Street factory

A new structure in Spain incorporates a skate park, street theatre stage, graffiti wall, climbing wall and more, and it’s all for youth.

In the southeastern town of Merida in Spain a new multi-purpose centre recently opened and it is an architectural project specifically developed to cater to the needs of teens.

Selgas Cano created this centre for the Government of Extremadura’s Factory Youth Movement Programme, which primarily targets the youth but is open to everybody. With a skate park, concert and street theatre stage, a climbing wall, tightrope walking space, video art facilities, manga, contemporary dance and more, the centre caters for a wide variety of interests for youths of all ages.

The design had to overcome some tough challenges, including budget constraints. Without air conditioning, the architects created a one metre-wide thermal canopy to shield the centre from sun and rain. The bright orange colour chosen for the canopy allows it to stand out.

Most of the additional structures surrounding the cente were built using metal frames clad with low cost polycarbonate sheeting. The translucent material allows more daylight to enter the centre, thus reducing the need for lighting inside. It also works to transmit the interior light to the outside in the evening, giving the centre a bright and glowing look.