The demolition of La Lira Theater left an urban void in the historic district of Ripoll, a town in the province of Girona, overlooking the Ter River. With recollections of the scale and spirit of the former theater and also understanding the importance of town squares, the architects have created a unique covered square, suitable for many types of activities and an outdoor space to be enjoyed informally by residents. Beneath this, there is an underground multi-purpose room.
The new Lira structure frames the view across the river toward the newer part of the town and the mountains beyond. When approaching by the new weathering steel footbridge, also designed by RCR, across the river, it forms a gateway to the old part of town. Weathering steel, the predominant material used throughout, evokes the metallurgical past of Ripoll. The covered square, where a theater once stood, has become an accessible urban stage and meeting place, thanks to the 40-meter footbridge that crosses the river.
The way it is employed – as pavement, latticework on the side walls, roof, – results in a variety of uses, textures, and hues gained through the passing of time. Both a richness and continuity are gained by this “wrapping” of the space in just one material. Light and shadows, which are constantly changing throughout the day and with the passing seasons, enliven the space – a new “stage” for the people of Ripoll.