Ezcaray, La Rioja

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Echaurren Hotel

María José de Blas y Rubén Picado, arquitectos

Description Technical file

Versatility and criteria of establishing the closest possible relationship with an urban setting of great spatial and architectural value, together with a skilful use of its significance as an added value are the parameters that summarise the functional and formal values of this project.

In the year 2006 the authors of this project completed a highly detailed strategic process with the intention of rebuilding a place in a location on the Way of Saint James in La Rioja, in front of the Romanesque church of Ezcaray. It was defined with the intention of one day succeeding in completing it. In reality it was a master plan, a statement of intention aimed at comprehensively transforming the Echaurren Hotel to bring it up to the Relais Châteux category.

The most important decision was to prevent an architectural impact on the urban landscape, to avoid any formal conflict with a sudden transformation and to gradually accustom the cultural setting to understanding improvements that allow for other uses so as to easily adapt tradition to a new environmental context.

All the materials employed are natural and pertaining to commercial brands produced under the responsibility of sustainability. The wood is always oak, the fabric and the pre-existence are the principal ingredients, sporadically complemented with Perspex in the more modern areas and with elements recovered from the old hotel in the traditional parts.

The project designed a “kinetic skin” that is very easy to incorporate into the spaces to facilitate the intervention of the artisans who had to come into action throughout the process. These are 45º V-shaped elements that entirely invade the space from floor to ceiling. They are made from local oak and, having two faces, one can be in exposed wood and the other lacquered in off-white. This “kinetic skin” has several purposes, the most important of which is phenomenological and environmental. It is always a vertical two-face element that causes two opposing visions depending on the perspective. The wooden finish is associated with the transit towards the space of culinary tradition and in the opposite direction the colour white indicates the “route towards modernity”.

Having joined the Relais Châteaux chain, gradual interventions are necessary to culminate in the final formulation involving new apartments, a special suite, the updating of another staircase, the nursery room, sustainable energy production, the south-facing garden… and so on, a lengthy road ending in the great wooden umbraculum located on the first-floor terrace, a diaphanous lamp for a variety of uses that transforms the back of the hotel into the most important façade in Ezcaray from the point of view of the bioclimatic result as well as its contemporary language.

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Localización Location: Padre José García, 19 Ezcaray, La Rioja. Spain. Promotor Promotor: Hotel Echaurren. Relais Chateau. Arquitecto Architect: Picado-de Blas arquitectos. Técnico de Obra: Iñaki Jiménez. Diseño del Mobiliario: ©picado-de blas Chef y propietario: Francis Paniego. Fotografía Photography: Eugeni Pons
Suppliers list
Iluminación: SIMSUM
Metacrilatos e Inoxidables: KUMA Estructuras
Textiles y trabajos en tapiceria: Rabadan
Rubén Picado Fernández
Mª José de Blas Gutiérrez
Picado - de Blas arquitectos

Eugeni Pons
Lloret, Girona