The town of Merida, in southwest Spain, has garnered serious attention from urban planners and skateboard enthusiasts due to the recent addition of a unique community center. The 1.2 million euro center titled Factoría Joven opened in March 2011 after only 11 months of construction. Architecture firm Selgas Cano envisioned its project to be a safe and vibrant place for children and their parents to spend time. Factoría Joven's 16,700 square foot center houses covered rock climbing, hip-hop dance classes, an oversized skate park, concert stage, graffiti and street art walls, circus training, indoor music and dance rooms, computer lab, and counseling center. The community center has been widely popular with over 150 children visiting each day. Who wouldn't want to hang out here?
Another striking aspect of the Selgas Cano design is its focus on sustainability. Factoría Joven has passive heating and cooling due to the meter thick walls that regulate the temperature during the year. The structure is also made from corrugated plastic to allow natural light into the rooms during the day and to act as the center's outdoor light source at night. An added bonus is that all furniture is recycled!
This attractive play space allows children to express themselves through many different modes. Children can try daring activities without worrying their parents about where they are. Selgas Cano's Factoría Joven is a vibrant and safe place that any city would be proud to call their own.