Located up high on the Paseo de la Alameda, the building has a vantage position within the city centre, from which it enjoys views of the promenade and of the fishing port of Tarifa.
The plot has a slightly uneven shape with two clearly differentiated parts. The largest one is trapezoidal in shape and was in the past used to acommodate the hall and the stage of the old theatre. The other part might have its origin when the internal part of the city wall was divided into lots. This part is smaller in size but longer and is connected to the former almost perpendicularly. This is where the main lobby of the old theatre was located, with entrance from Colón Street.
The design was thought in order to make the new theatre suitable for all sorts of cultural activities, like plays, musicals, movies, conferences and so on. A total renovation of the building was necessary to make this possible, starting unavoidably with a morphological and technical updating of the stage, which has been extended to reach an eight meter depth with surrounding supporting spaces as big as the size of the plot could allow. Furthermore, to ensure that all the spectators have a good visibility towards the stage and comfort conditions were adapted to present requirements and regulations, the form of the hall has been changed, and the stands rest on a single sloping surface which rises towards the rear part of the hall. The sound and light control booth is in the upper part of the stands.
In order to have a proper functioning of the stage it must have good auxiliary spaces. For that reason the brief demanded including dressing rooms with their corresponding restrooms, a stage box, a lobby and public areas that would allow the building to be configured as a meeting place and social showcase.
The privileged location of the building in the urban centre of Tarifa and its position tangent to the medieval wall encouraged to place the public entrance on the Paseo de la Alameda. Part of the medieval wall wraps around the promenade by making its way into the glazed lobby, which is clad with cor-ten steel slats. Staff and artists enter the building through a more restricted access on Colón street.
Remains of the Nasrid city wall emerged during the construction, and the proyect assumed them as an important part of the building and part of the itinerary.
From the outside the theatre rises as a white and bright volume, with no superfluous features and contrasting strongly with the orange tone of the elements made of cor-ten steel, and with the worn out surfaces of the ancient city walls.
Client: Tarifa Local Goverment
Architects: Miguel Bretones del Pozo y Julia González Pérez-Blanco
Collaborators: Víctor Muñiz (Architect), Manuel Osuna (Architect), Alberto Martín-Loeches (Architect), Enrique Lerma Dorado (Quantity surveyor), Mirella Albert (Restorer), Pedro Jiménez (Restorer)
Consultants: Estudio Duarte Asociados (Structure), Diseño de Instalaciones y Montajes de Arquitectura (Services)
Contractor: Construcciones Bonifacio Solís, S.L.