Castromonte is located in the region of Torozos Mountains, in the province of Valladolid, in the middle of an immense emptiness hit by the wind. Its census has registered 309 residents and 106 wind turbines nowadays. This municipality, at the foot of Bajoz river and crossed by the "Camino de Santiago" from Madrid, is carved in stone. For many years, depopulation and the passing of the years left their streets and the interior of their homes silent. But, despite this grey legacy, its population do not submit to an uncertain future. Taking advantage of the wind gold, the local council has undertaken a wide range of actions focused on promoting communal spaces for its residents. Municipal swimming pools are a gathering place, a meeting point for its inhabitants and their visitor friends. Many of them traveled in the past to the big city and they occasionally return dreaming about the origins. The important thing is neither the building nor the sports area. What is important is the creation of a PLACE, a useful equipment for the residents to socialize and to share their routines and inquisitiveness. In a small village a public equipment has not got the willingness to recover residents, but to prevent those who stay from leaving. The architectural ensemble is based on the dialogue that summarizes both coexisting natures in the current context, countryside-municipality, that sourrounds the hamlet. On one hand, it is used uncarving stone. Its materialization in long fence-walls emulate the walls and fences tradition characteristic of the village. On the other hand, it has been reinterpreted the reinterprete wind farm technological reality emerging from the wheat fields by the placement, apparently aerial, of a precast beams roof. Its inhabitants´memories, also those who left, are identified with the stone constructions that practically shape the entire municipality. Owing to this, the project is not only integrated into the context, but it also assumes its identity. This complex has been built from demolition stones or brought from nearby meadows, when missing, which have been placed by local master stonemasons, therefore promoting traditional trades. In addition to this, the in-situ concrete beams have been made with local sand and gravel, which has facilitated make its texture and color look like those of masonry walls. This promotes the CIRCULAR ECONOMY of the zone reducing emissions derived from material transport. Precast beams play raising above the stones, embracing them and the ground by the shadow they project. Chiaroscuro, and its atmospheric condition, is a key of the project, becoming the mortar that sew the vernacular and the industrialized. Summer memories of longed shadows, whereby the sun filtered, keep anchored in childhood memories. Shadows, sometimes seen, sometimes unseen, varying intensities, moving, enlarging and shrinking, dense or faded. Shadows mending, relating and sustaining the complex. It is a project that symbolizes the joining together of tradition and memory with the mechanical and the prefabricated construction. Once again, the concern for an architecture as a common and eternal point of balance between weightlessness and heaviness, lightweight and mass, tectonics and ethereal, has emerged.
Valladolid, 1972. Architect 1998. Dr Architect 2010.
Awarded at the XIV BEAU; work exhibited in the Spanish Pavilion of the XII Biennale di Venezia: XI BIAU, Paraguay; finalist in the FAD Awards 2018; finalist in the Spanish Architecture Awards 2017; selected Enor awards (2020), and awarded in Milan (2019) and Venice (2018) by The Plan Award magazine.
He is the director, together with Anna and Eugeni Bach, of the XV BIENAL ESPAÑOLA DE ARQUITECTURA Y URBANISMO
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