Espacio VIAS is a vibrant, new cultural and youth art center in León, Spain created from a historic train station in the city center. The renovation of the station was a collaboration between citizens and the city and designed by Estudio Sic to create a new public space, upgrade the train tracks and provides a space for youth creativity. Passive solar design and daylighting mix inside the newly renovated space and a canted green roof enlivens the area.
The site of the train station was owned and operated by the Ferrocarriles de Vía Estrecha (FEVE light rail line), but the station had fallen into disuse. Since it’s located in a very busy part of the city, transforming the station into public space could ease congestion and create a new public amenity. The station itself was transformed into a large, open, multi-functional gallery space, while a new building to the north was constructed to be used for auditorium space and offices. Outside, old tracks were transformed into a public plaza and the old engine turn table became an outdoor amphitheatre.
A vibrant green roof tops the new building on the north side and makes use of its southern exposure for daylighting and solar passive heating and cooling. The roof shades the interior work spaces completely in the summer, keeping the interior cool, while thermal mass helps regulate the temperature. The south facade of the new addition is entirely clad in glass connecting the interior with the public plaza and pulling in ample daylight. Estudio Sic completed work on the renovation in 2010, which was funded partially by the Instituto de la Juventud and led by a partnership between the city of León and LVEF.
Images ©Esau Acosta