In our latest video, we go back to Lleida in Spain. La Llotja Theatre and Conference Centre officially opened in 2010, adding a new venue for the arts in the region. After six years, Mecanoo went back to see the project. We wanted to see how the building is facing the test of time and how successful the public space has been now that the building is well in use.
This is Mecanoo’s attitude – a project doesn’t simply finish when completed. For us the project begins when it is delivered to the client, when end users flow through and enliven the public spaces.
La Llotja was 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.
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