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  • HOTEL AT VALLDECRIST CHARTREUSE’S RUINS. Altura, Spain
    Polytechnic University of Valencia, 2012. Architecture Final Degree Project


    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."



    PROJECT IDEA

    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 here ...


    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 characterizes cloisters.


    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.
     



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