On March 23rd 2010, La Llotja theatre and congress centre will celebrate its grand opening to an audience of citizens, press, the Mayor Ros of Lleida and other dignitaries. La Llotja de Lleida designed by Francine Houben of Mecanoo architecten & LABB arquitectura is one of the most prestigious project in Catalunya, transforming Lleida into a cultural destination and providing a venue for opera, plays and congresses. Situated between the Seu Vella mountain and the Segre river, the building design takes its inspiration from its Spanish surroundings with earthen stone cladding and a light bathed interior with vibrantly coloured accents representing the fruits of the region. Sustainable design principles are integrated throughout La Llotja, with a large cantilever for shade and shelter from the rain, photovoltaics, thermal storage and a large roofscaped garden which also provides a city terrace for Lleida’s citizens.
La Llotja hosted the opening of the cultural season in January, before its official opening, with the performance of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” to a crowd of over 1,000 theatre aficionados. Mayor Ros, in his speech to the public, thanked architect and founder of Mecanoo Francine Houben for the “beautiful palace”, while celebrated Belgian stage director, Gilles Deflo proclaimed La Llotja’s acoustics to be excellent, and the theatre a pleasure to work in.