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Martín Chirino Foundation

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain 1998-2013

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Martín Chirino Foundation

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain 1998-2013

The first governor of the Canary Islands ordered the construction of a tower at the end of the fifteenth century, and when it was extended a few years later, the space located between the tower and the new perimeter walls was filled with earth to increase the building’s strength and resistance. That purely defensive need would become the structuring argument of our architectural proposal for the Castillo de La Luz. Located in La Isleta, the isthmus at which the Castilian ships protecting the city arrived, it concealed those primitive walls originally beaten by the sea. The passage of time affected not only its initial use and preservation, but also the conditions of its closest environment: the old coastal fortress that was wrapped by the water during high tide became gradually surrounded by the structures of the port and the growing city of Las Palmas. After being involved in battles at the end of the sixteenth century -in which the city was plundered, burnt, and rebuilt- the fortress retained its military role but gradually declined, reaching the twentieth century in a state of ruin. In the 1960s, however, it was partially reconstructed to become an exhibition gallery.
When undertaking the project to build in the historic castle, which was to be transformed into a new exhibition space equipped with the installations appropriate to a contemporary museum, we decided to begin with a close reading of the circumstances of its past. If, for five centuries, the space between the outer walls and the original tower had remained hidden, filled with earth, our task essentially consisted in emptying it and recovering the view of the primitive fortress, transformed now into the protagonist of the new museum. Where once there was only hardpan, a space up to now concealed from view, a void emerged, covered with a white concrete slab that is separated from the stone walls of the old tower to let natural light pass through narrow skylights. On the exterior, a recently built, fake perimeter pit has been dismantled to free up a vast surface of the terrain on the original, ground level of the fortress, revealing its full dimensions. A new, partially buried pavilion adds complementary spaces for the museum: access, shop, restrooms, storage, and multipurpose hall. A thin horizontal platform that barely emerges from the terrain will be the only visible trace of an intervention that aims at going unnoticed adjacent to the building it serves and complements.
Any contemporary intervention in historical heritage generates a difficult relationship. On occasions like this one it becomes the expression of a direct and clear response to the apparently insignificant circumstances, which simply demanded one fundamental action. Rather than rebuilding or renovating the Castillo de La Luz (“castle of light”), we merely emptied it, revealing its concealed past, now transformed into a space filled with light -as if paying tribute to its name- by means of an architecture that displays itself and its own history.

  
  
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Martín Chirino Foundation

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain 1998-2013

Location
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Client
Ministry of Public Works of Spain
Property
Municipality of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Architects
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos
Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano
Program
Restoration and museum expansion of fifteenth-century castle
Total floor area
2.961 m2
Project architects
Pedro Quero, Alexandra Sobral
Project team
Carlos Ballesteros, lago Blanco, Mauro Herrero, Juan Carlos Redondo
Site supervision
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos
Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano
Miguel Mesas Izquierdo, José Mena, Edward Lynch
Structural engineer
N.B.35, S.L
Mechanical engineer
Aguilera Ingenieros, S.A.
Museographic projetc
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos
Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano
Museographic projetc architects
Maria Luisa García, Ernesto García, Luis Labrandero
Models
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos
Photographs
Aurofoto S.L. (models)
Roland Halbe  
Project dates
Competition: 1998
Design: 2002
Completion: 2004 (1st Phase) / 2013 (2nd Phase)
  
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Martín Chirino Foundation

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain 1998-2013

Magazine DEARQ nº 22. 2018
Published by Ediciones Uniandes. Bogota, Colombia
ISSN: 2215-969X
Project: Fundación Martín Chirino
Page: 150 – 159

Monograph TC CUADERNOS nº 131/132. 2017
Published by General de Ediciones de Arquitectura. Valencia, Spain
ISBN: 978-84-947421-4-9 
Page: 72 – 79
 
Magazine AV MONOGRAFIAS / MONOGRAPHS nº 183/184. 2016
Spain Yearbook
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0213-487X
Page: 54 – 59 

Magazine ON DISEÑO nº 352. 2015
Published by On Diseño, S.L., Barcelona, Spain
ISSN: 0210-2080
Page: 32 – 37

Catalogue EUROPEAN UNION PRIZE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE. 2015                    Mies Van der Rohe Award 2015
Published by Fundació Mies Van der Rohe. Barcelona, Spain
ISBN: 978-84-941836-0-7
Page: 123

Catalogue FUNDACIÓN MARTÍN CHIRINO. 2015
Arte y Pensamiento
Published by Ayuntamiento de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Spain
ISBN: 978-84-92537-16-7
Page: 10

Magazine ARQUITECTURA VIVA nº 172. 2015
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0214-1256
Article: Un vacío que aflora                                                                                                                                        Author: Editorial Board
Page: 34 – 37

Newspaper LA PROVINCIA. 05.01.2015
Interview Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano
Article: El Castillo de la Luz es el destino más apropiado para la Fundación Chirino
Author: Clara Muñoz
Page: 47

Monograph NS. 2014
Fuensanta Nieto Enrique Sobejano Architetture
Published by Electa Architecttura. Milan, Italy
Authors: Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano
ISBN: 978-88-9180-228-6
Page: 62 – 71

Magazine DETAIL nº 5. 2014
Published by Institut für internationale Architektu - Dokumentation GmbH & Co. KG. Munich, Germany
ISSN: 0011-9571
Article: Visitor Centre in Castilllo de la Luz, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Author: Klaus Englert
Page: 407 – 409

Newspaper LA PROVINCIA. 29.01.2014
Article: Los Principes elogialn al Castillo de la Luz y a Chirino
Author: Teresa García
Page: 3 – 5

Newspaper CANARIAS 7. 29.01.2014
Artícle: La Luz aúna historia y arte
Author: J. Darriva
Page: 2 – 3

Newspaper CANARIAS 7. 27.01.2014
Interview Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano
Article: El Castillo no puede quedar como una reliquia del pasado
Author: J. Darriva
Page: 6

Monograph NIETO SOBEJANO. MEMORY AND INVENTION. 2013
Published by Hatje Cantz Verlag. Ostfildern, Germany
Authors: Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano
ISBN: 978-3-7757-3619-0
Page: 37 – 53

Magazine SPEECH nº 10. 2013
Published by SPEECH Tchoban & Kuznetsov. Moscow, Russia
ISBN: 978-3-86922-071-0
Article: You have to find a balance. Interview Enrique sobejano
Author: David Cohn
Page: 200 – 201

Monograph AV MONOGRAFÍAS / MONOGRAPHS nº 146. 2010
Nieto & Sobejano 1999-2011
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0213-487X
Article: Un vacío oculto / A Concealed Void
Page: 28 – 27

Magazine DETAIL nº 11. 2009
Published by Institut für internationale Architektu - Dokumentation GmbH & Co. KG. Munich, Germany
ISSN: 0011-9571
Article: Reading the existing frabric                                                                                                               
Author: Enrique Sobejano, Fuensanta Nieto
Page: 1148 – 1149  
                                                                                                                                                                                     
Magazine MAIS ARQUITECTURA nº 30. 2008
Published by Arcatura. Lisbon, Portugal
Legal Deposit: 240099/06
Page: 64 – 73

Magazine FUTURE ARQUITECTURAS nº 6. 2007
Published by Future Arquitecturas, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1885-8228
Page: 96 – 97

Magazine AREA nº 91. 2007
Published by Motta Architettura srl. Milan, Italy
ISSN: 0394-0055
Page: 38 – 47

Magazine EQUIPAMIENTOS CULTURALES nº 26. 2007
Published by Carlos Gonzalbo & Asociados, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1136-8896
Page: 56 – 62

Book MÉTAMORPHOSES. 2006
Architectures Réaffectées
Author: Anne Norman
Published by La Centre culturel du Brabant wallon - Maison de l’urbanismo. Brabant Wallon, Belgium
Reg.: D/2006/7245/8
Page: 20 – 25

Magazine ARQUITECTURA COAM nº 343. 2006
Published by Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid. Spain
ISSN: 0004-2706
Article: Entre la lógica y la intuición: La arquitectura reciente de Fuensanta Nieto y Enrique Sobejano
Author: William J.R. Curtis
Page: 14 – 16

Magazine ICON nº 29. 2005
Published by Media 10 Ltd. Essex, UK
ISSN: 1479-9456
Article: A 16th-century castle
Author: Fiona McAuslan
Page: 52 – 54

Book SPAIN ARCHITECTS. Rehabilitation. 2005
Published by Manel Padura S.L. Barcelona, Spain
ISBN: 84-934525-1-3
Article: Espacios en busca de autor
Author: Enrique Sobejano
Page: 4, 10 – 31

Magazine DETAIL nº 7. 2005           
Published by Institut für internationale Architektur- Dokumentation GmbH & Co. KG. Germany
ISSN: 0011-9571
Page: 420 – 423

Magazine R&R nº 98. 2005
Published by América Ibérica. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1134-4571
Page: Cover, 42 – 49

Monograph MONOESPACIOS nº 6. 2005
Published by Fundación COAM. Madrid, Spain
ISBN: 84-88496-88-5
Page: 16 – 19 
 
Magazine DETAIL nº 5. 2005           
Published by Institut für internationale Architektur- Dokumentation GmbH & Co. KG. Munich, Germany
ISSN: 0011-9571
Page: 510 – 513

Magazine TECHNIQUES ET ARCHITECTURE nº 475. 2004
Métamorphoses. Refurbishment
Published by Jean-Michele Place SRAL. Paris, France
ISSN: 0373-0719
Page: 30 – 35  

Magazine BAUWELT nº 42. 2004
Published by BertelsmannSpringer Bauverlag GmbH. Gütersloh, Germany
ISSN: 0005-6855
Article: Umbau einer Burgruine zum Meeresmuseum
Author: Clara Muñoz
Page: 14 – 19

Newspaper LA PROVINCIA. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. 14.10.2004
Article: Desnudar el Castillo
Author: Clara Muñoz
Page: 44

Monograph NIETO SOBEJANO. DESPLAZAMIENTOS / DISPLACEMENTS 1996-2001. 2002
Published by Editorial Rueda. Madrid, Spain
Authors: Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano
ISBN: 84-7207-131-6
Page: 146 – 155

Book RESTAURAR HISPANIA. 2002
Published by Ministerio de Fomento & Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte. Madrid, Spain
ISBN: 84-369-3575-6
Page: 166 – 167
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Martín Chirino Foundation

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain 1998-2013

Mention Prize Arquitectura Española 2015. CSCAE