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Space for activities: Factory Merida

Factory Merida designed by Selgas Cano Architects, 2011. Photo: Iwan Baan

A variety of activities from skateboarding over acrobatics to street theatre are housed in the new Factory Merida in Spain.

The Madrid-based architecture firm Selgas Cano designed a new building, public open space and landscape called “Factory Merida” in Merida, Spain.

On a project area of 3,090 m2 the Factory’s program offers spaces for collective youth-centered activities including a skatepark, a concert area, a street theatre, a tightrope walking area,  or a ballroom.

Aerial view of the canopy of the Factory Merida.

The building is formed as a large publicly accessible canopy that is structured into a series of volumes with oval floor plans for different activities. Each of the oval volumes are each as isolated modules with independent access.

The biking area at the Factory Merida designed by Selgas Cano Architects, 2011. Photo: Iwan Baan

The canopy cover is translucent and meter thick to help to control the climate within these activity areas while still letting light in and thus maintain the feel of spontaneous outdoor activities.

Anyone is invited to participate at activities at The biking area at the Factory Merida. Design by Selgas Cano Architects, 2011. Photo: Iwan Baan

The Factory is well accepted and as new people join, it appears that in the near future some of the activities might have to be filtered – but if that will become necessary, it would be done as sensitive as possible to maintain the architects’ Selgas Cano goal that “no one will have to be filtered.”

Drawing of the site plan for the Factory Merida by


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