| Author: Nicola Di Maso
| Professor : Félix Santiuste de Pablos
| Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura y Edificacion de Cartagena
| Project Description:
In a society governed by mobile phones and computers, the social and cultural values presented in the past have been lost. People don’t talk anymore. Art and culture are within reach of telephone and accessible with a click. We lost the taste of going to an exhibition or actively participating in training activities. From this assumption comes the need to create a new idea of culture: “la Galerìa”. “La Galerìa” is more than a building. It represents an idea of culture accessible to the city all hours of the day and completely usable. Culture that stimulates social relationships through the actions of walking, observing and participation.
“La Galerìa” is born in Murcia, city of studies, in the Carmen district, in a place currently occupied by the sports center of the Services and Maintenance Unit of the University of Murcia, an unused building. The current area isn’t accessible and part of it’s reserved for residential use. It turns out to be limited from areas of urban green, however, without connections. The project involves the demolition of the unused structure and the creation of a new public space for the city that favors social relations, through casual meetings or due to the simple crossing of this space. It consists of a sequence of squares arranged on several levels. The central one and also the largest one is covered by the large reinforced concrete roof and bordered laterally by two massive walls (the largest of which houses archives, temporary accommodation for staff, services and offices) that actually generate the Gallery , ” connector element of the project “. This structure rises up to 13 meters in height and imposes itself in the urban context with power and authority. The exposed concrete makes the structure elegant but severe at the same time. The Gallery flanks to the north, a road whose small size gives it further grandeur and almost a sense of “oppressiveness”. Opposition that favors, however, its crossing. The gallery connects one side to the other of the block and thus becomes the connector element of the project. Inside it people can meet themselves to spend time in company or simply walk to reach the nearest park. In the gallery, therefore, the first founding action of the project takes place, that of walking or crossing.
La Galerìa houses inside the cardinal building of the project: a cultural training center where you can carry out various training activities, enjoy temporary exhibitions and immerse yourself completely in culture and art. It represents “the heart of the Gallery” and as such it clings to the Gallery not only metaphorically but also constructively through the transverse beams that penetrate the side curtain walls. The central structure is therefore a modular structure in exposed concrete, organized on four levels and closed on four sides by a curtain wall that not only represents a sense of protection and gives it preciousness, but also increases climatic and safety functions, regulating the access during the hours of the day. At level 0 there are spaces used for security, secretariat, and information spaces, bars and a play area for the little ones. Level 1 is used for talleres. Training and work rooms and laboratories. On the upper level there are the training rooms, a library with a small attached archive and a conference / auditorium.
The fourth and last level is a completely free space used for temporary exhibitions and organized cultural events. The structure of the cultural center is designed to maintain the idea of traveling and crossing the Gallery. However, the action of walking is not only solicited, but also and above all that of observing. The structure of each space, in fact, follows a precise logic: the wall infillings are parallel to the external masonry walls, while the windows are oriented in the same direction. The fryer therefore not only walks, but can also observe what happens within the individual spaces and feel an integral part of this new cultural world while not actively participating in it. Even here there is no lack of spaces, now illuminated places now in the shade, that they become the theater of new dialogues and new social relations.
If the Gallery is the connector of the project, the cultural center inside it constitutes “the attractor element”, as it represents in fact a new and important center of the city of Murcia, giving the opportunity to the many students and ordinary citizens of enjoy a new public space donated to the city and that embodies the ideal of an open, perceptible, visible and enveloping culture, just like the complex reinforced concrete structure of which it is built. “La Galerìa” is not just a building. It is an ideal, a new approach to culture and social relations that is born in Murcia, but which is destined to spread throughout the world.
The structure of the building is based on a 5×5 meter module and is entirely in reinforced concrete. It consists of pillars and beams that follow two hierarchies: the beams that penetrate the massive side walls are higher than the longitudinal ones. The girder of the large roof of the Galeria, however, consists of beams of 1 meter in height, designed to cover large lights. The central building is closed on all four sides by a curtain wall. It regulates access and air conditioning. The floor is made leaving the visible ribs, sometimes semi-covered by a metal false ceiling. The structure is shown for what it is, naked, severe, enveloping.