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  6. Baena Castle Restoration / José Manuel López Osorio

Baena Castle Restoration / José Manuel López Osorio

  • 03:00 - 30 December, 2015
  • Translated by Lorena Quintana
Baena Castle Restoration / José Manuel López Osorio
Baena Castle Restoration / José Manuel López Osorio, © Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

© Jesús Granada © Jesús Granada © Jesús Granada © Jesús Granada +18

  • Archaeologist

    Francisco Javier Ariza Rodríguez
  • Wood Structures

    Grupo Gubia (Verónica Sancho)
  • More SpecsLess Specs
© Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

From the architect. In Baena, Córdoba, restoring its XII century castle has acquired a major characteristic, as it is one of the largest and most important projects of architectural restoration. Granada native José Manuel López Osorio was the architect commissioned to lead the whole process, which as he points out, "seeks an integrated vision of heritage that considers both the consolidation and enhancement of its historic structures, such as the ability to integrate the urban areas where it is located into global processes of revitalization."

© Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

For this, the project has addressed the recovery of existing structures at an early stage and incorporated new elements that enable its use in a second stage. It is at this point, when Lopez Osorio has fully relied on the work, experience and expertise of Grupo GUBIA, an architecture office leader in the design and construction of all types of spaces and structures in wood, to technically solve an "experimental" system of iroko wood walkways which connect the different towers of the ruins.

Plan Level 1
Plan Level 1

The first stage of the project consisted in cleaning and consolidating the walls of all towers of the castle (after the archaeological excavation works), maintaining existing textures, preserving the current materials and displaying partial damages.

© Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

A new layer is added that recovers the original volumes: sandstone blocks arranged with details carved by hand, that integrate with the eroded fabric, offering a beautiful vibration to the walls. These new spaces lit naturally and subtly have allowed to incorporate new uses and to visit the original remains for which, in a second stage, we have created the complex system of wooden walkways.

© Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

Walkway system: the logic of wood in the restoration project.

The use of wood as one of the main materials involved in the restoration of this building which is part of the artistic heritage of Baena is certainly key in the architectural, constructive and aesthetic operation. The noble material provides a warm and friendly character to the monument, establishing a functional continuity between the interior and exterior spaces. The dark color of the species used provides a color contrast with blocks of stone and white concrete walls and relate to these historic walls of the fortress, covered with a patina with the passage of time.

© Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

Each wooden walkway in the castle is different in geometry and size, but all are composed of more or less repetitive and rhythmic modules formed by iroko wood strung through a complex system of stainless steel rods, nuts and washers. The purpose of the system is to ensure and facilitate the replacement of any part when necessary, allow the movement of the material and expedite the process of site assembly once the modules are configured in the workshop. Constructive solutions in the design of the walkways contribute to facilitate the evacuation of rainwater, one of the most harmful agents to wood in outdoor use.

© Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

Constructive peculiarities in each restored wooden tower.

As for the different faces of the tower, we made a solid iroko pavement, which through a slit sets the pace and the same proportion as the existing gateways between the wood slats and their separation; and the spectacular and imposing wooden balcony overlooking the green landscape around the monument on the opposite side, south.

© Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

The Adarve walkway is also configured by horizontal slats. This looks sandwiched between two stone walls that create between them a trapezoidal shape over 10m long. Divided into six modules and thanks to the meticulous work of measuring the surface, we were able to manufacture it completely in the workshop.

© Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

The west tower, meanwhile, is noted for its constructive solution to the northwest walkway. Solid stainless steel "T" shapes also lined in timber project from the walkway to anchor to a base inside the tower.

© Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

In short, each and every one of the actions and interventions in the Baena Castle restoration project have been aimed at a correct interpretation of the walled enclosure, and to establish a two-way relationship with the territory. Doing so, José Manuel López Osorio adds, "through not strictly traditionally mimetic materials, which have offered certain degrees of freedom in the interpretation of these remains, but that are intended as quality elements, they can offer guarantees of durability and are arranged so that it is possible to disassemble and replace them if necessary".

© Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

Objectives that are completed "with the possibility of including new uses of the monument that transcend the mere contemplation of historic remains."

© Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Baena Castle Restoration / José Manuel López Osorio" [Restauración Castillo de Baena / José Manuel López Osorio] 30 Dec 2015. ArchDaily. (Trans. Quintana, Lorena) Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/779486/baena-castle-restoration-jose-manuel-lopez-osorio/>
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1 Comments

Tumtumtree · December 31, 2015

Does anybody know why spanish architecture is so good ? What is their secret ? Good teachers in their schools of architecture ? Good craftsmen ? Good clients ? I thought the 2008 crisis would have stopped their impulse but it's still there.

ana asensio · February 11, 2016 12:44 PM

Hi Tumtumtree! Im spanish, and I'll try to reply you. I think in our country we've got a mix of conditions: many small cities and villages, historical places, a huge popular and tradicional culture... many things from the past to learn about, many conditions to be sensitive with. Also, we normally work for small customers with tight budgets, projects which make you think very well any decision, in which every one of them need a good reason. When we work for the public administration, many times the budget is even tighter. It needs sensitivity and much rationality. Contemporary architecture is that one that can lives in this present giving solutions to current situations, but in harmony with their surroundings (not only phisical, but cultural too). Good architecture here is how you aim profession, that one which pampers the project and takes care of the details.

But that isn't the only one. We have bad architecture too, construction as holes of corruption and speculation, that have destroyed cities and landscapes. Making mountains of money as first objective, no matter the anything else. That bubble and that speculation related with the crisis. That architecture disappears when the money goes. The good one never dies.

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© Jesús Granada

巴埃纳城堡修复/ José Manuel López Osorio