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The Architectural Review’s Emerging Architecture Awards, sponsored by Ramboll and Austin-Smith:Lord, celebrates the best pieces of design by young architects from across the world. This sports research centre in Spain was among the four principal winners
This giant ring-shaped building is inscribed in a wooded landscape; it’s eerily perfect geometry suggests something not quite of this world.
This facility provides research, training, recreation and business facilities for sports professionals in a tranquil, landscaped setting. The brief for the building included a reception and information centre, physiological laboratories and accommodation, together with a business centre and cafe.
The site lies on a thickly wooded peninsular in a reservoir in the Tagus river basin. A narrow neck of land connects the peninsula with the shore, and the site is subject to periodic flooding.
The building itself is a narrow uniform strip of single-storey accommodation, 7m wide and 200m in diameter. The assorted functions are disposed around the circular plan. The ring is hoisted on slim piloti, well above the level or any potential flood water.
The flat roof is fully accessible and becomes a giant treetop walk. offering views of the reservoir and peninsular. Although the building may appear monumental, the curvature means it tails off into the woodland, becoming highly integrated and part of the landscape. The stainless steel cladding panels reflects vegetation.
Architect Jose Maria Sanchez Garcia
Project Team Enrique Garcia-Margallo Solo de Zaldivar, Rafael Fernandez Caparros, Maribel Torres Gomez, Laura Rojo Valdivielso, Francisco Sanchez Garcia, Jose Garcia Margallo, Marta Cabezon, Mafalda Ambrosio, Carmen Leticia Huerta
Location Guijo de Granadilla, Caceres, Spain
Building type Research centre
Photography credits Pablo Calzado, Roland Halbe & Jose Maria Sanchez Garcia