In June 2012, the market hall of the small northern Spanish town of Reinosa was completely destroyed by fire. Since its last renovation in 1986 the building had been largely empty. Only a laundry was still operating there, while a number of local clubs used the hall as a venue.

The fire presented the municipal administration with an opportunity to build a new community center on the central square. In autumn 2013, it launched an architectural competition that was won by the young Madrid office RAW / deAbajoGarcia. As the code word for their entry the architects chose “Impluvium”, the central sunken water basin in Roman atrium houses.

The ­reference to the ancient model is unmistakable: Shed roofs that are pitched inwards and carried on just a few supports ­surround a courtyard that is the central point of reference for the complex. It is placed slightly off-center, so that the four wings differ in depth and thus allow a variety of uses.