Gallery: Magnificent Factoría Joven Skate Park is a Luminous Oasis in M...

Factoría Joven surprised adults and kids when it opened its doors in Mérida last March.

Photo © Iwan Baan

Factoría Joven surprised adults and kids when it opened its doors in Mérida last March. The old capital of Lusitania, home to a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site, now houses one of Spain’s most striking architectural parks. The outdoor skate and amusement park is elevated upon a base about 1.5 metres off the ground in order to protect the archaeological remains beneath it. The multifunctional space is a place where youth can meet, practice sports, dance, play music and even access the Internet through public computers.

Photo © Iwan Baan

The Extremadura Regional Council worked with local residents to build Factoría Joven in only 13 months. The whole project was built at a cost of about 1.2 million euros mainly using long-lasting weatherproof polycarbonate panels set on a metal structure. The Internet room is suffused with natural light and features a bright orange floor. To minimize costs and environmental impact the room was furnished using recycled furniture. Because the canopy is basically a large, one-metre-thick “thermal cushion” made from plastic, it serves as a cool and breezy shelter that protects its visitors from the scorching Mediterranean summers.

Photo © Iwan Baan

Due to its extreme architectural impact and its long-lasting design, the building raised a critical political debate on how a public space should be designed today. But Factoría Joven is also a spectacular example of architecture built by the council in coordination with local residents. The project is set on the outskirts of a semi-industrial city in an effort to prevent the city’s desertification while encouraging young and old alike to engage in pleasurable and healthy outdoor experiences.

+ Selgascano

Via Domus

Photos © Iwan Baan


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