EXIT architects: cultural civic center in palencia EXIT architects: cultural civic center in palencia
apr 12, 2012

EXIT architects: cultural civic center in palencia

‘cultural civic center’ by EXIT architects, palencia, spain image © fernando guerra all images courtesy of EXIT architects



madrid-based practice EXIT architects in collaboration with eduardo delgado orusco have converted a 19th century prison into a ‘cultural civic center’ for palencia, spain. creating a new meeting place for the people of the city, the building’s internal pavilions host activities within a hybrid atmosphere of old and new components. the heavy masonry bearing walls which enclose the original four wings have been maintained and refurbished while the interventions of zinc metal and U-glass complete the structure. the degraded roof and clay tiles were removed and replaced with large skylights, bringing natural illumination into the once dark interior.


the double storey criss-crossing wings extend from a central great hall which takes the form of an octagonal atrium capped with a stepped alcove ceiling. cylindrical courtyards are scattered throughout the upper level, permeating the ceiling to generate open voids for daylight as well as opportunities for outdoor planting. corridors wrap the site’s perimeter to connect the cross-form plan creating a modern and friendly exterior appearance.



zinc metal and U-glass interventions complete the refurbished masonry walls image © fernando guerra



entry image © fernando guerra



original brick facade has been refurbished and maintains image © fernando guerra



entrance image © fernando guerra



corridor image © fernando guerra



stair within a translucent glass atrium image © fernando guerra



circular skylights and courtyards introduce light from above image © fernando guerra



cylindrical courtyards image © fernando guerra



tree within outdoor courtyard image © fernando guerra



upward view from courtyard image © fernando guerra



one of the wings image © fernando guerra



upward view of cathedral ceiling image © fernando guerra



octagonal library image © fernando guerra



upward view of octagonal alcove ceiling image © fernando guerra



light filters down from the glass enclosed structural beams image © fernando guerra



auditorium image © fernando guerra



roof detail image © fernando guerra



rooftop courtyard image © fernando guerra



at night image © fernando guerra



original prison









phased diagram of retained walls and interventions



site plan



floor plan / level 0



floor plan / level 1



roof plan































  • Así, a bote pronto, tiene una pinta fabulosa. A mi mente vienen Herzog de Meuron, Tuñón y Mansilla (dep), Rafaél Moneo… Enhorabuena, un proyecto fantástico ¡¡¡

    Miguel says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

architecture news