Consolidation of the Castle of Matrera
Nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2017.
Few ones are the examples in Spain in which natural and artificial Landscape are founded on so perfect harmony from an architectural, cultural and iconic perspective as the medievals towers that are distributed by our national territory. Being cultural modals and emblems of our own cities and territories, the crisis has done that they succumb in the abandon for the own economic disinterest that carries his maintenance. That has provoked their total or partial collapses that have been taking place in these monuments leading to the sad controversy of "Lands without Elevations ". This one is an example of a disinterested effort for consolidating and to support the emergent structures of a landmark without the use or the lucrative activity that could justify his intervention.
After the partial collapse that this medieval tower suffered, being a historical landmark for its strategic position in the latest “Nazari” border through the Valley of Guadalete, where it´s cut with Bética range, we project the consolidation and restoration of this landscape icon that lost part of its imposing volume, leaving at risk the stability of the rest popup.
Located on the Hill of “Pajarete”, to the feet of the Range of Grazalema, which is imposed visually from the horizontal river mouth of the Guadalquivir, “Castle of Matrera” has drawn historically and iconographic the artificial essence inside the striking silhouette that characterizes this privileged mediterranean natural environment.
For his condition of abandon and inaccessibility, the tower suffered a strong collapse removing with it not only it departs from the architectural element, but the landscape reference of a landmark very linked with the iconography and the culture of the region.
With brandian reference, this project aims to look at the potential restoration of unity without undertaking a historic monument false or cancel every trace of the passage in time. It tries to approach the work in recognition of the “monumentum” (memory) in its physical consistency and its dual polarity, aesthetic and historical, in order to transmit to the future.
Therefore, the proposal aims to avoid the aesthetic mimicry that involves falsification or loss of value of authenticity and, in parallel with the practice in intervention of movable heritage, its historical value is enhanced, facing its original volume using a continuous coating similar to that originally covered it, which clogs the gap and allows reading of architectural recessed unit. Likewise the upper casing defines its construction phases enhancing the original battlements shots that were hidden behind their stratigraphic superposition.
Being a seemingly antagonistic reality, the essence of the project is not intended to be, therefore, an image of the future, but rather a reflection of its own past, of its own origin.
Following the criteria of the italian "Restauro Critico", we´re used materials compatible with the existing historical elements. For the cores of the buttresses we re-use the same limestone that was finding in the base of the Tower after his collapse, applying a mortar of protection lime in all the elements that enter in touch with the preexisting stonework. The finished coating is realized by a white mortar of lime similar to the originally one that overed the tower (after a study of the properties of the same one) applied on the basis of a “bastard” mortar and mesh of glass fiber, placing reinforcement to define the edges. All the new hanging that consolidates the existing factories stays backwards fifteen centimeters to the original hanging.
A ring of edge connects in the coronation the buttresses east and west to guarantee the stability of the monument, at a height of the top line that underlines and differentiates the stratigraphic historical overlapping and accentuates the original battlements. In the cleanliness of original paraments specifics we´ve been used “biocida” for the restoration for the cleanliness of biological patina and black crust. For the consolidation of the vaults anchorages have been used by rods of glass fiber joined with epoxi resins.
Very importantly for the execution it has been the archaeological supervision of the Works, since details and new dicoveries have appeared during the same one that they have served to recover part of the interesting history of this monument of cultural interest.