In June, the City of Madrid announced an international contest for a £9.6 million overhaul of the abandoned Beti Jai pelota arena in the city. The aim of the competition was to select a team to restore and re-imagine the disused venue, known locally as a fronton, which hasn't hosted a match for almost a century.
We are proud to have worked with a fantastic multi-disciplinary team on our submission, which included Castiel Consultants, BAC Engineering Consultancy Group, Marini Urbanismo, Theatre Projects and Lighting Design Collective. We were placed 5th out of 74 international entries.
We see the Frontón Beti Jai as a people magnet that needs awakened. The street is an integral part of the vision as cities need meaningful public space. Our vision is one where Calle del Marqués del Riscal is reclaimed from car traffic and made into a pedestrian priority space, a space that creates a perfect interface between the street and what is happening in the interior of the building.
Built in 1894, the building belongs to a consolidated part of Madrid city. It is located adjacent to taller buildings and a recent renovation has brought to life all their original beauty. We consider the building as a container, where the design team includes new components to reactivate the uses, always maintaining all the historical values:
Glass Box - A gallery space used for different purpose, it creates a new internal facade for the courtyard.
The Robust Floor - A space used for pelota game but also suitable for a myriad of different activities which benefit the neighbourhood
The Flexible Roof - A retractable roof allows the space to be partially covered, improving acoustics and comfort inside the courtyard
The space is developed as a multipurpose hall, full of activities 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The project has considered all the sustainability principles, aiming for a zero emission building, in addition to detailed acoustic and lighting approaches.