PALENCIA – Madrid-based Exit Architects have brought light into a 19th century prison by replacing the roof with a zink steel cover full of skylights.

Located Palencia, a city in northern Spain, the historic Neo-Mudéjar brick building has been transformed into a civic centre. The new dynamic hub combines both ancient and modern walls. Exterior walls of the four existing structures were retained and extended with five pavilions. The entire unit is crowned with stepped roof units to guarantee light-infused interior spaces.

A visual highlight is the crossing tower atop the main building, which embodies the link between historic and modern architecture.

The civic centre contains an auditorium, art and music classrooms, library and several other venues.

Photos courtesy of Fernando Guerra