Plaza del Torico / b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos

@ Duccio Malagamba

Architects: b720 Arquitectos
Location: Teruel,
Architects in Charge: Fermin Vazquez
Project Team: Fermín Vázquez, Agustín Miranda, Pedro Baltar, Sebastián Khourian, María Barbeito, Ana Caffaro, Leyre Ciriza, Ángel Corsino (models), Pedro García, Pablo Garrido, Gustavo Gaudeoso, Guillermo Gutiérrez , Markus Jacobi, Paulo Moreira, Magdalena Ostornol, Javier Piedra, Andrea Rodríguez, Marta Sorribes, Alesandro Zanchetta (graphic design)
Client: Sociedad Municipal Urban Teruel
Developer: Diputación General de Aragón
General Contractor: Acciona
Lighting Consultant: Artec3 Lighting / Maurici Ginés, José Cardona, Jesús González, José Ma Deza
Project Area: 3,730 sqm
Budget: 6,500,000 €
Project Year: 2005-2006
Construction Year: 2006-2007
Photographs: Duccio Malagamba

ground floor plan
ground floor plan

1. Previous State

The triangular shape of the square Torico Teruel is not fortuitous, its route becomes of outstanding natural where rainwater runs. Over time a morphology was created transforming land, domesticating outstanding transcript to other vector systems of its organization. Socially, Plaza del Torico is an extension of the urban net, a compound playful and for the citizen. His dual status of environment and connector assembly required a response from the design that envisaged for the future, respecting the qualities of space and heritage.

@ Duccio Malagamba
@ Duccio Malagamba

2. Aim of intervention

This projects is the remodeling of a square of 1,798.76 sqm surface and arcades that surround it of 1,047.01 sqm, with the renewal of its pavement with basaltic stone pavers. Under gradient, a gallery of connection between the two tanks, Somero and Fondero, and museum area with a total of 409.56 sqm has been projected. This campaign has sought to improve the flow and public participation through the connection between the two tanks that allows the display Albellón and reuse cistern Somero as space for future exhibitions.

The intervention focuses on the complete renovation of the appearance of the square, its pavement, their porches and facades, following a carefully designed lighting. And assumed, in addition, the recovery for the public of the tanks that are placed under the square, elements of great value and artistic heritage.

@ Duccio Malagamba
@ Duccio Malagamba

3. Description of intervention

The pavement developed enables a sensitive relationship to the variety of interpretations of the stories, events and emotions that converge on the square. The compositional strategy of systematic repetition and variation materializes physically on the surface of the pavement of basaltic stone: light through a system based on LED technology. The change stems from the runoff diagram of the square, which translates into power lines, causing bifurcations and inflections to encounter various obstacles: surface with the fountain of Torico (where is the turning point of enlightenment); low flush with tanks, on which the vector density is reduced by half, so that the presence of underground archeological values is visible in the public space. The remodelling of the Plaza del Torico has included an innovative lighting system consisting of 1.230 luminaries led lamps embedded in the ground that have the ability to change color using a video program, which can generate different textures and rhythms light.

The lighting of facades, following the criteria of the European Union, is performed by luminaries based headed to bathe in the same direction from top to bottom, putting them in value. In the porches has been used indirect lighting that highlights other items, while the Torico lights from the facades of the square for a light beam focused.

plan detail 02
plan & lighting detail

In order to provide a good feeling light to the plaza without detract attention to the pattern of inlaid luminescent, facades and the horizontal plane of the porch were illuminated. In the latter, a new false ceiling has helped upgrade the facilities that used to hung by the lintel of the outer face of the porches. The light, flush and bathing slightly the facades, illuminates a linear fashion vertically from the cornices, while the sides of the false roof, porches perimeter of the square glow horizontal and diffuse.

The lighting of the plaza is reduced to a vertical plane of the facade that rotates to become the horizontal plane above the false ceiling of the arcades. This linear lighting system that reinforces the direction of the plaza in both directions will be subtle because of its small size. The use of cutting-edge technologies in general lighting of the facades and porches of the square we reduces maintenance intervention every 20 years, as well as the energy consumption of lighting system.

In the implementation of the whole project has been given particular attention to detail, qualities and finishes with the use of quality materials. In the spaces under gradient, the floors have been cladded with natural stone. Light colors prevail over others there and, together with the light treatment, accentuate the characteristics and proportions of the space and its archaeological items. An invitation, in the town of Teruel, to enjoy a dynamic tour between elements of an archaeological nature of the past and contemporary art forms.

@ Duccio Malagamba
@ Duccio Malagamba

Interventions low flush have enabled a connection between the two tanks that can visualize the Albellón and reuse cistern Summary as showroom. An invitation in the town of Teruel, a pleasant journey between dynamic elements of the past nature of contemporary archaeological and artistic events.

4. Assessment

The Plaza del Torico opened to the public with an image completely renovated, with more breadth and light as a backbone to enhance its beauty and its heritage character of heart and space citizen of Teruel. The beautification of the heritage of the city of Teruel to generate spaces for the enjoyment of citizens and improving the attractiveness of the capital of the Mudejar are embodied in this recovery.

Cite: "Plaza del Torico / b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos" 08 Dec 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 18 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Wow… about the lights. I understand how you would explore this idea in the designing process, but ultimately, you have to be able to just admit it’s horrible…

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        Correct me if I am wrong but I think TBX is referring to the obscene amounts of money to ultimately put a bunch of lights into concrete for the sole purpose of vanity. Whereas that kind of money could have been spent for more social driven local economy urban programs and interventions. This project really doesn’t do anything on an urban scale besides looking pretty.

      • Thumb up Thumb down +1

        Do I have to be in planning to give my opinion?
        All I mean is that the layout of the lights looks so scattered and illogical that it becomes an eyesore. In a designing process, several options should be explored and perfected and this to me doesn’t seem like a project that a lot of thought went in to.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    the idea is great, but the execution is a bit too planned out… a little too organized and predictable, which does not reflect the passage of people

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    to note: this is a very important space in teruel – they have a festival in the spring which involves parading bulls on ropes through the street, and this plaza is the “highlight” of the event.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Very nice – the the fine pattern of lights. I only think, how expensive it must have been.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    You guys should either get someone to translate these things or at least make the effort to proofread them once they’ve come out of Babelfish or whatever. As a Spanish speaker I understand what the text said (more or less) before it was literally translated but I suspect to most native English speakers it comes out as gibberish, and this is a fairly regular occurrence on this (brilliant) site.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The pattern is bad. There has been some work with it, but more randomness would be good. I would do it again

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It’s amazing that there are almost no photos of how it looks during the day. Perhaps that’s because during the day, the paving is dull and monotonous. It’s boring.

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