Nigüelas, Granada, Spain | View Map
Année du projet


SERRANO + BAQUERO Arquitectos en tant que Architectes.

'My first emotions are linked to the land and to the agriculture. This is why I may have agricultural complex, as psychoanalysts would say. I love the soil. I feel connected to it in all my emotions. My earliest memory tastes like dirt. The countryside has bring great things to my life. The creatures of the earth, the animals, the farm people cause interesting suggestions that come to very few. I perceive them now as in my childhood years. Otherwise, I could not have written Bodas de Sangre' .


Niguelas is a little town in Granada, which is really related to the water. Its position at the foot of Sierra Nevada, and its landscape, crops and orchards intertwined with ditches are a clear evidence of this. In an old orchard, abandoned and degraded, a new garden is proposed, which seems aperfect chance to regain the memories that belong to this place and that have been lost, creating a new public place for the inhabitants.


In this orchard, the current mayor used to play with her friends when she was a child. They used to spend the mornings enjoying the water of the ditches that watered the crops,hiding behind the quincesor having lunch under the shadow of the big oak while their parents worked the land. The passage of time has deteriorated the identity of the garden, blurring some of itsqualities. The intervention consists on the restoration of these memories, using and giving value to the existing resources such as irrigation ditches, trees, paths and views.


The abandoned orchard is recovered for the local employment workshops, school activities and the nursing home. Water becomes the star of this new space, using the existing daily system of irrigationorganizing it with new water accumulation pools.


A path is digged in the garden, linking the strategic points of the garden and allowing the enjoyment of the different places that arose in the interviews made to the inhabitants, who helped the team bringing to light the hidden forces of the place.

The path emerged from the strains of the garden. Following this route it will be possible to enjoy the smells, sounds, and sensations resulting from the encounter between water, vegetation, landscape and memory. At the end of the trail, at a lower altitude, a stageis placed benefiting from the existing natural acoustic screen between an olive tree, some fig trees and chestnuts. Summer cinema, local band performances and other events will be held here.


The aim of the project is to highlight the memories and links found in the garden, creating the necessary public garden for the inhabitants through an archaeological strategy, for whichone single action is developed: the displacement of material.The extraction of land generated thesemi-buried path that places the visitor at different levels and situations, and ispiled up waiting to build the garden when the employment workshop is scheduled, solving the entire project with earthmoving.

In order to alleviate the unemployment rate of the inhabitants of the little town, the council and the designing team decided to hire only in people from Nigüelas and make contracts for periods of 15 days, which means that since July 15, 2012, the day the works began, it's been 20 teams ofoperators working of the garden.

Leaving aside the technical problems it has caused, the experience has been very positive due to the involvement and participation of the people, causing interesting processes of ownership of the project by the people who have worked in the garden and their families. We had to develop a special building planning, since Moises, for example, had to watch his sheep as they grazed on the adjoining lot, and Serafin has to irrigatehis tomatoes twice a day.


A pergola was requested in the middle of the works. Our encounter with materials that originally had another goal led to an unexpected result.An organic material that was being used to repopulate slopes was reused on site as a security fence, due to budget shortfalls. We just followed the process that they had started and reused that material for the pergola, giving it a new life.


The fabric will be placed on the structure to filter the light while the vegetation grows, rotting while being invaded by it, since it is estimated to stand for two years, falling into the earth and nurturing the garden after. Thus, the fabric will return to the place where it was in the first instance, enriching the soil of the orchard.


The pergola will bea part of the long process of transformation held on the site, being created from the reuse of a material designed for another use and taking a new configuration while maintaining resonances of its past life.

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