The newest addition to Logroño’s urban network, El Receso, is situated near the Parque del Ebro, on a site previously occupied by a parking structure, Aparcamiento Revellin. Honoring the city’s rich history as a “place of passage”, the project aims to bring together the pilgrims of Camino de Santiago, the locals of Logroño, and neighbors from surrounding towns through a shared passion: food.
A traveler stops to eat and rest. The most significant break in the working day is the lunch break. Having a meal is the most valid excuse for a pause. In a city where gastronomic activity holds great importance, an opportunity arises to increase contact points between the residents, neighbors and pilgrims through food. El Receso is a space that invites people to experience the ritual of dining in all its phases, from buying local agricultural products to cooking, eating, and lingering over coffee – all as a shared experience.
The project is composed of three distinct buildings, each following the same construction and structural principles, plus an overall landscaping scheme that addresses different steps of the dining ritual. A public transportation station and a passenger area are integrated into the cross-section of Building B, in response to the gathering aspect of the program. The semicircular section closes off the bus station to achieve visual consistency while opening the community kitchens and the dining area towards the park.
The phase of cultivation is integrated through the community vegetable gardens that are distributed across the plot. There is a farmer’s market in Building A where produce grown by local farmers is sold, which can later be used to cook in the community kitchens. Custom community tables and benches are a playful way to invite guests to eat together. The design includes many outdoor, indoor, and transitory areas for rest, with the aim of incorporating “pausing” as a fundamental principle in El Receso’s design agenda. At the tail of the sequence, Building C houses the recycling center and administrative offices in the smallest building of the three.
Along the diagonal axis, the northern side of the project blends into the Parque del Ebro and hosts program that interacts with nature and is relatively static: for example, the relaxation areas with hammocks, as well as swings and outdoor barbeques. Its southern counterpart borders the city of Logroño and hosts a more dynamic program, such as the farmer’s market and transportation areas.
El Receso embraces community dining as an important tool for establishing a sense of domesticity on an urban scale while helping culture bleed into daily life. It does so while implementing a variety of sustainable approaches, from direct nature-based solutions like using locally sourced LVL timber frames as its main structural element to long-term lifestyle incentives such as decreasing dependence on private vehicles through the inclusion of public transportation and bike paths.