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  5. Manuel Ocaña
  6. 2007
  7. Ocaña de España / Manuel Ocaña

Ocaña de España / Manuel Ocaña

  • 01:00 - 7 October, 2009
Ocaña de España / Manuel Ocaña
Ocaña de España / Manuel Ocaña, © Miguel  de Guzman
© Miguel  de Guzman

© Miguel  de Guzman © Miguel  de Guzman © Miguel  de Guzman © Miguel  de Guzman +38

  • Architects

  • Location

    Carretera Yepes, 45300 Ocaña, Toledo, Spain
  • Architects

    Manuel Ocaña & Luis Morales
  • Collaborators

    Roberto González García, Lucía Martínez, Javier Aguirre, Pilar Pérez Flores
  • Client

    BIUR S.L. Carlos Martí
  • Contractor

    BIUR S.L.
  • Budget

  • Area

    4.145 sqm
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

From the architect. Hipo-Critical Oath©

1. In architecture, public opinion is not a proposal. It is an order.

The architect is a medium of the status quo ideology. Must not take own decisions. Must show the human will through a condensation of opinions.

© Miguel  de Guzman
© Miguel  de Guzman

The waste of professional energy while trying to manipulate the public opinion is always illegitimate an unsustainable.

2. Architecture represents what society presents.

Representation through a validated repertory is the main professional attribution. Architectural validated repertory has a rule-based character.

3. Architectural language is a social prerogative.

© Miguel  de Guzman
© Miguel  de Guzman

The definitive image of the buildings is property of a final consumer allergic to astonishment. The language must be extracted from the architectural thinking in order to give it as a tribute to the correspondent community.

4. Architecture is importation from the collective thinking. Talking about exportation is arrogance.

Truth culture comes from the common people. Shared virtues, as essential goodness or educative values, must be imported into architecture. Trying to export own thinking to society is intelligence ostentation, as vulgar as flaunting wealth.

© Miguel  de Guzman
© Miguel  de Guzman

5. Statistics is not data. It is law.

Imagination or reason is not governing, opinion rolls are. Interpretation of the statistic is an end itself, not only a tool, because its conclusions are always a safe value. There are no risks taken in architecture.

6. Bureaucracy is not an obstacle. It is an allied.

In order to help the citizen, Government can demand from the architect a lot of time, thinking, money, effort and obedience. Architect’s skills must be commercial and bureaucratic. Quality can not be a goal because we are protected under Technical Codes and the new unproductive intermediaries. Those new agents allow the homogenization of the results to defend the communal wellness.

© Miguel  de Guzman
© Miguel  de Guzman

7. Communal opinion is more valuable than the architect’s judgment.

Opinion must be loved and judgments must be rejected. Nor the thousands of architects that build millions of squared metres, nor the millions of buyers that pay hundreds of thousands Euros for them, can be wrong.


Or when public opinion is an order.

This collective housing project tries to be a tribute to the inner wishes of the current Spanish society. The project is an ultra-realistic performance about the real state market, in the shape of a 53 dwellings building developed in ground floor + 3 heights.

© Miguel  de Guzman
© Miguel  de Guzman

We succumbed to the unquestionable wishes of a creative private promoter. He wanted a building that looked like from Cuenca from the outside but very modern in the inside. We proposed to build it as a replica of the hunging houses. The two first floors would be rock (constructed with the same techniques used in the theme parks Port Aventura and Terra Mítica), while the two last ones would be costumbrist houses laid on it, finished with a roof made of a canvas with a serigraphy of Arab tiles.

© Miguel  de Guzman
© Miguel  de Guzman

The first architectural decision appears with the configuration of the building as a 2+2 instead of a ground floor +3. Two orders, of two floors each, piled in horizontal. Five extent irregular shaped volumes lay on the inferior basement. All the houses are different one from each other.

© Miguel  de Guzman
© Miguel  de Guzman

Butt the main architectural decision is about the common spaces of circulation. Those generous spaces are solved around wide open patios, with crooked and secret flowings. In the upper lever the extent configuration of the five volumes allow, besides of interesting micro-spaces for community use, spaces with diagonal and surprise views.

© Miguel  de Guzman
© Miguel  de Guzman

On the other hand, the final image of this architecture, (that can be related to the oceans of fake, Hello Kitty´s fossil or a pre-Columbine Mickey Mouse could be references) has the suspicious aim of understanding public opinion as an order, not as a proposal. The result is a language based on clichés, on the most popular topics that appear in the touristic postcards; images and representations that most of Spanish people understand as a paradigm of wellness and happiness.

© Manuel Ocaña
© Manuel Ocaña
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Ocaña de España / Manuel Ocaña" 07 Oct 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments

57 Comments · June 26, 2013

Fine way of explaining, and pleasant post to get facts on the topic of my presentation topic, which
i am going to convey in university.

mary and joe · November 23, 2010

oh my..
it's little bit weird
the fake stones... that much?

Well · September 21, 2010

PS: I remember a few semesters ago, I was trying to justify building elements and parts of the room programme by using the results of previously held polls in the target group, so some kind of simplified statistical methods. The professor told me i had mental problems. I wonder what he might think about your somehow fascist ideas of design.

Well · September 21, 2010

"The waste of professional energy while trying to manipulate the public opinion is always illegitimate an unsustainable."


Dan Ljungar · August 15, 2010

one could hope that a nation of great architects, had laws that could stop nonsense projects like this one!
one could also hope that arcdaily wouldn't publish it - was the girl to tempting?

CABE · November 30, 2009

demasiado divertido es agradable que alguien utilice el artificio
para construir una habitabilidad insospechada

Alia · November 29, 2009

nothing special about this project !

you could realise this from the women posing in every picture :p (this is a technique used usually to hid the uglyness of something)

C.C.C.P. · November 23, 2009

I just see a mad woman~

utopianrobot · October 12, 2009

interesting cynical manifesto...very student sounding. theme parks are cool and if that is what the developer wants how do you make sure it looks good in fifty years? will the rocks need repainting? are the floor plans generic enough for resale? are walls and ceilings detailed to last? if this project is demolished in ten years how much of it can be recycled? is it energy efficient? even though it's a theme park the architects got to make some interesting spaces. how often do any of you get to do that? does anyone out there know how to do classical architecture in a vernacular language and actually build it?

PIÑOL · October 12, 2009


H O R T E R A !!!!!!!!!!!!

arnold · October 11, 2009

it's a big mistake to present a new arch.object using nice models (girls, womens or mens). It's a cheap gimmick. You can use this method to advertice underwear, cars or smth.

When you advertice a new architecture, the atention devide between arch.forms and a pretty model. It's not good.

there's another way to present architecture: it's natural life scenes or real documentary in a real living area or house; then models are the real people, who lives and works here. The documentary photo.

the architecture is realy nice and interesting. It looks like a little community. It's a little bit narrow area, a lack of private space, but people, who want to live in a little humman anthill - it's good place :-).

The exterior - only stone decoration looks a bit simulated, not so realistic, that I could believe in that. Anything is OK. Very good and nice work.

João · October 09, 2009

I don't wanna go into the theory the archetect used to justify his choices, neither that rock he used to cover the first and the second floor, but I liked the public spaces... although I have never been to Spain, I felt home...

UNDFTD · October 09, 2009

I wish my concierge was that hot....

Bennet · October 09, 2009

The overall attitude towards the design is appriciatable, atleast for its prime consideration of "SOCIETY" as against the normally dominant architects ego.
Even though in your 3rd point you talked against the definitive image of the buildings as a property of a final consumer allergic to astonishment ............... the pretty girl in the image gives very well the astonishment quotient to the building

daniel daiber · October 09, 2009

I think that finally the very issue of this thing (after riding Rionzs opinion... very nice, thanks) is that if architecture is about tecnical evolution or abstract design evolution.

In my opinion, it's about technical evolution, it's about cience.

Not about style and fashion(design)

It's kind of boring thinking about architecture like that, but it's more realistic.

to me, design is just a concequence of the time you're living.

Thomas · October 08, 2009

This is just plain silly, pure theme park stuff! Let's all live in a fake world and never get out of it. Fake mountains, fake sea, fake people...

Even the timber structure is a lie. Not one timber beam is necessary.

Rionz · October 08, 2009

1. In architecture, public opinion is not a proposal. It is an order.

It is not!, Architecture is for people indeed, democracy works, but is not always the best option; so, if public opinion likes some statements, architects most know if these are correct, or wrong, or is the best option.. it will continue as a proposal

2. Architecture represents what society presents.

And also what society aim for, architecture since ancient times is a big point in aiming for next generation.

3. Architectural language is a social prerogative.

Or, what the new society will need, or will aim for, just thinking about the past, without preparing the future is irresponsible and just adjusting to the existing design without further proposals to improve, it is irresponsible

4. Architecture is importation from the collective thinking. Talking about exportation is arrogance.

Absolutes are arrogance too; it is both, collective & inner, and the results from those is what society is.. thinking only in collective is lack of self proposals.

5. Statistics is not data. It is law.

Incorrect!, why it must be a law?, if statistics says most of people kills another being, it must be a law? if 90% says buildings must be design only for men, it must be a law?, wrong.. Plurality is not always correct, as the simple example: "if everyone jumped off the bridge, one must jump?"

6. Bureaucracy is not an obstacle. It is an allied.

Not an allied, either an obstacle, only a formality.

7. Communal opinion is more valuable than the architect’s judgment.

Same as point 5, if communal opinion says is correct build houses whitout windows, it should be correct?, i think not, architects learn and study what is better for something, what is the porpouse of things, communal opinion must be heard, but if the community can't explain what they want, or what they need their opinion is just useless. And architectes there must look to find what really society wants, and needs.

I am completely aginst the way of thinking they have stated, although the building look interesting and well made.

archilocus · October 08, 2009

I'm feeling quite uncomfortable looking at this project.
It happens everytime I see such vernacular architecture, because I'm both theoretically deeply against miming old architecture, nature or whatsoever, and practically I admit the result is indeed "livable" and well built...
About the hypocritical oath paragraph, they are just replacing an ideology with their own, full of populism... There is plenty of architects doing humble architecture they consider being right for their client, that are way less arrogant and preoccupied with ideology than Ocaña & Morales. And all those architects do not make pastiche of old buildings !

alex · October 08, 2009

this would be like going to a dinner by some up and coming nuevo-Spanish style chef, and all he's interested in doing is showing off his waitress.

Peter · October 08, 2009

I agree with james... She´s pretty... :D

alejandro · October 08, 2009

the girl!

Goldschmidt R · October 08, 2009

I can't belive that. I hope that on this site I will find some good critics. But I was sadly surrprise to see that all the mater for almost all the people is that girl. Come on people, what is the mater with all of you?

nello · October 08, 2009

Luckily, Elver's linked website contains only renderings of unbuilt projects - in Panama.

Elver Gun · October 08, 2009

Nothing Special. IMO

rodney · October 08, 2009

Interesting thesis.
The outcome is what you would expect, but I'm glad the architect followed through with the manifesto.

nonono · October 08, 2009

haha.. she's like the ghost that stays on that place and wonder arround in front of the camera.

very entartaining

chris · October 08, 2009

Or when public opinion is an order.

and we as the public order to get rid of this thing, and not only from archdaily...

blackstone · October 08, 2009

A nice change of pace for ArchDaily... yes, the design and the photographs go too far (i.e. 'cheezy') but still it's a pretty likeable project in many respects. The streetscape view is a damning indictment of the incredibly impoverished reductivism of the project across the street. It's good to be reminded that minimalism and abstraction isn't the only answer.

Dariusz · October 08, 2009

Interesting, but quite strange to have boulders as the ground floor. The model would have worked in 3 or 4 images, but not in MOST of them! I don't love this project, but it's a start.. I think architects should begin to manipulate the public opinion.. Take N.America (Canada and USA). It seems that most of the general public hasn't seen or been in an "architect" or "designer" created place/space. Do we want developer-based "desgin" to be the norm, or do we push for something different, better, new.??

claudem · October 08, 2009

where is fred flintstone? or barney?

Scott · October 08, 2009

Over-rationalization of a rather banal project.

ek · October 08, 2009

so much opportunity for creative joinery clearly looked over

André Moraes · October 08, 2009

don't know if it is funny enought.. but i must say.. kinda different and lievable, a very cozy project... whe you see at first sight.. "wow! lots of rock an all.. how do they do something like that? who can do something like that nowadays!?" but then you see the detail sections.. =//

but still a nice example of a lievable project!

silicon m · October 08, 2009

The Architecture looks great in this context.
The girls are fantastic.
Not interested in the Marxist philosophy though?

Joseph Sandy · October 08, 2009

Reading: "Ocaña de España / Manuel Ocaña | ArchDaily" (

mike · October 08, 2009

does SHE come with the condo. . . yuk yuk

as · October 08, 2009

Hey whats the girls name!!!??? hmm too bad we didn't get any shower picS! haha!
There is a disco in Cancun called Daddy O, one in Tijuana called Baby Rock and one in Acapulco Daddy O... the bottom of this project is exactly like them... the top is just a copy of vernacular architecture... this could work if they didn't take themselves so seriously with the manifesto...
it brings comedy and a break from "serious" architecture...
i still think it lacks depth though...

Patrick · October 08, 2009

Holy smokes, Ayn Rand would have a fit. :-)

From Spain · October 08, 2009

I understand the hipo-critical oath, the presence of the model with typical spanish clothes, and the project itself, as a quite accurate sarcastic performance about the situation of architects in Spain nowadays. What is said an built is what most of the spanish society would love every architect to think and do. It's that sad.

cad · October 08, 2009

Where are the guy with the speedo?

Andrew Geber · October 08, 2009

not average
and thats good

daniel daiber · October 08, 2009

It's nice to see such a humble and unselfish kind of architecture.

They talk about being the medium to the society, and not try to impose ones thinking into the whole society. Thats just the contrary to most of the architects in the last century have thought.

Once and for all someone is forgeting their egos for a little bit, and try to make people happy with their dwellings.

that was funny! -->"(that can be related to the oceans of fake, Hello Kitty´s fossil or a pre-Columbine Mickey Mouse could be references)"

v ski · October 07, 2009

I suppose the broad in the bikini is a way of distracting the reader from potential criticism of the architectural style.

KJS · October 07, 2009

So public opinion in Toledo is that two stories of fake, theme-parky rock looks good? That's a shame.

josep · October 07, 2009

the minute someone have to justify their work with some bs text you know it can not be any good, there is not need for this and to imitate the stone with paint is just way too post modern
you could only imagine seen this in America but I guess it took 30 something years for Spain to become another Post Modern Horror

daily spread · October 07, 2009

i thought the project is about the girl, not about the huts around...

alejandro · October 07, 2009

Architecture and metaphor
Although I agree it has a cheesy theme park degree to it (in my opinion it lacks abstraction), I find it really livable, besides the model is so beautiful ( I find the mixture of the cold northern blonde dressed in southern Spanish clothes delicious).
I find this project strong in Spanish metaphors, as architects we shouldn’t forget metaphors, development of abstract esthetic synthesis is not the whole picture. Or the only path.
Cheers, very good project!

alex · October 07, 2009

having a model for scale: good idea. Having that model be some hot chick prancing around in a loud dress and/or bikini: a completely irrelevant and simple-minded idea.

st barth · October 07, 2009

I love the use of the model...especially the lead photo of her jumping into the pool in a dress. it vaguely reminds me of the logo used by dutch architects, mecanoo, of a diver in mid-leap. what a pleasant surprise for an arch photo!

Ill · October 07, 2009

I believe Yung Ho Chang would enjoy these images.Architecture is not the focal point. Just like real life. Hehe.

etty · October 07, 2009

Having people posing in pictures doing something funny or interesting or nothing in particular is great, this is just cheesy though.

stella · October 07, 2009

the so called "hipo-critical" oath seems like it was written to incite a discussion or a rather heated argument instead of announcing a manifesto or something like it.

and i think the lady is annoying too. so random.

AndrewK · October 07, 2009

Seriously? Architecture as status quo? I totally disagree with this value system. First of all to assume there is a "status quo" ignores the vast complexities of society itself. Exalting in a a societal/architectural gestalt is itself is a close-minded and arrogant view itself. We should celebrate variation and difference rather than advocate for homogeneity.

And it looks like a theme park.

Gorgos · October 07, 2009

Im not sure I get this proposal....

I just dont agree with the line `The waste of professional energy while trying to manipulate the public opinion is always illegitimate an unsustainable.`

Im well aware there´s an abundance of people out there that prefer `kitsch` over well considered `art`. We as architects are professionals though and its our job to execute well considered design decisions which we have come to understand as the best solution after years of academic research and practical experience.

I understand this "Hippo-critical oath" is intended to invoke a discussion, but its content is rather arrogant. I take my job seriously and I believe I have a vision which I want to promote. At least now I know its all in vain...

Moreno · October 08, 2009 03:42 AM

In Germany most of the people voted for Hitler, but I think that was not a good idea. Maybe common sense can create very bad stuff. If you follow the market you're not an architect you are a seller. Like architects our job is to give more than people could have making themself their own houses.

You can make happy people making good architecture not just following mass ideas.


mart · October 07, 2009

what do you call those window coverings this project uses? the ones where the slats are horizontal and expand as you pull them up and then finally lift after they've fully expanded... when i was a kid in germany i think we called them rolladen or some such thing. i'd like to see investigate the option available now that i can. thanks.

i like this project btw...

sfb · October 08, 2009 03:17 PM

hey, mart. yes, you call it Rolladen. i don't like the shutters. their material doesn't fit to the apperance of the rocks. btw, the rocks look like plastic...i guess i would feel like in disneyland if the young (and cute) lady wouldn't pose in these pics.

comitant · October 07, 2009

She is exactly what more architectural photography needs!

Theme park resort looks aside, the complex has a good human scale and looks highly livable.

etty · October 07, 2009

how annoying is that lady posing in all those picts.

jiri · October 09, 2009 02:03 PM

I like especially the bikini pics.

james · October 08, 2009 10:10 AM

i like her.

she's pretty


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