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Higher Technical School of Architecture in Granada

Víctor López Cotelo

FAD Awards finalist   Architecture
Description Technical file

The Jury's appraisal

For the intelligence manifested in recognising the lacks of the old military hospital and introducing the minimum necessary elements for recovering its essence without losing the diversity and richness of the inherited spaces; succeeding, through this strategy, in transforming this listed ensemble into a modern school of architecture. A vastly complex intervention work that is firmly and professionally committed to the silent quality of the details, transforming the necessarily technical condition of the construction into architecture.

The new School of Architecture, which was previously a Military Hospital, is situated in the district of Realejo, at the foot of the Alhambra, facing Campo del Príncipe.

An extensive and lengthy transformation process lasting more than five hundred years, which began with a Nasrid house and continued in the 16th century with the construction of the “Admiral’s House”. It was gradually completed until in the mid-20th century it configured, as a monumental building, a great city block that overwhelms the small scale of its setting.

The complex had the appropriate structure for hosting the new School, although it did require a clarifying intervention to achieve unity, not so much in a stylistic sense but in an integrating one. In this complex, together with elements that have a set of architectural values of their own, there are others that were lacking in them. The project’s strategy in fact sought to make the tension arising from the authenticity of the past and the new elements of the present impregnate the rest in a way that would finally allow it to find its architectural destiny. In this new phase, the construction would be the catalyst for a new “whole”, recognising in the material nature of each era and in the light the foundation for integrating the historic process.

The entranceways, courtyards, galleries, corridors and staircases are spaces connecting the different parts of the built whole but also identify the different times of its existence as well as the different activities. All of this, together with the material, constructional and spatial diversity of its parts, would be decisive in recognisably identifying the character of this new School of Architecture located in the heart of Granada. May the building’s accumulated and renewed energy continue to shine over time to become a source of wellbeing and inspiration for new architects.

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Localización Location: Granada. Spain. Arquitecto Architect: Víctor López Cotelo (con la colaboración de Daniel Zarza en fase de concurso). Arquitectos coordinadores de proyecto y obra Project and works coordinating architects: Pedro Morales Falmouth (1ª fase) y Juan Uribarri Sánchez-Marco (2ª fase). Arquitectos colaboradores Collaborating architects: Juan Manuel Vargas Funes, Jesús de la Fuente Moreno, Francisco García Toribio, Alvaro Guerrero Aragoneses, Flora López-Cotelo, Rafael Medina Iglesias, Isabel Mira Pueo, Pedro Morales Falmouth, Jesús Placencia Porrero, Ana Torres Solana, Juan Uribarri Sánchez-Marco, Frank Furrer y César Leal. Arquitectos colaboradores en ejecución de obra Architects collaborating in works execution: Flora López-Cotelo, Isabel Mira Pueo, Rafael Medina Iglesias, Elena Lucio Bello y Francisco García Toribio. Proyecto de restauración Restoration Project: Kika Martín e Irene Orueta. Arquitecto Técnico Technical Architect: José Antonio Valdés Moreno. Estructuras Structures: José María Fernández. Ingeniero de Caminos. Proyectos de Ingeniería y Arquitectura S.L. Instalaciones Facilities: Proyecto: JG Ingenieros. Maqueta Model: Juan de Dios Hernández y Jesús Rey. Promotor Developer: Ministerio de Fomento, Universidad de Granada. Constructora General Contractor: UTE arquitectura Granada: Guamar S.A. y Covalco grupo constructor S.L. Año proyecto Project date: 2003. Ejecución Completion: 2005-2015. Superficie construida Built area: 13.785 m². Fotografía Photography: Lluis Casals / Estudio López Cotelo.
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Víctor López Cotelo
Lluis Casals