The proposed new center «Espacio Portalet» is located in a site as unique as the mountain pass on the border between Spain and France.
The uniqueness of this project lies in the opportunity to add value to the Old Customs Building, highlighting its qualities, despite its obvious state of deterioration to give it a new life, not as an office building or control, but as a place for meeting and cross-border relations. In this sense, the project serves not only to buildings but to the spaces created between them, as new public spaces associated with cultural uses of buildings that facilitate the meeting of the users and visitors of the future Centre «Espacio Portalet».
Therefore, the project’s strategy is based on fragmenting the scale and volume of the new buildings, to reduce their impact on the landscape, so that the main building is still the Old Customs Building. This fragmentation strategy also allows to identify the main uses, which correspond to the three volumes built: Shelter Home for pilgrims / Housing, Multipurpose Room / Garage, and Socio-Cultural Center at the Old Customs. The other service uses primarily associated with multipurpose building functions are housed in the platform between the three buildings.
Archetypal volumes, covered mainly of slate, evoke both cultural memory and the great landscape context of the area, linked to the landscape as two large rocks detached from the mountain. Their shapes also have to do with the answer to the atmospheric conditions in a high mountain weather.
Location: El Portalet. Sallent de Gállego (Huesca).
Architects: Magén Arquitectos
Developer: AECT «Espacio Portalet»
Area: 1.101,66 m2
TC Cuadernos nº 113, 2014