Urban folds that integrate. Plaza del Zarrón by BOV Estudio | About Architecture and more

Urban folds that integrate. Plaza del Zarrón by BOV Estudio | About Architecture and more
Urban folds that integrate. Plaza del Zarrón by BOV Estudio | About Architecture and more

Project Description by BOV Study

A space for everyone
With an eye on the wall and the old town of Almazán and imagining the movement of its inhabitants (all of them), we seek to obtain the most natural response possible to establish a real and proper relationship between this new public space and both parts of the town (old town and expansion), eliminating the previous feeling of a barrier, with a 5-meter slope, which made this passage difficult or insurmountable for many of its inhabitants.

From this conversation between the people and the people, the lines and folds of the new “Plaza del Zarrón” are born, enabling different routes and ways of being that represent each user without discrimination. A public space that weaves together the history and the present of Almazán and where the important thing is the degrees of freedom of each person who walks, is or passes by there.

A square made up of squares
Geometrically, the slope is distributed evenly across the entire surface of the square. The first folds of this surface emerge to form zigzag inclined platforms that provide a universally accessible route between its two ends. Along this route, new folds appear, this time without a slope, which are erected as places to be and discover different points of view and sunlight. These squares within the square will be the place where the furniture and vegetation will be arranged, together with the sculpture of Zarrón, which will be relocated to one of them from the Plaza Mayor. As a complement to these squares, other folds generate smaller-scale spaces where people can be like small two-step bleachers. This last movement also serves to attenuate the slope at these points, making walking around them easier and more accessible. This apparent complexity is resolved thanks to an exhaustive geometric study and modulation that allows its control, execution and optimization of resources.

Plaza del Zarrón by BOV Studio. Photography by Javier Bravo.

Dancing with the Zarrón and the Plaza Mayor
The Zarrón is a festival of Regional Tourist Interest that is celebrated every May 17 in Almazán in honor of San Pascual Bailón. Since 1816, the Saint has been taken out in a procession accompanied by an ancestral dance. The sculpture of the Zarrón, previously located in the Plaza Mayor, is the protagonist of these festivals every year. Its relocation to this new public space ends up definitively connecting the history and the present of Almazán. The Zarrón, in its new location, will witness this unprecedented urban and civic union, where tradition and dances will unite the Plaza del Zarrón with the Plaza Mayor and the old town through its restored walls.

The union between the new and the historic is echoed in its own materiality, combining its contemporary form with materials, textures and colours typical of the town. To achieve this, this space is resolved using mainly three materials: aged concrete paving stones, wood and metal lattices inspired by existing traditional forges and carpentry.

The aged paving stone aims to promote the relationship with the wall, the old town and the main square, both in terms of colour and aesthetics. It also aims to help in the relationship with its own users. The layout is based on two sizes, 8×8 and 16×16, distributed in the square according to the use of each area (passage, walk or stay), so that each use and the different levels of accessibility are made evident through the change of material.

Plaza del Zarrón by BOV Studio. Photography by Javier Bravo.

Furniture and lighting
For the different living areas, modular furniture is arranged according to the sizes of the paving stones and the interior squares. The wooden benches, of different sizes and backrest arrangements, seek to increase the degrees of freedom with respect to their use from one angle or another, as well as the relationship with the folds of the square itself that can serve the same purpose (being/resting), so that the position of the people who want to be there and interact is conditioned as little as possible. The set of furniture is completed by waste bins and tree pits following the same composition as the lattices to give uniformity to the whole. Native deciduous vegetation is proposed that will require minimal maintenance and will give the place a different image in each season of the year, making the square a changing place with shadows in summer and sunshine in winter.

The main lighting of the square at sunset is integrated into the vertical cuts of the folds of the square, through light boxes filtered by metal lattices that protect them. The aim is, in addition to illuminating, to reinforce and signal the changes in slope for a better understanding of the space. The whole is perfectly complemented by only two points of light on the sides of the square (awaiting the future buildings that may be built there) and the existing lighting at both ends.

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