The colourful, blob-shaped plastic ‘cloud’ of Selgas Cano’s Youth Factory on the outskirts of Mérida, Spain, and the sober massing of José María Sánchez García’s Perimeter Building around the ruins of the Roman Temple of Diana, in the city’s centre, appear to come from two opposing worlds.
Both projects are magnets, but for entirely different audiences. Selgas Cano’s Youth Factory attracts crowds of local teenagers: a skate park designed for rollerblading, skateboarding, cycling, wall climbing, dance, street theatre, electronic music, graffiti and so on. For its part, Sánchez García’s Perimeter Building creates a dignified urban setting for this neglected monument amid the dense jumble of the old city. With its café, restaurant, specialities shop and cultural offerings in the small concession spaces on its upper deck, and the serene emptiness of its archaeological ground level, it is programmed to serve the tourists flocking to such sites as Mérida’s Roman Theatre, centre of a summer arts festival, and Rafael Moneo’s Museum of Roman Art (AR November 1985)
21 September 2011 |