Various architectures

Málaga. Spain.

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On the shoulders of giants. Visit to the domes of Málaga cathedral.


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The unfinished situation of Málaga cathedral and the absence of a roof generates a space in the manner of a raised plaza from which we have a three-hundredand- sixty-degree view of the city that only a few could hitherto enjoy. However, this visit is not only limited to contemplating a landscape from the roof of Málaga; thanks to the succession of surprises we encounter as we climb, this visit has also become a veritable artistic route.

Along the ascent we encounter wide, quadrangular staircases as well as other narrower, helicoid shaped ones. The precise way in which they were cut demonstrates the resolve of the successive stonemasons working on the cathedral to express their skill, even in places that were only used for maintenance tasks. Not all architectures fuss unduly over such spaces, but in the cathedral, as the Bible and Oscar Tusquets say, “God sees everything”.

With the architecture and the landscape already being present, the commission was “limited” to designing a route that of course also had to be safe for the visiting public. The project was drafted according to a major premise, that the work should be fully reversible so that if at any future time it became necessary to dismantle it, no trace would be left behind. A second premise was that the work should be as unobtrusive as possible so that the stone fabric should remain the protagonist throughout the visit. To make this route possible and safe, a system of parapets and handrails was built. Also, and receiving the public at the landing of the stairs on the roof, two wooden decks were built that float above the cathedral domes and allow people to rest from their climb and enjoy the landscape.

A palette of colours was chosen for this endeavour that includes the traditional ones already present in the cathedral, such as iron and wood, and other absolutely contemporary ones such as the sophisticated, easily-hidden LED luminaires and extremely light mesh panels plaited from stainless steel, which were appropriate given their invisibility. The great difficulty of the work in fact lay in the
stringent starting requirements of obtaining resilient, safe and invisible elements that would in no case perforate the stone fabric. The most observant visitors will notice how all installed elements are anchored in the ashlar joins. But not everything is reversible, contemporary or lightweight. In contrast to the rest of the work, and given the need to install a parapet next to the south tower, it was decided to repeat the monumental stone balustrade constructed by the master builder Antonio Ramos in the late
18th century next to the north tower, this conferring the honour of finishing the cathedral that little bit more.

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Localización Location: Málaga. Spain. Arquitectos Architects: marinauno arquitectos | Juan Manuel Sánchez La Chica y Adolfo de la Torre Prieto + Gabriel Ruiz Cabrero. Arquitecto Técnico Quantity surveyor Pablo Casesnoves Campodarve. Colaboradores Collaborators: Antonio Carmona Moya. Patricia Plaza García. Estructuras Structures: Antonio Sánchez Garrido. Instalaciones Facilities: Miguel Lacomba Arias. Iluminación Lighting: Jesús Herráiz Iluminación. Promotor Developer: Obispado de Málaga. Constructora General Contractor: Grupo ORP. Superficie Area: 247m² de plataformas, 534 lm de barandillas e iluminación. Ejecución Completion: 2015. Fotografía Photography: Lluís Casals.
Suppliers list
Barandas y pasamanos en cubierta, pasamanos escalera interior con iluminación: Metalicas

Proyecto de iluminación: Jesús Herraiz Iluminació
Sánchez La Chica, Juan Manuel

marinauno arquitectos

de la Torre Prieto, Adolfo

Ruiz Cabrero, Gabriel

Lluis Casals