Location45600 Talavera de la Reina, Toledo, Spain
Competition TeamJoaquín Millán Villamuelas, Jesús Reyes García, Gloria Moya Paniagua
Execution ProjectJoaquín Millán Villamuelas, Jesús Reyes García.
PhotographyEugenio H. Vegue y Francisco Sepúlveda.
ConstructionJoaquín Millán Villamuelas, Jesús Reyes García.
ClientAyuntamiento de Talavera de La Reina.
Text description provided by the architects. OOIIO wins the First Prize in the competition to run the rehabilitation of Plaza del Salvador, in Talavera de la Reina, Spain! The contest was organized by the city of Talavera de la Reina into the “10 + 4 URBAN” program, with the aim of the rehabilitation of several city public spaces. OOIIO won two contests, Plaza del Salvador and San Miguel Square, thanks to proposals where ceramic is the protagonist, the most important craft product in Talavera. The process has served to revitalize local craft industry, prevent the closure of small family businesses that have collaborated with us, showing new formats to use ceramics, not only the traditional kitchen objects pottery.
This centuries-old tradition, that is today on a difficult time, now can be used also for the rehabilitation of public space.
Both OOIIO squares have recently opened in September 2015 with a great success between the neighbors, as they show with modernity and proud Talavera´s DNA, its symbol: ceramics.
San Miguel Square: The main intention of this urban intervention is to revitalize a degraded public space. We created a simple and open to all residents urban corner, destined to become a new landmark for the city, thanks to the contemporary and fresh use of the traditional and well-known Talavera´s pottery tiles. A symbolic material deeply rooted in local culture, important for its inhabitants.
This proposal stems from a rigorous analysis of public space needs in Talavera, from circulations studies, the sunlight, topography, existing applications … Before our intervention, the square was a residual urban space, not accessible for elderly or disabled people and used as informal parking.
With a few simple interventions we can turn this space into one of the most attractive squares in the city.
Let´s reactivate the public space !
Although the goal is to recycle the horizontal plane of the square, we prefer to concentrate the bulk of the intervention in the vertical plane, since we find there the presence of big grey dividing walls from tall buildings that give the back to the square, making people to understand that they are on a “back of house” urban plot, becoming psychologically this part of the city as a secondary zone.
We let the horizontal plane as accessible and comfortable possible for pedestrians reducing traffic to a defined track, protecting the main open space for pedestrians with concrete benches, specifically designed and located to contemplate the great wall of Talavera´s pottery that will completely change the look of the square forever, becoming one of the most revered places in the city.
This strong and visual intervention in the vertical plane will contribute to recover and enhance the medieval tower of the ancient wall, which now is lost in between buildings competing in height with it. It will be now highlighted together with the ceramic mural, something special worthy to be seen for visitors and city inhabitants.