Enric Miralles (1955 - 2000) was one of the most closely
watched young architects in Spain thanks to a number of promising
and unorthodox projects. The National Gymnastics Training Building
(C.N.A.R.) was the first major building of this rising star of
Spanish regional modernism.
The C.N.A.R. initiated a new building type in which a large audience focuses on individual performances, and therefore requires a setting less formal than that associated with team sports.
The building, composed of a series of interacting elements;
ground-scape, sky-scape and walls of varying permeability, relates
closely to its site, growing out of the hill and making visual and
physical connections to all sides.
The order is complex and fragmentary, allowing the landscape to
remain primary, as though crowds had gathered in the shadow of that
hill for millennia and Miralles has merely added shelter, ranks of
seats, and a winding ramp for the approach.
The building belongs to its site, it enhances the genius loci; yet it makes no concessions to the local style of Alicante. This was the new regionalism of the 1990s, taking its cues from the immediate locality, yet also derived from, and addressed to, an international architectural debate in which Miralles has long been involved.
Facts about C.N.A.R.
More about the building in the Opus Series - Architecture in
C.N.A.R., Alicante (Opus 15)
By Peter Blundell Jones
Publisher: Edition Axel Menges
Last updated: December 19, 2013
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