CONTEXT. REHABILITATION AND RESTORATION
The 'Beti-Jai' is a jewel of sports architecture of the nineteenth century that arose in a climate of experimentation in the use of new materials in buildings as well as in a time of transformation and prosperity in the city of Madrid.
The idea to give a new life to the building after more than 100 years in disuse is now being considered. Given this new opportunity, we understand the tension between the positions that defend a restoration recovering the original state of the building and the positions that defend the idea of rehabilitating and restoring it providing the building with new uses in order to achieve a greater economic return in the future management of the building.
Our positioning is closer to those who believe that the building should not lose its original physical integrity and therefore that the architecture is kept as faithful as possible to the original state. With this initial premise, our goal was to find the right formula to make the building attractive to the public and therefore have the ability to generate sufficient income.
We see great inconveniences in the installation of a cover over the existing top of the structure that fills us with reasons to look for other alternatives. There would be an obvious visual impact on the original building in any of the proposed technical solutions, whether fixed or retractable. Following the impossibility of supporting the roof over the existing building and the various levels of the crowning of the building, another issue to consider was the high cost and technical difficulty to thermally and acoustically seal the central space.
A TRANSFORMABLE SPACE
It is proposed for the new ‘Beti-Jai’ a partial cover of the central space that is embedded in the ground and rises temporarily generating a new space of 450m2 completely closed for proper climate control and acoustically isolated so that it is allowed to organize any kind of event that could make the level of noise uncomfortable for the neighbors (such as concerts).
The new multi-purpose room appears when it is needed, elevating from the ground through a system of hydraulic scissors and pistons, a mechanism of counterweights widely used in elevators.
The facade is solved with a curtain wall hung from the roof. The section of reinforced concrete gives shape to the system of guides and bearings that will keep the glass at all times stable in its vertical position.