Mecanoo’s design for the Theatre and Congress Centre La Llotjaof won an international competition. The complex of 37.500 m2 will be the new icon of the historical city of Lleida and must give an impulse to the surrounding neighbourhood.
La Llotja will be realized on the river bank of the Segre River, close to the station where passes the high speed train from Barcelona to Madrid. The design for the theatre and congress centre appears as a floating sand stone volume arising from the Spanish earth. The concept is based on shadow and shelter: shelter against the sun during the warm days in the summer and during the rainy days in the winter. A sea of light permeates through the massive composite inviting visitors to enter the monumental stairs up to the first floor. The foyer of the theatre is situated on the beletage and has a view over the city. The theatre has 1200 seats. A large part of the mainly logistic program lies under the sand stone square. Two towers with apartments and offices (27.000 m2) are part of the assignment.
The jury decided unanimously and praised the design because of its urban plan, clear logistics, ecological sustainability and imaginative power. The construction of La Llotja will start in 2006.
Alongside Mecanoo architects the competition was joined by: Josep Llinàs, Torres y Lapeña, Bonnell y Gil, Carlos Ferrater, Sanabria Artigues y Puig and Foreign Office Architects.