MAESTRO PADILLA MUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM
Author: José Seguí Pérez. Architect
Project date: 1992
Order: Almeria City Council and Department of Culture of the Andalusian Regional Government.
Built surface area: 7.763 m2
The main objectives of the new Auditorium for the city of Almería were not only to provide an architecturally correct solution to the needs of a cultural “container” for the city, but also to propose an “urban architecture” project that would solve the problems of spatial planning and functional organisation in this important sector of the city.
Due to its urban condition as a hinge connecting the axes of the new city (Avda. del Mediterráneo) and the existing city (Paseo Marítimo del Zapillo), it was necessary to plan a “double main façade” towards both axes that would integrate and enhance the prominence of both structuring elements of the city and its periphery.
The need to comply with a rigorous economy made it necessary to try out a general design where the base material of the construction would resolve not only the structure but also the finishes of the exterior and interior facades. We opted for the construction system that provided the solid face brick and at the same time acted as a structure; this justifies the “ribs” of the “buttresses” of the façade that stabilise the whole building. This Main Hall has a capacity of 900 seats distributed in two spaces (stalls and amphitheatre) and a series of side boxes that make up the “interior façades” of the hall itself. A incorporation of furniture designed exclusively for this Auditorium, and the solution to the acoustics of the Hall, fundamentally based on the geometries of its “shapes and proportions”, would be some of its most attractive compositional elements, together with the structure of the interior circulations of the side boxes that develop along its “interior façades”.
That “Stage Box” is perhaps its most attractive piece. So the continuity of the “interior façades” of the Hall extend towards the interior of the “Stage Box” as if it were an extension of the Hall itself, thus allowing the public to enter this “magical space”. Its most novel proposal is the “double mouth” of the stage box that opens towards the urban space of the Avenida del Mediterráneo, in order to meet the needs imposed by the large shows of the Summer Festivals, which made it necessary to propose a design solution that would not entail very costly economic investments in the face of this habitual demand required by the city. In this way, the stage box can be incorporated into the large adjoining urban space, thus enabling an unlimited capacity for spectators in this large space, which has been converted into a real “open-air hall” of large dimensions. Two complementary rooms with 120 seats each, for conferences and audio-visual projections with simultaneous translations; adjoining rooms for meetings and seminars; and large spaces for large exhibitions with appropriate proportions and well-studied lighting complete the cultural offer of this new Auditorium of Almeria.