Gardens of the Hospital in Valencia - Guillermo Vazquez Consuegra
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Gardens of the Hospital in Valencia

Guillermo Vazquez Consuegra

22 October 2015

Gardens of the Hospital in Valencia - The project for the reorganization of the existing gardens of Hospital is set on the central idea of giving a unified treatment to the entire garden area, built on the site resulting from the demolition, in 1974, of the Hospital de los Pobres Inocentes, important example of hospital complex, whose history goes back to the early fifteenth century. Only the transept of the old nursing, the Capitulet and the little Chapel of Santa Lucia (XVI -XVIII), linked since the beginning to the hospital, survived to the demolition of the complex.
The existing gardens are located at a slightly elevated level of the street, which corresponds to the first line of stone blocks of the Hospital that was not removed.
A system of earthen paths, with staggered geometry defines different areas where trees of different species and archaeological remains scattered everywhere characterize this green space. The deterioration of the actual conditions and the recent construction of the Museum of Illustration suggest an overall renovation of the whole garden that would highlights how these open spaces are the result of the demolition of the old hospital building and the existing buildings are only fragments of the demolished hospital complex.
The renovation basically proposes flooring in only one material organized on a grid.
A tapestry, consisting of small pieces of basalt will lay out on Cartesian geometry that takes its axis from the main piece of the gardens: the transept of the old nursing, nowadays converted into public library. Over this carpet will appear sunken areas: one of them, without vegetation, will become an orchard of orange trees, safe area where will find accommodation all the archaeological remains, once scattered throughout the landscaped area. The project also involves other archaeological interventions. Especially the ancient church of the Hospital, bigger than the neighboring church of Santa Lucia. The proposal includes the excavation of its archaeological remains to the depth suggested by his foundation and the reorganization of the interior space as an area of gardens. Sunken and shady spaces, protected from heavy traffic in the area, under the big crowns of the trees.
The proposal maintains the actual level of the garden so that accesses still occur through existing doorways, now covered by steel frame pergolas that will contribute to lead to the interior of the garden. In addition are proposed two new entrances, one next to the new Museum of Illustration, demolishing small residual spaces and walls and another, the most important, from the street Hospital. It is an access to the gardens and the Library as well. A soft and wide ramp connects the level of flooring and the garden indoors.
Over this ramp have been placed the intact columns which remain from the old rooms of the Hospital, a new outdoor hall with 24 columns. The visitor enters the garden through this sloping room, where a grid of stone columns formalize this new lobby, thus diverting the actual access through the old Gothic doorway of the Hospital.
Green outdoor rooms , children’s playgrounds, metal skins covered with climbing plants for the irrelevant lateral facades of the Capitulet or the presence of an area enclosed by ponds and brightly colored flowers, are others of the many ways designed to provide diversified spaces within new unitary condition of archaeological gardens of the Hospital.

Guillermo Vazquez Consuegra - Graduated from the School of Architecture of Seville in 1972, where he served as studio professor until 1987. Visiting professor at the universities of Buenos Aires, Lausanne, Navarra, Syracuse, Bologna, Venice and Visiting Scholar at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Professor at the Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio (University of Italian Switzerland) from 2007 to 2010. Director of Architecture Classes at the Universidad Complutense from 1993 to 2004. Honorary Professor at the University of Seville in 2005, where he holds the “Taller Internacional Catedra Blanca”.
He has been distinguished with various national and international awards, among others: the “Il Principe e l’Architetto”, the National Prize in Architecture (2005), the European Architecture Prize Ugo Rivolta (2008), the International Prize “Trophèe Archizinc” (2010), Gran Premio de la Bienal Internacional de Buenos Aires (2011) and Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, AIA (2014).

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