Authors: Miguel A. Alonso del Val, Dennis Bartolomeo, Pablo Branchi Borrell, Darío Camisay Bandés, Felipe Croxatto Viviani, Rufino Hernández Minguillón, Mª Eugenia Hutter, Esperanza Marrodán Ciordia.
The proposal at landscape level was related to the concept of ruin. The motto used for the contest - "The Light in the Forest" - refers to a text by María Zambrano that bears the same title, and in which we can read:
"(...) The clearing in the forest is a center in which it is not always possible to enter. It is another kingdom that keeps its own soul. A bird warns and calls to go wherever its voice is marking. And it is obeyed. Then there is nothing, nothing that is not an intact place that seems to have opened in that single moment and that will never happen again. "
As in Tikal or the ancient Mayan ruins, our concept seeks to enhance the surprise, the discovery that comes with the idea of "clear in the forest" and, once there, give the visitor the possibility of experiencing the sensations that come from the contemplation of the past. In the midst of the dizzying world that surrounds us, this space could offer the visitor a place to stand, and think.
Likewise, intervention from the landscape point of view allowed the creation of new routes and natural paths that connect the unique elements present in the environment, bringing nature closer to the coast and integrating the industrial profile in a smoother scenario that continues towards the area of La Alcanada.
A topographical and landscape work is carried out, trying to restore the area to its original appearance, in which the buildings of the complex, invaded by nature, are no longer isolated elements but are part of this topography. The architectural elements that could be integrated into the context were chosen, either because of their size or originality, and the rest were demolished.
The main arrival for visitors is produced by the northern part of the complex, where there is a large parking area as a clear in the forest, protected by trees. From there a path leads to a another forest clear where the Control Point (former Guard House) is located. From that point on, a series of routes begin to open the landscape to a great extent. At the first crossroad, the visitor can choose to go to the Museum or, on the contrary, continue the walk to the old House of the Engineer, which now houses the information point of the surrounding routes and a small cafeteria.
From here it is possible to easily reach the impressive main tower of Alcudia, which dominates the bay with its whitewashed walls. Also from here we find a path that leads to the old quarry, now converted into an amphitheater. Emulating the ancient greek amphitheatres, from this magnificent place the representations will have as a backdrop the beauty of the bay.
Both the car park and the paths are drawn in the most natural way possible, using materials in accordance with the wooded environment. The gravel and the paving of natural stone are combined in some points with barks of trees and pieces of corten as sleepers. Over time, nature will invade the interstices perfectly integrating the routes in the environment.
If from the point of Control the visitor decides to go directly by the road that leads to the Museum, you will find the different tanks hidden between the trees. Some of the old walls that served as platforms still remain, so they point the way and offer a sheltered place to stop.
Two of the tanks open completely in their upper part and are covered with corten steel. As if they will be sculptures of Richard Serra, they are real clearings within the forest. The third tank is kept closed, but its cover is pierced so that the effects of the light surprise the visitor that decides to enter. In addition to the exhibition area, other types of events can be held inside this tank.
Continuing along the path that descends between the trees, passing between the two tall chimneys, the visitor finally arrives at the clear access to the Museum. In it, once stripped of the tangle of metallic elements that now cover it, the main building is shown to its full potential.
To further accentuate the idea of ruin in the forest, the project releases the main façade of the building by constructing the new interior uses in boxes unrelated in some way to the original building. In some cases, the lattice without the enclosing glass can serve as a support framework for climbing plant species.
The Center becomes a Museum, set up as a mixed exhibition space that combines characteristics of the classic museums of science and technology while hosting a series of large exhibition spaces for contemporary art works. The program is completed with workshops for artists, classrooms, an auditorium, library, and a whole series of spaces associated with these uses.
In the main elevation, a simple steel plate as a frame signals access. The entrance takes place passing under the mezzanine in which the administration is located. This compressed way of entering helps to boost the effect of going into a large central space.
In addition to the lockers and other services, on the ground floor two new "boxes" can be found: the first, aligned with the main facade, houses two story workshops for artists, directly linked to the exhibition area and the warehouse; the other, closer to the access, rises occupying one side of the central nave. In this piece, more sculptural than the previous one, the auditorium and the library are located.
In the main room of the ground floor, the old walls are preserved as an exhibition stand. In some cases, the walls are torn so that the stairs that follow the exhibition path can be supported by them.
Access to the First Floor can be done directly by elevator or by a new staircase following the direction of the hoppers, or through these ramps and stairs leaning against the walls.
In the First Floor we can found the exhibition rooms of small objects, and also a large space in which the historical explanation of the energy central is developed. This history room takes advantage of the old control panel, which can be put activated for its didactic use.
This floor is the last of the central nave. The rest of the route is developed in the body that forms the main façade that rises three floors above the central nave.
The new staircase, which rises to the top floor, has been designed as an inverted hopper, so that the visitor is prepared "spatially" to enter into the hoppers, now perforated to accommodate exhibition spaces.
Once the hoppers have been seen, the visitor can descend, or continue up to the last floor, the large overlook.
This is the point at which the intervention is shown clearly to the outside. The last slab is demolished and the roof is lifted 4 meters above the original roof. In this new enclosure, made with the same material of the current facade, a series of cracks are opened that, based on the lattice module, create a new rhythm that alters the quiet monotony of the façade, creating a unique image, especially when the building lights up at night. The light filtering through the cracks of this new space gives a totally new image to the building. From any point of the bay, the energy central becomes a lighthouse, a claim.
This space that crowns the building is conceived as a multipurpose area where you can combine restoration activities with exhibitions, parties or events and can be used independently of the Museum as it has access also from the old coal conveyor belt.
Urbarama. (Página consultada el 06 de julio de 2009). Central Térmica de Alcudia “Claro en el Bosque” [ES]. [On-line]. Dirección URL: http://es.urbarama.com/project/central-termica-de-alcudia-claro-en-el-bosque-power-station-of-alcudia-the-clearing-in-the-forest
Architecture Page. (Página consultada el 13 de mayo de 2008). The Clearing in the Forest. [On-line]. Dirección URL:http://www.architecture-page.com/go/projects/the-clearing-in-the-forest