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Solá Bezares Coliseum
Caguas, Puerto Rico



This Project aims to enlarge the Coliseum’s capacity from 5,000 to 9,000 seats, including all complementary facilities required for an arena this size. A new parking facility is required to increase capacity by 500 cars. 


Our approach uses the parcel to the north, for the new parking structure, with 910 automobiles capacity. Parking is organized in three parallel trays; the exterior ones are horizontal, while the central tray provides two ramps, each raising one floor.  One starts from the center while the second one rises from the end of the building.  This allows two entrances through the level trays (north and south) and two ramps to enter or exit the upper floors. The system facilitates internal circulation and exit discharge to the main avenues north and south. Stairs bring the fans to the coliseum entrance plaza.


Improvements to the Coliseum itself are as follows:


• Facilities on the basement level are maintained and improved.  New seating is provided at the arena level.  Toilet facilities are improved and water conservation measures are implemented.  A third and fourth athlete’s locker room are provided for tournament competitions.  A Press Center and a Press Conference Room are provided for international competitions.  Facilities for Press Seating are provided at the diagonal corners.


• The existing administrative offices and toilet facilities on the ground floor (south) are maintained and improved. Exits to the east and West are improved, incorporating a ventilation mechanism to provide cross ventilation when the coliseum is not in use, lowering air conditioning and energy demand. New toilets and support rooms are provided on the west side of the building. The main entrance is oriented the north, facing the parking structure. An entrance plaza, accessible from the street and from the parking building directs visitors to the main facade. This plaza is provided with facilities for installing the international flags required during international competitions. The ticket booth in located on the center to the access to the new main lobby, a multistory space, naturally ventilated, located under the seating expansion to the north (see bellow). Three new canteens and new toilets facilities are located in this lobby. Entrance to the main hall is thru corridors on east and west or the stairs to the upper levels. 


• The required 58 handicapped seats are distributed in the diagonal corners at ground floor and at the arena first row. 


• The existing seating areas  on north and south are provided with new seats, guardrails and handrails. Additional seating is also provided to the north, west and south, increasing the capacity to 9,328 seats. 


• Improved facilities for TV transmisión and internal communications have been considered in the new design.


• Exit from the upper levels is thru six sets of stairs, located on the eastern and western elevations. Theses are triangular in shape, and inscribed in concrete cylinders.  


• The new roof, curved in shape is supported by steel trusses and incorporates bands of skylights, to reduce lighting requirements during the daytaime hours. Large Windows, on north and south, complement the natural lighting efforts. 


• A long, curved colonade joins the two structures, presenting an urban façade to the Cañaboncito (main) Street.  This collonade is articulated with printed panels representing the different sports conducted in the premises and the achievements of the local athletes in their competitions. Additional banners contribuye to the festive character of the new complex.


Gurabo Commercial Building
Gurabo, Puerto Rico

The Municipality of Gurabo planned to develop a commercial building in a site currently occupied by the Market Place.  The site is located in the main street of Gurabo, mid way between the plaza and the southern vehicular access from the PR #30 expressway.    Due to budgetary limitations, a strategy of construction in phases was developed.  


In order to present an orderly and uncluttered image, the project developed a white,  lightweight two story structure,  with and upward (high aspiration) energy,  as the initial perception.  Further to the back of the site, the commercial rental spaces were located.  Between the two structures, open space and gardens,  completed  the architectural  composition.  


The commercial building,  a one story structure with a two story façade,  in the first phase,  was to “grow” by the addition of a second story,  a staircase,  handicapped lift and a pedestrian bridge on the second phase. An additional second two story building,  parallel to the first one,  was contemplated on the third phase.  


The buildings were conceptualized to be constructed on steel with aluminum storefront façades, to facilitate the assemblage of the structure in future phases, with minimum disruption of the ongoing activities. 

Construction cost is estimated in $299,000 for the first phase,  $235,000 for the second phase and $270,000 for the third phase.





Plaza del Mercado & Municipal Parking  
Coamo, Puerto Rico



This project, promoted by the Directoría de Urbanismo, is one of several projects aiming to revitalize Coamo’s central district.  It occupies three urban lots:  two facing Baldorioty street (to the south), the main access to the town plaza, and one facing Betances street (to the north).


One of the lots on Baldorioty sits an existing building, previously dedicated to the firemen’s station. This building has been remodeled to accommodate the new market place, with five shops on the first floor, taking advantage of the high ceilings of the firemen’s carport.  A new plaza is built on the front area to provide open space for informal activities and enrich the urban landscape.  The building’s second level is converted to the Municipal Police Station.  A new facade harmonizes the urban scale and the modern vocabulary of the Firemen’s station.


The other two lots are arranged in a linear way, crossing the block. The difference in elevation between Baldorioty and Betances streets allow the creation of a two tier parking structure, with each level being approached from different streets. The lower level, approached from Baldorioty, has 22 spaces and two commercial spaces that mark the urban facade and camouflage the parking use from the streetscape.  On the second level, facing Baldorioty, an urban balcony with a pergola coronate the building.  A set of stairs facilitates the pedestrian connection between the second level of parking and Baldorioty Street.



The second parking level is approached from Betances street.  A new building, evocating the memory of a historical structure damaged beyond repair, make the urban facade and camouflage the parking use from the streetscape.  The 40 spaces are accommodated on a ramp rising from the Betances street level to the second level above Baldorioty.

Different architectural vocabularies and details are used is this project, to respond to the different uses, and historical times: 1900’s, 1950’s and 2000’s, thus truly contributing to a new and revitalized Coamo, without rejecting its remarkable past.



Santurce, Puerto Rico



This building housed the original headquarters of this public authority. It was built  on 1947 as designed by architect José Hernández Márquez,  one of the pioneers of “Art Deco” in P.R. It contained a radio-theater in the main level for the WIPR (public) radio station located on the third floor;  the telegraph “central” on the second floor,  and the general headquarters of  the ACPR on the fourth floor. 

After moving to a new location,  the Owner decided to (partially) restore this building. By maintaining its symbolic presence in Santurce, and  preserving the “Art Deco”  character of the building we contributed to the rehabilitation of this urban sector.  


Our work focused on the restoration of the facade,  the rehabilitation of the radio theater as a production theater, and the remodeling of the basement as supporting spaces for the theater. A comprehensive revision of the building conformity to the new building safety codes was also conducted,  and required adjustments included in the design documents. 


This effort increases the availability of cultural spaces accessible for the development of the art of communication, through the  art of performance, the theater.  It also achieves a social intellectual function by permitting young and new companies of writers and actors to present their work.  


Our work has restored all its dignity and  elegance,  as well as its capacity for service to this historically significant building.  Our respect to it's “Art Deco” vocabulary is evident in the treatment of all the details, old or new in this building. The construction cost was  $1,000,000.00






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