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Espanol + Hidalgo Architects, El Cogul, Lleida, Spain

Tuesday 28 Feb 2012

The buried museum

Prudenci Espanol + Jose Angel Hidalgo 
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An in-depth look at the centre of Cave Paintings of the Roca dels Moros 

The building introduce the visitor into a transformation, to prepare him to meet with those essential matter which speak about himself and the far past. Thus, the architecture is shown in a bare, hard, extreme, buried way, and then, you can come out through paths opened as light-cracks and walk towards the rock with the paintings. The intervention follows the aim of making the site more accessible, like a museum.

The building lies inside the crack left by the old road and tries to recover the natural slope of the place. The museum manages to solve the difference in height from the very entrance until you arrive at the Roca, walking by the stair-ramp.

The architecture wants to speak with the landscape, to minimize its environmental impact and, at the same time, to arrange the existing disorder. Moreover, following the aim of architecture related to the landscape, the museum is buried, grabbing the air, a different and dense air, modified by the architecture itself, the material and the light. Burying a building allows recovering the natural slope of the terrain.

The dialogue with the surrounding elements is widened also towards the smallest elements and clear decisions:

The entrance is done close to a big rock, which underlines the access to the building.

The exit towards the stair-ramp which leads to the Roca and its emergency exit are located inside a cut done to the terrain, in an important rocky area.

The lighting of the building is achieved using a crack on the terrain (with low environmental impact from outside) and a skylight which is similar to the existing stones.

The building is made of concrete of stone-like colour and with a hard texture.


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