Cultural centre and library in the old prison

Place: Palencia
Date: 2009-2011
Developer: Palencia local government
Design/direction: Eduardo Delgado Orusco, Exit Arquitectos (Ángel Sevillano, José María Tabuyo)
Award: Competition. 1st Prize

The prison has always been a fearful institution. Its evocation, memory not to say its presence, is not pleasant. They couldn’t be because of their punitive feature. Today, we propose to transform it in a civic centre, a place for citizen gatherings around festive and cultural activities. This will be achieved will maintaining the old structure of the building considering its undeniable value as a heritage asset. Our proposal aims at converting the old prison of Palencia in a space of encounter, an attractive place due to the wise disposition of the proposed activities, the appreciation of its old spaces and for the incorporation of new structures. Our intention is not mixing them up. For this reason, we do an intentional distinctive gesture by means of a differentiated material treatment of the old and the new. The new structures consist of neat, modern and translucent ‘boxes’ (transparent when possible) that colonize the old patios.