The intervention will transform the city block occupied by the Astoria-Victoria cinemas, currently unused, into a public area of cultural and commercial amenities. The aim of the competition was to select the best solution both formally (urban design and architecture) and functionally (use and management) for a city block in one of the city’s most emblematic enclaves, Plaza de la Merced, where the original brief of cinemas and dwellings has fallen into disuse.
With the title “Urban Echoes”, the winning proposal transforms this popular city block into a public area by creating a combined centre for quality recreational culture with complementary commercial activities that will provide a programme of performing arts, music, gastronomy, cinema and live shows.
It is an amenity that sets out to guarantee and enhance the urban activity generated by this important new proposal of urban centrality, as well as promoting its urban relation with the avenue-cum-urban salon that is Calle Alcazabilla and Plaza de la Merced, and the striking landscape backdrop of the ramparts of the Alcazaba.
To this end, the new building brings together a series of memories or urban echoes, and establishes a respectful, harmonious dialogue with the surroundings, the past, the place, and its various layers of history. The building that is to house what is planned as the big new catalyst of culture in Malaga is open, compact and multifunctional. It blurs its borders to share its contents with the Plaza de la Merced and to dialogue at different scales and magnitudes.
The ground floor is totally transparent and open, like a continuation of the plaza, taking in the archaeological remains and integrating them into the visual spectacle offered by the building’s interior. In terms of materials and textures, the volume is given a continuous skin of glazed ceramics, alternating latticework and solid sections, with large urban windows. In this way, at night it shines out like a great cultural lamp that gives meaning to the emblematic Plaza de la Merced. Source and images, Courtesy of Mendoza Partida and Estudio Seguí.
Article by Marco Rinaldi