Rowing Center by José María Sánchez García


José María Sánchez García




Alange, Badajoz, Spain


images ©Roland Halbe












The Rowing Pavilion is located across the water reservoir of Alange. It is configured as a large concrete base with a light structure over it. This cover is constructed by steel trusses that release, in its lower part, the main room of the project: an open space with flexible use of 21x21m.
To respect the landscape -of great environmental value- is one of the main strategies of the project. 
The building height is controlled. The project is embedded into the ground to avoid interrupting the visual connection between the village and the water. The construction is extremely respectful with its environment.
The boundary of the project plan is determined by the site. The legislation forced to respect the alignment of the site, leading to a floor plan with an irregular and complex geometry. To resolve this geometry we define a central space as a 21x21m square where the main program is developed. Its dimension is given by the turning radius necessary to operate with canoes. It is a multipurpose space where different programs such as lessons, training or public events take place.
The secondary program is established in the interstitial space between the main hall and the edge of the building. On these perimeter spaces, result of the irregular geometry given by the site, are placed bedrooms, gym, dressing rooms and offices.
The section solves the slope existing on the site and allows the development of two separate entrances. The main access is done through the access ramp. The secondary one, for boats, is situated downstairs. A large hole allows light into the building and hosts the slender ramp hung by wire which connects the lower level with the terrace. This ramp acquires a principal character in the building.
We use local both techniques and building systems. All the construction is based on standardized and prefabricated steel profiles similar to traditional constructions from farms and small local industry.
The structure by itself generates the image of the building. The building becomes a delicate industrial building that shows the activity generated inside.
For this reason, we place special emphasis on the cutting and assembly of parts to achieve high quality construction; this is one of the arguments of the project. The materials are assembled in a simple way, uncoated and emphasizing the technique. 
The transparency of the structure becomes the access floor in a large shaded pavilion, without any obstacles to admire the scenery. The perimeter grandstand, excavated over the border base, avoids placing a conventional railing. It allows contemplating rowing competitions, achieving a visual continuity with the landscape.

from: José María Sánchez García