Pabellón de las Artes
San Juan, Puerto Rico - 1992
This 5,200-square-foot building, within the site of Puerto Rico Performing Arts Center, includes a Cafe/restaurant with kitchen and storage (basement) facilities, as well as a commercial arts and crafts space. It was completed in March of 1992.
The “plastic” qualities of reinforced concrete were exploited, using, for instance, inverted beams to create uninterrupted free spans (flat ceilings) and deep overhangs. The cafe area was conceived to take advantage of natural ventilation and daylighting. The exterior of the building was shaped and defined by its contiguous plaza. Some of the materials used in the building are also in direct response to the pavilion’s immediate context: the brick, for example, alludes to the historic buildings of the area, and the store’s blue-green glass relates to the fountain in front of the Performing Arts Center. The interior of the project is organized around a double height space: At night, this space receives indirect light from various wall-mounted luminaries.
Another goal was to activate the Performing Arts Center Plaza, which was scarcely used during the non-presentation hours. With this in mind, we decided to create a building with an “extroverted” character, opening outward towards the plaza, with its elegant gardens and fountain/reflecting pool. In its use of a “modern” design language, contrary to its use in the main Performing Arts Theater structure, the building does not renounce to the lessons of contemporary tropical architecture, as established by our past masters, such as Osvaldo Toro, Miguel Ferrer and Henry Klumb.