Community Centre Plaza Ecopolis
Plaza Ecópolis was designed by Ecosistema Urbano architectural office. Located on a 7,500 m² plot in Rivas Vaciamadrid, a community on the outskirts of Madrid, the space consists of a kindergarten, a common room and the actual plaza.
An artificial landform has been created on the perimeter of the site. Enclosing the plaza space, it serves as a filter against heavy truck traffic and a harsh industrial environment, making it easy, when within, to forget the urban surroundings.
The gross surface area totals 3,000 m², of which approximately 50% is semi-subterranean. The main building extends towards the square in the form of a lightweight metal structure made of steel tubes enveloping the interior space. An adjustable fabric canopy is spread over this structure, which allows it to adapt to the various angles of the sun. By means of this bioclimatic element, an almost invisible transition between the exterior and interior is achieved, extending the comfortable atmosphere inside the building into the public space.
The metal structure was factory-manufactured and erected on site by Emetal S.A. It consists of square and rectangular tubes, all supplied by ArcelorMittal, serving as pillars and beams respectively.
The technologies employed in the project create an integrated design tailored to the surrounding climatic conditions. It primarily relies on passive environmental control systems, such as the adjustable fabric canopy in order to minimise consumption of energy and natural resources. Active energy efficiency systems have been incorporated into the design in order to achieve the most efficient energy rating.
Plaza Ecópolis was designed with the aim of educating citizens about energy saving and the optimisation of natural resources by incorporating ecology into daily life. The project also demonstrates that a building constructed in accordance with environmental criteria need not be synonymous with an additional financial investment. In fact, its construction cost is considerably lower than that of any conventional building. The total construction cost was €2,700,000, giving a cost of €700/m² for the building.