construction with brick pillars, wooden beams, brick walls, and a roof made of clay tiles.

The approach to expansion and renovation recognizes and values the pre-existing structure by extending its structural rhythm, continuing with the section of the pre-existing structure, and freeing the lateral area adjacent to the neighboring building. The enclosed program is concentrated in two points that articulate the interior space, creating a large open hall. A new loft is incorporated to increase the capacity and flexibility of the new building. The contrast between the new and the old is achieved through the choice of materials, and on the exterior, ceramic latticework is added, preserving the original configuration of openings as a way to conserve the building’s history.

The program is organized in a simple and clear form. The entrance area opens to the Cooperative Square through the old portal, including services, wardrobe, and a small bar that serve both the interior and the public space. Circulations are concentrated in the western strip between the hall and the neighboring building, which is also used for natural lighting and combines stairs, passages, and elevators with the possibility of transforming into an open balcony to the hall, offering new perspectives and usage possibilities.

The large multipurpose hall is the main space of the building, with seating for 210 spectators. Within this space, a loft is proposed to increase the hall’s capacity or function independently. Behind the stage, a vertical area is reserved for backstage, dressing rooms, and facilities for the artists, directly connected to the rear service road.

The hall is equipped with a system of retractable seating and is covered with a technical floor made of adjustable height modular platforms to ensure great flexibility.

Bioclimatic strategies are designed to maximize passive comfort, with special attention to air renewal needs and summer operation. An efficient thermal envelope is projected, with the southwest boundary forming a key passive element for the bioclimatic management of the building. It functions as a double skin during the summer and generates a greenhouse effect during the winter. The translucent cover of the southwest boundary extends parallel to the western slope of the hall’s roof, creating an air chamber connected to the new central skylight, contributing to the natural extraction of accumulated heat through the stack effect, ensuring optimal operation of the natural ventilation strategy. On the other hand, the Air Treatment Unit, necessary to ensure indoor air quality when natural ventilation is insufficient, uses the ventilated chamber of the sanitary floor to thermally precondition the outside air using the terrain’s inertia, both in summer and winter. This reduces the energy demand of the Air Treatment Unit needed to temper the air before supplying it to the interior spaces.