Evincing the monolithic qualities of a Richard Serra sculpture, Cor-Ten steel and a low-slung form define the Tussols Athletics Park’s new pavilion. And the whole park turns out to be the work of a trio whose profile is rising in the design world to a level equivalent to Serra’s in art: RCR Arquitectes principals Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta just won the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
The pavilion is a substantial 160,000 square feet. “But we thought the Cor-Ten steel could make it almost disappear,” Pigem explains. Deference to maintaining the beauty of the surrounding environment—an oak forest near Barcelona, in Olot, Spain—was a prime consideration. The running track, long-jump pit, and soccer field have all been sited, whenever possible, in existing clearings.