Francisco MANGADO

Soccer Stadium La Balastera+



13.500 m2

A football field has a fundamental and obvious function: to play football. But it also has two more functions that are not so evident but no less important. The first has to do with representation. A football field has become a work with certain iconic potential for the city. It can be a landmark, a building that is important not only for its quantitative characteristics, but also for its qualitative ones, a container for the dreams of the people. The second aspect stems from an obvious question: An area with the dimensions of a football field takes up a great expanse, which is used only on occasion. Doesn’t this result in a waste of space?

This basis of this proposal rests on the belief that a football stadium is more of a building than an element of infrastructure. It is a building that can be taken advantage of to house other uses, but that above all, can and should recuperate a civil role. The project proposes perimeter offices and other public uses on the ground floor, all designed as a great urban “showcase” with direct and immediate access from the street. Internally the stadium is a large ‘surprise void’ where in addition to football games, a variety of public spectacles can be enjoyed. 
The towers, necessary to illuminate the field, have the most symbolic roles. Lit, like large minerals with sculptural qualities, these towers can be seen from several kilometers away, establishing a dialogue in the landscape with Palencia´s Cathedral. Committed to the concept of stadium as urban building, the stadium maintains a festive character.

Calle de Lola de la Fuente, 5, 34004 Palencia, España

VII SALONI Awards. Architecture Category
SALONI Awards.First Prize: Soccer Stadium La Balastera in Palencia.
II COAL Architecture Awards
COAL Architecture Awards. New Administrative Public Buildings Category.First Prize: Soccer Stadium La Balastera in Palencia.
IX Spanish Architecture and Urban Planning Biennial
Spanish Architecture and Urban Planning Biennial.Finalist Project: Soccer Stadium La Balastera in Palencia.
FAD Awards 2007. Architecture Category
FAD Awards.Finalist Project: Soocer Stadium La Balastera in Palencia.
III ENOR Elevators Award
ENOR Elevators Awards.First Prize: Soccer Stadium La Balastera in Palencia.
Competition for the Soccer Stadium La Balastera in Palencia
First Prize.
La galerie d'architecture Exhibition Catalog
Future Arquitecturas #41-42
UED Urban Environment Design #074
AMC Hors-Série
Le Moniteur Editions. Paris (France)
I European Congress of Sports Infrastructures: Swimming Pool for the Vigo University
Ajuntament de Valencia
Blueprint #293
Mega Publishing Group. Manila (Philippines)
Arquitectura Deportiva#10: Swimming Pool for Vigo University in Ourense Campus
ISBN-10: 9788489150850
Darco Magazine, Francisco Mangado Monograph Special Edition #16
AV. Monografías #133
10x10 #3. 100 Architects, 10 Critics
BSI Swiss Architectural Award
AMC Le Moniteur
Le Moniteur Editions. Paris (France)
Pasajes de Arquitectura y crítica #93
Pasajes arquitectura. Madrid (Spain)
Francisco Mangado, 2+2 Arquitecto
Arquitectura Española: 10 proyectos al descubierto
p.15-16, 32
ICEX-Inst. Español de Comercio Exterior (Spain)
Osaca. Leisure, health and quality of life magazine #55
Osaca. Burgos (Spain)
International Project #17
Vikarpress. (Russia)
Casabella #758
Arnoldo Mondadori Editore Spa. Milan (Italy)
NAN arquitectura y construcción #25
L'arca #227
Materia #54
Diseñart Magazine #16
Nuevas fórmulas de comunicación, S.A. Madrid (Spain)
Arquitectura Viva #109: Portugal Panorámico
Azure, Design Architecture Art
Azure Publishing Inc. (Canada)
Architecture Today #175
Architecture Today plc. London (UK)
Saloni Architectural Award Catalogue
Saloni. Castellón (Spain)
Spain Architects, Works 2
Manel Padura
IX Bienal Española de Arquitectura y Urbanismo
Ministerio de Vivienda. Madrid (Spain)
Arquitectura COAM #350
Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid. (Spain)
ISBN-10: X-00038793
Arquitectura y Diseño #80
RBA Holding Comunicación, S.LU. Barcelona (Spain)
Azulejo #135
Edición de revistas técnicas especializadas. Barcelona (Spain)
On Diseño #286
LD+A International Lighting Magazine #16
Illuminating Engineering Society. New York (USA)
Av. Monografías #123-124: Spain Yearbook 2007
Future Arquitecturas #7
Arquitectura Plus #113
Grupo Vía. Barcelona (Spain)
AV Proyectos #10: Sports
Arquitectura Viva #101: Hormigón Fresco
Elite Equestrian Center
The plot is in the middle of one of the most humid valleys of northern Navarre. A valley of gentle but sturdy hills, where the green pasture and oak trees configure a landscape of strong character, whose color changes with the seasons. A valley dotted with a system of small and relatively closely-woven urban cores, configured in an apparently random way. The buildings are formed of large unitary and isolated volumes that seem to touch, but that in truth compete with one another to show their bold architectural character. A boldness that draws on the climate conditions, but also on the production system – stockbreeding –, which in past times forced to accommodate in one same house people and animals. A boldness that is particularly evident in the roof, whose role is to bring together all the different contents. Boldness, in the end, of ‘Navarre’s buildings’. This is the context for an elite equestrian center specialized in dressage and with boarding stalls for horses: one of the strongest and most sophisticated forces created by nature.The idea of clarity and also the strong architectural presence of the nearby buildings guided the project design from the very beginning. Beyond the materials or specific expressive configurations, the proposal was inspired by the desire to establish a relationship with the context through an exact, clear volume. This idea of clarity pervades not only the exterior, but also determines the structural and constructive organization of the buildings.The mixture of scales, the way of playing with them and of making the interact, the need to combine different facilities for training or stalls with other more domestic spaces, comes to justify that main decision of gathering all uses, independently from their size, in those single and total volumes, coherent at the same time with the aforementioned idea of clarity and boldness. In this way, the houses for staff that work and train in the complex are no different and are also drawn up with the same farm-like volumetry, designed to contain the training tracks or stalls, which are integrated in these volumes, trying to avoid establishing a differentiation between them, as this would have entailed a fragmentation that is not compatible with the natural and architectural landscape of the valley.Materials play an important role in the project. The usual tense plastered walls painted white of the nearby houses and cattle farms are replaced here with steel sheet, which, combined with oak wood (used in the window frames, interiors, vertical claddings and pavements), generates an expressive result. In general, the use of materials is inspired by the idea of offering a contemporary approach to the traditional solutions found in the surroundings. In the sense, the handling of large sections of oak wood coming from the controlled exploitation of the nearby forests – a handling that, as in the case of large pieces spanning some uneven areas of the terrain, consists in making simple volumetric cuts in the trunk – is essential in order to interpret the use of materials in the complex. 
The organization is relatively simple. A large elongated volume accommodates the stalls and the lodgings of keepers and workers. The roof is the same for the whole complex, but it slopes at a given point to reach the needed height for the secondary use and also marking the main access to the complex. A large volume lying perpendicular to the first houses the olympic training rings as well as the owners’ house and a living area and training premises for jockeys and instructors. In this way the living spaces afford direct views over the indoor and outdoor rings.The landscaping project basically follows the guidelines of the valley’s plot divisions. Lines of oak tress divide the plots, configuring elongated prairies that more or less follow a perpendicular line towards the Ultzama River, where one can still find trout or otters, and which marks the boundaries of the estate. Now these prairies are filled with horses.
Swimming pools for the University of Vigo
The project is drawn up as large outlook onto the campus, and the whole organization and arrangement of uses are indebted to this idea. The users will be able to enjoy views of the campus and its buildings from this raised platform containing the swimming pools.The access to the pool through the most elevated area allows to accommodate the main functions in a single floor. The complementary ones – dressing rooms and sanitation services - are organized following an L-shape. All of them within an itinerary conceived in material terms as a slightly opaque one, defined by the smaller scale of the uses therein contained. Embraced by these are the poolside spaces, glazed and open onto the campus, “floating” beyond the structural and functional limits imposed. The ends of this platform, whose interior contains areas for resting after exercise, are cantilevering volumes (spanning approximately eight meters) that seem to escape the base anchored to the ground so that the users may feel as if they were flying.This light platform of water that hovers over its surroundings contrasts with its strong, solid granite base. This base endows the swimming pools with facades, aside from accommodating the systems and other necessary services. From the exterior, it is perceived not only as the facade of the building, but as a pre-existing base of topographical nature that is anchored to the subsoil, so defining the raised outlook character of the public level. The other central argument of the project is the roof. The large outlook has a clear, powerful and attractive roof, of large spans and an internal geometry in accordance with the existing deep beams. A roof that allows to generate rich spaces and light nuances – the roof has a skylight – that enhance the overall image of the complex. During the project design a special attention was paid to the water space that was to be generated, it had to be efficient but also appealing and sensual. In this sense the roof plays an essential role.