Conference Hall

It’s quite a conundrum: how do you reconcile a need for parking space with an archaeological site?

If you’re the Spanish town of Daroca, you up the stakes further and get architect Sergio Sebastián Franco to design a conference hall and museum that incorporates the ruins into a public space.

The archaeological team uncovered two 10th-century Islamic houses, five arches, a piece of a Roman causeway, and two silos from the 1st-century. All of these ruins were incorporated into the modern space, which unfolds gently from under the cobblestone streets of the town.

A glass window reveals a slice of the arches and houses, which are mostly below ground. The first floor houses a conference hall, the second a small museum and individual meeting rooms, and the third a display space for ceramics and coins recovered in an ancient chest at the site. Above ground: coveted parking space.

The bright interior combines steel, wood, concrete and glass seamlessly with the arches and walls. Stone pathways intersect the space, mirroring the narrow streets of the town above and integrating the town’s past and present aeshetic.

‘The attitude in this case is the choice of coexistence instead of mimicry, from a construction of concrete and steel, sensitive with the place, attentive with the historical memory and coherent with contemporary needs,’ the architect says.

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