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Architects: Amado Martín (JPAM City Makers) and Miquel Àngel Sala (Masala Consultors)
Location: Pallejà, Spain
Year: 2022
Photography: Jordi Surroca

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Sports Courts in Pallejà

Over the years, the outdoor playing areas of Pallejà Sports Complex have been laid in stages, to accommodate a functional brief of growing needs. Perhaps this, the failure to imagine an overall result, is the reason why the complex lacks character, consistency and clarity.

Rediscovering a place

Like in a game board, the project reshapes the relationships between the different elements and gives unity and continuity to the specialised use areas, together with the most generic and interstitial ones, from where the activity is observed, and which are the true elements connecting the overall ensemble. The use or absence of colour makes these relationships clear.

Without altering the continuity of this space, nor its openness, the roof of the sports centre, which is in a position surrounded by movement, provides a shelter, with a double perception.

The outside layer has a hermetic appearance. The eyes are only drawn towards the areas where there is no envelope, focusing all the attention to the ground plane. Once inside, under the roof, this hermetic envelope turns into a curtain that sifts out the urban environment, blurring this reality to establish a direct visual relationship with the sports activity at the foreground, and with the landscape outlined on the horizon. At night, the effects of the roof disappear. The inner light is a claim: while the interior can be seen from the town, it is explained to the outside and lightened.

This impression is achieved by means of a perforated metal sheet that wraps the structure on three of its sides, while the relationship between the low profile of the skirts of the envelope and the height of the ground resolves the transition from the landscape to the human scale. The corner that marks the entrance and gives continuity to the main façade is made of translucent polycarbonate, which adds nuances underneath the eaves that shelter it; a cantilever outlined outwards, which integrates the outdoor environment as part of the roof, the activity and the landscape, in its threshold function.

The metallic materiality of the roof, in harmony with the industrial language of the territory, is considered from expressive austerity and chromatic simplicity, which contribute to perceive it as an abstract element without reference to scale. The explicit metal structure places the attention on the lightness of the movement that it shelters and simultaneously surrounds it.

The concrete shear walls supporting the side façades allow corners to be free of pillars; due to material contrast, the structure seems to effortlessly rest there, almost floating. The geometric variations of the roof lying on an apparently symmetrical and regular reading of the volume offer a changing perception, in accordance with its contextual relationship with the urban environment as it is approached and recognised dynamically from its perimeter. The roof minimises the visual impact on the street to which the lowest part is exposed. However, it achieves maximum expression, with its presence and size made evident, at the open front that faces the landscape, as a neutral element of the metropolitan systems and entrance to the town.

Today this facility, which was initially conceived to fulfil a functional purpose, offers a reading with greater presence, consistent with its strategic position at the entrance of the town, and it becomes a place where collective values can be expressed, an element rediscovered and recognised by citizens. Today, it is an identity.

Architects: Amado Martín (JPAM City Makers) and Miquel Àngel Sala (Masala Consultors)
Location: Pallejà, Spain
Year: 2022
Photography: Jordi Surroca

urbanNext (July 15, 2024) Sports Courts in Pallejà. Retrieved from
Sports Courts in Pallejà.” urbanNext – July 15, 2024,
urbanNext June 16, 2023 Sports Courts in Pallejà., viewed July 15, 2024,<>
urbanNext – Sports Courts in Pallejà. [Internet]. [Accessed July 15, 2024]. Available from:
Sports Courts in Pallejà.” urbanNext – Accessed July 15, 2024.
Sports Courts in Pallejà.” urbanNext [Online]. Available: [Accessed: July 15, 2024]

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