Underground Leisure Lair by Mi5 architects & PKMN architectures

The ‘experimental typology’ was an attempt to push the boundaries of architectural prototypes in historical city centres.

TERUEL – In a city that was once an archeological haven for dinosaur bones, architects have again burrowed underground to create a public realm.

In Teruel, about 300km east of Madrid, a dilapidated market and square were transformed into a subterranean leisure activity space. Users can access the volume at the city’s central square, where it breaks through the ground with an open mouth. Below lies a fiery red liar made largely of steel and concrete.

‘This big buried volume pushes away the earth’s surface, cracking it to produce a new urban topography,’ says Carmelo Rodríguez  of PKMN architectures, which collaborated with Mi5 architects on the project.

While the project required the demolishing of a historic commemorative statue in the square, the architects say they felt that removing the inflexible structure was necessary to ‘revitalize and foster Teruel’s activity.’

The city became hugely popular in 1987, when researchers discovered the first dinosaur bones on the Iberian Peninsula. Teruel became a touristic hotspot with subterranean theme parks and other attractions.
Photos courtesy of Miguel de Guzman and Javier de Paz


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