The Olimpia Theatre occupies the site of the former Olimpia Hall, a triangular shaped block in the city centre. This block -of great urban presence- presides the Lavapiés square: a priority area within the Municipal Renovation Plan for the Madrid Central District with a dense urban fabric. The Plan mentioned understands the activity of this Theatre as vital for the cultural life of the district, and its construction as keystone for the reconfiguration of the existing Lavapiés Square.
Therefore, the new building must deal with the historical premises and host the events of the former Olimpia Hall, home for avant-garde formations and alternative theatre.
The necessary volumes and height of both Theatre and stage tower hide the large party walls of the buildings next to the lot. Leaning on those party walls, the several volumes of the building adapt to the triangular geometry of the site. The glazed front of these pieces opens up to the urban space and transforms at night into an attractive source of light that will allow the vision of the foyer from the Square. Outside, the space in front of the new building facing the Lavapiés Square, opens towards the steep slope of Calle Legazpi and will become the lobby of the new Theatre as well as an extension to the Lavapiés Square.
A large continuous interior space provides the necessary base to the foyer, exhibition spaces and cafeteria, giving access to the two main levels of the hall and overlooks square through large windows.
The programme of the building is varied: a hall for contemporary theatre, a lecture room, an ample rehearsal hall and the necessary scenic and public spaces as well.
The hall is planned as a neutral and versatile space (17x36 m.) with capacity for 510 seats, from which 130 are located on a retractable platform. Meanwhile, the stage (15x11 m.) can be extended towards the hall by means of movable platforms, which allow the complete integration of both. This way, it is possible to build up a vast container with the only limit of imagination: from a conventional hall to the most stimulating stage design. Placed over the main foyer, to which the two levels of the hall are linked, the lecture and conference room for 100 seats complete the public areas.
The rehearsal hall, 9 meters high, with similar dimensions to that of the stage, is located above the amphitheatre of the Hall, and allows the preparation of stage designs, providing movable scenarios and stage lighting.
Prizes: Finalist FAD award 2006 Finalist ENOR award 2006 Finalist Madrid Architecture award 2006. IX Biennal of Spanish Architecture 2007 Spain Architecture award 2007