the valley

community center studio


mixed use  - community engagement - theater - park - market - sports - pedestrian bridge
spring 2022
madrid, es
carve a valley of democratic community space

located in a dense block in central madrid, this community center carves a valley of democratic multi-use space. blended into the street through floating brick facades and a pedestrian bridge, this community center provides a meandering path of program and freedom. rather than considering the site as a blank space to be filled, it is better understood as a solid block to be carved into, interpreted as a valley.

the push and pull of the form makes space for a variety of distinct programs, which are open and accessible to the public. meeting rooms, game rooms, rotating market space, a theater, and a gym are blended into the waves of the structure. however, the in-between spaces equally cherished. on the ground floor, a meadow connects the indoor programs, with an elevated pedestrian walkway on the second floor, and a divide between stage and audience on the third floor. this interconnectedness, even through void space, allows communication across levels and programs, spanning the entire valley.

the valley itself is ecologically valuable, as the hot pools of the spa underground feed and water the roots of the native cypress and eucalyptus trees that live above. these trees thrive through the constant utilization of the valley and, through the wind tunnel effect of the structure, spread fresh air throughout the neighborhood. the indoor spaces feature integrated louver windows, allowing for ambient temperature control and ventilation, while the ground floor uses rotating doors that spill out onto the meadow for the same effect. in a heavily paved neighborhood, the valley acts as an ecological refuge, with its form and function inspired by natural phenomena.