La Llotja Theatre and Conference Centre

Lleida, Spain

Architecture, Interior, Theatre / Concert Hall

Size: 37,500 m2
Status: Completed
Project Design: 2004 - 2005
Project Realisation: 2006 - 2010
Address: l’Avenida de Tortosa, Lleida, Spain
Client: Centre de Negocis i de Convencions S.A. (project); Municipality of Lleida (competition)

Design Team: Mecanoo, Labb arquitectura.

Programme: Theatre and conference centre with a theatre (1000 seats), 2 congress halls (400 and 200 seats) which can be divided into smaller halls, an exhibition hall, 2 multifunctional foyers, press room, restaurant, lounge, 9,500 m² parking, a square of 15,325 m2, Mercolleida office and retail space of 2,591 m2.

Awards: 1st prize competition

La Llotja Theatre and Conference Centre is designed as a monolithic volume that emerges from the Spanish earth. By elevating the first floor and deeply recessing the ground floor facade, this creates a 16-metre-wide cantilever that protects visitors against the sun and rain.

The public square begins underneath the cantilever with the stairs of the neighbouring building serving as a spectator tribune during events. The solid facade of natural stone is interrupted at the entrance where a sea of light penetrates the massive block, inviting visitors up to the first floor where the multifunctional hall is located.

A ramp continues to the foyer on the second level with a panoramic window viewing across the old city and the river. The entrances to the theatre, which also doubles as a large conference hall, meeting rooms and the 400-seat conference room are located in the foyer.

The latter is visually connected to the multifunctional hall by means of a raked tribune separated by a glass wall.The route continues to the generous roof terrace with an informal bar located under a lush green pergola. Three sculptural skylights admit daylight into the multifunctional space on the first floor. 

The logistics of the theatre are meticulously organised. Car parking is located underground as well as a loading dock.The ground floor offers space for restaurants with terraces on the riverbank. A theme of fruit frees references the renowned landscape of orchards from the region, and becomes the connecting element throughout the interior in combination with a rich colour palette. 

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