This is a project for a new pilgrim hostel and attached monastery at Eunate, a little yet gorgeous location within the Way of Saint James, in the… Read More
This is a project for a new pilgrim hostel and attached monastery at Eunate, a little yet gorgeous location within the Way of Saint James, in the countryside of northern Spain.
I have lived near it since I was a child, spending many summer days in the surroundings, and I love the place and its peace; so I wanted to do my final degree project nowhere but there.
The place is mainly a flat landscape covered by fields of wheat and corn, in which rests a humble, sublime romanic hermitage, from the XIIth Century.
It’s just wonderful how a tiny building like that can dominate so vast a landscape with such beauty!
Although the place is wonderful, the design turned out to be really challenging, as everything I attempted to do disrupted the place dramatically...
Hence, at last, I designed a flat, horizontal body, reduced to its very essentials and intentionally pushed to the ground. This way, it seems to rest there as its surroundings, without interrupting the horizontal dominance, nor the the leading vertical role of the hermitage.
Every single aspect of the design is focused to enhance the project in this way, ranging from the structural design, lighting, facilities, construction and land movements.
The ground floor is reduced to a single, open space dedicated to social acts and celebrations. It aims to be an open pillar-less porch, fully devoted to the landscape.
In order to do this, the structural section works in a way similar to a crane, with half of the first floor cantilevered and embraced by steel suspenders from above, the rest of the section working as a rigid frame.
The upper storey holds the monastery and the pilgrim hostel, with all the main room facing the hermitage (as well as the sunlight in the east-west direction).
The junction point between the upper and lower levels is resolved with a slope, so as to enjoy the views again whilst circulating through the building.
Finally, the wooden slat façade helps to filter the hard sunshine during the summer as well as the internal light during the night, where the hermitage lighting is in the centre of the composition.