The Nau de les Arts / ProyectaLab is a multidisciplinary space, conceived to host different cultural activities. It was created with the will of solving the need for a creative and discussion space of Collectives and people who have no resources. Besides it, the project incorporated new spaces for the education and production as well as, two housing spaces for the guest artists.
Initiated by Association Proyecta
and built by Recetas Urbanas in collaboration with Rehasa Estructuras
, Lucas Construcción and the help of numerous collectives from Collective Architectures
network, the space, promoted by the Benicasim´s municipality, starts with the re-utilization of 6 containers provided from Saragossa and belonged to the project Trucks, Containers & Collectives.
The work was based on the rehabilitation and improvement of an old Renfe train station warehouse on which was added prosthesis made of containers, in order to make it able to host new uses. With this process of collective construction, space and material re-use, it was fast and low-cost to obtain a new facility.
Equipped with different classes, courses, meeting rooms, warehouses and residences for artists, the space with nearly 400m2
would have hosts, under a shared management model, the activities of Nau de les Arts during winter and Proyectalab ones during summer; making possible the possibility of multiple uses for the same infrastructure.
Evaluation and Protocols
In spite of, the two years of management work done by the Proyecta collective group (Alberto Arza) trying to find complicity and economical resources from the Benicasim City Council; what I can conclude as wrong in this process is the unability of the city council to complete the signature of the management agreement proposed by Alberto Arza. The opening of the space was organized by the city hall without the signature of the agreement. Action that it could be consider as a blunder by the politicians in charge. They believed in the project enough to secure its funding; however, they got lost in the public promotions and presentations even before they could assure its operation.
The fact that we assumed responsabilities with certain naivity plus the delayed on the signing of the space transfer agreement (caused by the city hall secretary who supposed to be an accomplice) led us to this situation of the imposition of a new Culture Councilor. The Proyecta Association, who was the promotor of the project and it was present during the entire process could not develop its program of shared management, that was the base of the collaboration.
We consider accurate and low-cost the management evaluation for the 200,000€ invested on the upgrading of the warehouse and the construction of the new spaces (including VAT, fees, insurance, local companies subcontracting and expenses of the participant collective).
The managing of the diverse friends and collective groups collaborations, whom were invited to self-build together for 4-5 days, allowed us to generate and keep complicities that would permit future works in similar initiatives. Moreover, it enables us to streghten the networks to which we belong, mainly the Collective Architecture Network (Arquitecturas Colectivas). As a consequence of this process along those weeks of work and friendship, two new collective groups were created, NEW WOW and Aoscuras.
One of the worst situations that we had to confront was the council elections and the eventual change of the political party. It caused that, despite the project was completed, the building was temporary closed and its name was changed; as well as, a severe media attack against it.
This political irresponsability repeats everytime that the political party that was governing changes. And, it is a condition that enable us to see the mediocrity of the majority of these political positions and its responsibles; who fight each other and put the rest of people on a situation that does not make easy the processes for the sociocultural improvements and/or alternative management proposal of the heritage estates.
Currently, the space is parcially open to the public. It is being closed during the summer time and it is forbidden its use to numerous local collective groups that requested it to the city hall, an action that is conducting to a marginalization of their cultural practices.
Budgets and Resources
Plaça Estació, s/n
Project Data Sheet
Artecontexto nº28, p.37-45, Madrid, España, 2010. 
Catalitzadors, p.18-27, Barcelona, España, 2010. 
El País Semanal nº1799, p.20-24, Madrid, España, 20 de Marzo de 2011.
Arqa nº90-91, p.40 y p.88-95, Lisboa, Portugal, 2011. [1647077X]
Pasajes de Arquitectura y Crítica nº118, p.40-44, Madrid, España, 2011. 
Prix Européen d'Architecture Philippe Rotthier 2011, p.56, Bruselas, Belgium, 2011. 
A guidebook of alternative nows, p.231-239, Alemania, 2012. 
Ecologik Recyclage Urbain, París, Francia, 2012. 
Folio nº0004, p.18-21, México DF, México, 03 de Septiembre, 2012.
Summa+ 122, p.78-85, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2012.