Spanish Motorcycle Museum

Competition | Special Mention

Alcal de Henares. Spain | 2006

Alcal de Henares City Council

 

The Motor Museum in Alcalá de Henares is based on two considerations of different nature: the creation of an important urban culture and leisure center and the remodeling and revitalization of an unused industrial building, the Gal factory. 

The influence of early twentieth century industrial architecture on the axioms of the Modern Movement is obvious. Masters such as Gropius, Le Corbusier or Behrens expressed their devotion to the expressive strength of factories, for the abstract forms spontaneously produced by the engineers in order to meet the needs of industrial architecture. Nowadays, when that admiration has been replaced by the decadence of industrial ruins and exile of their aesthetic value, it is essential to understand the keys which made those factories one of the seeds of modern architecture. Looked at from this perspective, the project seeks to adapt the volumetric and spatial conditions of the old factory to accommodate the multiple needs at hand and restore its architectural essence. 

The major decision consists of building a single floor volume, a platform-prelude with a horizontal component which changes the perception of the factory, transforming it into an object on a base. This procedure serves to increase the necessary functional area and clearly distinguish functional areas from exhibition ones, as well as to give the public an unencumbered and elevated ground plan. With the communication between platform and ground plan solved through comfortable ramps, references to the Mayan constructions which exercised such influence on the master Jørn Utzon appear.

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