Urbanistic development and intervention on the landscape


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Description Technical file

This interesting project for the refurbishment of a medieval bridge is governed by great structural and historical rigour.

The project seeks to repair and enhance the value of this medieval bridge, located on the Camino Real
between Ourense and Santiago and connecting the municipalities of Boqueixón and Vila de Cruces over the Ulla River, between the provinces of A Coruña and Pontevedra. It has recently been relieved of its primary purpose (transporting motorised traffic across the shores) by a new bridge downstream. Thus it remains as a connection between the aforementioned towns and a space of leisure
for the area’s inhabitants.
The primary intervention is likely to have been carried out already: thanks to the elimination of motorised traffic, particularly of the heavy sort, a good portion of the potential structural issues are avoided. The second intervention, where the project truly begins, consists of channelling water through the bridge. It is fundamental to recover the gargoyles’ role as slopes and channels in order to avoid water entering unsuitable areas. During this intervention the deteriorated paving was also re-laid, and the installations buried in tandem. The drainage system was completed by eliminating vegetation and sealing the joins.
It is not considered strictly a bridge, with a beginning and end, but rather a mere accident along the path. It is for this reason that the auxiliary elements, paving and lighting do not have a strict purpose
The project proposes cobblestone paving laid in the Portuguese style, almost resembling a rug. Two longitudinal curbs define the channels where they meet the parapets. Loose pieces finish defining the lower section of these channels where they meet the existing structure. The missing gargoyles are replaced as-is, and the existing ones have been cleaned.
Small points of light are embedded in these longitudinal curbs in order to guide the way in a simple fashion, avoiding the excessive sense of presence that could be caused by lampposts, spotlights or similar elements. Their location follows the same strategy: close together in the centre, growing further apart as they approach the riverbanks.

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Localización Location: A Coruña/Pontevedra. Spain. Arquitectos Architects: abalo alonso arquitectos | Elizabeth Ábalo Díaz, Gonzalo Alonso Núñez. Arquitecto Técnico Quantity surveyor: Francisco González Varela. Colaboradores Collaborators: Obradorio Enxeñeiros. Promotor Developer: S. A. Xestión Plan Xacobeo. Xunta de Galicia, fase 1, Dirección Xeral de Patrimonio Cultural. Xunta de Galicia, fase 2. Constructora General Contractor: Dago S. A, fase 1, Breixo Obras e Servicios S.L., fase 2. Fecha de finalización de la obra Completion date of the works: 2003-2005, fase 1, 2016, fase 2. Fotografía Photography: Santos Díez.
Elisabeth Ábalo

Gonzalo Alonso

Abalo Alonso Arquitectos