Auditorium in Cartagena: a Body that Feeds on the Heritage


Architects: selgascano
Location: Cartagena, Spain
Area: 18 500 m2
Year: 2011
Photography: Iwan Baan

The “B” is a long construction, a body that feeds on the heritage -the continuity- of a site’s treatment: the harbour of Cartagena, which is nothing but a borderline between the city and the sea.

A very pleasant walk for the city can be designed along this strip, a daily procession following the immutable edge. In fact, this promenade is what we encourage, it is what we insert in the building in a dimensional continuum that seems to dig out an artificial beach, but is actually a continuity of history, because the old El Batel beach was right here, on this very spot.

The harbour is artificial, not the beach. This reclaimed beach-ramp gradually submerges us below the waterline, with the pier’s horizontal line as a constant reference. At this point, we cease to belong to the outside world and start to belong to ourselves: ourselves in movement, ourselves strolling, working on the 210 metres reserved site for ourselves.

We refused to include the harbour’s beautiful orthogonal monotony, we excluded the hardness of the port from the interior, and instead, we sought something that is completely the opposite: translucent, delicate, light, aquatic, something that has to do with what Luigi Nono defined as “a space for water music”.

Head Architects José Selgas and Lucía Cano
Assistant Architects: Lara Resco, Carlos Chacón, José de Villar, José Jaráiz, Lorena del Río, Blas Antón, Miguel San Millán, Julián Fernández, Beatriz Quintana, Jaehoon Yook, Jeongwoo Choi, Laura Culiáñez, Bárbara Bardín
Surveyors: Antonio Marmol, Joaquín Cárceles, Raúl Jiménez
Consultants: FECHOR (structures), JG installations (equipment), LASTRA-ZORRILLA (textile façades), Polimertecnic (translucent façades)