HOTEL AT VALLDECRIST CHARTREUSE’S RUINS. Altura,
Spain Polytechnic University of Valencia, 2012. Architecture Final Degree
What to do with the ruins of a monastery disentailed
in 1835 and with low maintenance, which are part of the history and memory
of the place?
The Valldecrist Charterhouse is in the municipality of Altura, near
Segorbe, at the south of the province of Castellón. It is separated from
the village, surrounded by fields.
Since the confiscation of 1835, it has been changing owners, converted
in quarry and constant plundering victim. Teodoro Llorente described in
1887: "it seems, not a convent, but a village, enclosed by a wall and a
terrible bombing victim."
What can we do with these ruins? The project operates
from two ideas: PROPOSE A PROFITABLE PROJECT: During the 80's start some
archaeological excavations. From 2001 both churches are consolidated, with
it is always difficult to find founds. MANTAIN THE CHARACTER OF RUIN:
Since the 19th Century the Chartroise is a ruin, so nobody can remember
how it was. To the collective imaginatio, it has always been a ruin.
PROFITABILITY: using cheap and fast to install construction materials
and systems, paying attention to the production of renewable energy and
proposing a profitable program, a hotel surrounded by productive fields.
RUIN: the project does not attempt to recover the original volumetry
or use. The approach is contactless, "dropping" the intervention on the
remains, without actually touching them.
How to approach the ruins?
Picasso told Brassaï about his Bull's head: One day, in a pile of
objects all jumbled up together, I found an old bicycle seat right next
to a rusty set of handlebars. In a flash, they joined together in my head.
The idea of the Bull's Head came to me before I had a chance to think. All
I did was weld them together (...) Maybe I should have pulled the Bull's
head. Throw it in the street, in a stream, anywhere, but throw it. Then,
maybe a worker would pass and take it. Maybe he would realize that with
that bull's head he could make a saddle and handlebars. And he would have
done it. It would have been extraordinary.
Just as Picasso, and relatively speaking, we found some abandoned ruins,
which combined with a program become a hotel. The most important part from
Picasso's story is the idea of throwing away his work for someone else to
continue working with it. Throwing away his creation gives value to the
original materials. The intervention in the ruins is done with the utmost
respect to the remains, this project is meant as a sigh in the long life
of the building. It intervenes the Chartroise from humility, considering
that another architect could realize that with the intervention, another
project can be carried out. Or that it is best to destroy the proposal presented
PROGRAM The hotel features a courtyard entrance with the two
churches as event rooms and a reception, rooms around the cloister and a
restaurant between the entrance courtyard and the cloister.
As testimony of the current state, one of the cells is left in ruins.
The courtyard is recovered for users, reintegrating the ambulatory that
With the place's productive logic, it is proposed to plant fruit trees
and aromatic plants. In this way, the place can market their fruits.
Various blooms make the landscape change every season.
Rooms are redistributed according to the sunlight, with patios creating
three different levels of privacy.
The proposal is integrated with the remains, thanks to the chosen woodber.
Integration is not complete, as polyhedral forms contrast with the irregularity
of the ruins.