Service center for food distribution (SDA)

Located in Campclar neighbourhood, Tarragona, the new centre for food distribution was designed and built in only three months on very low economic resources, with 120 volunteers completing the build on the final morning.

The neighbourhood, formed in the early 1960 to accommodate a big number of the new city’s chemical industry workers, is part of quickly developed area that works related to the city of Tarragona and at the same time with its own autonomy.

This part of the city has an easy recognizable morphology based on big isolated blocs with many open spaces around them.
One of those isolated buildings is the church of Campclar, which has an adjacent empty space for the construction of a new food distribution center, a facility to supply food to people with low incomes in a comfortable way.

The intention was the new facility to be recognized as a building belonging to the neighbourhood, setting up a material and geometrical relationship with the church and its surroundings.

As a result of a collective discussion with the volunteers searching the most efficient, economical and logical organization, the centre is formed by three spaces separated and connected at the same time: A storage room located close to the street, a service space in between, and a distribution zone connected with the church square. Users are given a number of points depending on their personal and economic situation, and walk through a trail in the distribution zone where they choose the food they need the most.

The center was conceived with an industrial and artisanal logic.

Due to the lack of economic resources and the short construction time, the building is an essential project, easy to build, completed with industrial construction systems but with a strong relationship with the neighbourhood at the same time, mainly formed by residential buildings made with traditional  brickwork construction techniques.  

The decision was to use local construction techniques in order to integrate the design into the site and also to minimize transportation costs: The structural system, the roof and the lateral facades were built up with prefabricated metallic elements in order to shorten the construction time, and all the transversal walls and the frontal facades were constructed by a fabric skin, which contextualises the new centre with its surroundings.

In the interior, the interest of the project resides in seeking an optimistic atmosphere. The compact and hermetic nature of the building responds to climatic and security requirements, however, when the centre is in service, it opens to the users allowing natural light inside.


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