Taller Puertorriqueño celebrated the grand opening of El Corazón Cultural Center, a 25,000-square-foot cultural hub in North Philadelphia on December 7th. Occupying half of a city block, the new building is articulated into several finely scaled volumes that are assembled into one aggregate building. As a result, El Corazón Cultural Center fits into urban fabric while embracing the neighborhood scale; this can be seen in the multi-colored panels on the façade which reference the colorful palette of many Puerto Rican households in the surrounding community.
The new center includes performance space that can be subdivided into drama, dance and tutoring classrooms; an art gallery to showcase the work of local and national artists; a bilingual book and gift shop; and multiple classrooms that will allow for the expansion of art and information technology programs and after school activities. Two commercial grade kitchens support a meal service for after-school programs and summer camps allow for a gourmet café serving Puerto Rican cuisine to the community.
“The realization of Taller Puertorriqueño’s new Cultural Center is a dream long in the making,” said Antonio Fiol-Silva, Founding Principal of SITIO, the building’s architect working in partnership with WRT “All the elements are in place for the new building to become a vessel for the extraordinary array of offerings and programs that are destined to make El Corazón Cultural Center the cultural heart of our region’s Latino community.”