Architect: Jordi Badia /Josep Val
Location: Leon, Spain
Collaborators: Elena Valls, Tirma Balague, Albert Cibiach , Marcos Catalan, Juan Carlos Castro, Frans Massana, Lorena Maristany, Rafael Berengena, Francesc Belart, Santi Vinuesa, Barbara Camarero, Gines Egea, Josep Martinez, Luis Victori, Sergi Serrat, Lluis Carreras, Jordi Mercade
Structure: Eduard Doce, architect
Engineering Assistance: Mariano Fernandez, Jose Manuel Perez
Budget Consultant: Francesc Belart
Services: Consulting Lluis Duart
Client: SERFUNLE/Ayuntamiento de Leon
Photographs: Eugeni Pons
The building is conceived as a tomb of tombs.
A completely buried construction, it eludes its volume and its signification in order to camouflage itself in the interstices of a too-close residential area.
A sheet of water by way of a roof constitutes the single facade, reflecting Leon’s sky like an allegory of death. All that emerges from the water are mysterious fingers in search of light for prayer.
The entrance, ritualised by a great ramp which slowly descends below the ground, terminates in an image of the sky which opens just far enough to let us in.
Past the threshold, the structural design of the main entrance conveys all the weight of a marble slab and the infinite thickness of its perimeter.
A series of courtyards introduce space and light. From the viewing rooms, the only sight of the exterior is the sky.
The building is constructed entirely of concrete, the only fitting material for a tombs. The choice of colour reminds us of the Bonar stone of which the whole city is built.
Inside, a panel of iroko wood folds back on itself to separate the main entrance from the viewing rooms.
Throughout the building there are inserts of black detailing, like the armband that signifies mourning and the sadness of visitors.
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