Restoration of the galleries – Pablo Millán

architect_ Pablo-M. Millán-Millán
collaborators_ Javier Serrano Terrones, Javier Bengoa Díaz, Rafael Antonio Saco Montilla.
location_ Andalusia, Spain
client_ City council of Porcuna
project_ Restoration of the galleries of the Royal Granary of Carlos IV of Porcuna (Jaén) for future headquarters of the Archaeological Museum.
construction year_ 2016
photography_ Javier Callejas Sevilla

from the architects_


“This is the architecture of the Museum, ideally without walls, doors, windows, or all those defenses that are obvious, thoughtful and repeated. Museums that collect what was in palaces, or churches, or cabins, or attics, covered with glory or dust, folded under the mattress of a bunk, and now observes me in silence, in a light indifferent to what moves too”. With this fragment of Álvaro Siza is perfectly collected the feeling of the room of a museum.

Although we want the space we occupy is a place with an entity in itself, independent of the use, after the intervention will be destined to headquarters several rooms for the Archaeological Museum of the city of Porcuna. We think of an environment without doors, without windows and without walls, a place traveled by a carpet. Simply that, a carpet that allows us to wander among the archaeological remains looking for the space between the ruins.

The project is located in the underground of the current Town Hall of Porcuna (Jaén). The history of the building is quite complex and interesting. It has its origin in a wheat waste that was built by Carlos IV. This important building-warehouse underwent a remarkable transformation in 1885 to be soothes of the City council of Porcuna. After the Civil War, given the poor state in which the property was left by the conflict and within the National Plan of Devastated Regions, Andrés Pajares Pardo intervened in it (1941) adding new constructions that will remain practically unchanged until today.

Our project is centered on the lower level of the main hall of the Town Hall, which corresponds to the foundations of the old royal building. Given the nature of the wheat store in this building, the level of storage was raised on the natural terrain to prevent moisture from reaching the accumulated grain. To this end, ventilation chambers were created between the natural terrain level and the grain load elevation. This will be the place of our intervention. Being a space considered residual has been destined throughout history to uses without entity, like jail or store. It has been to date a completely unknown space for the population. The project will try to make this secondary place a leading place with the least possible intervention.

Although the space in which we have worked has never had the vocation to be shown and traveled, it is a place of great interest to be surrounded by important pre-existences. On the one hand, under the boundary of natural terrain, the archeology of the Roman city of Obulco, which will surface very quickly. On the other, on this level, the vaulted construction of the ventilation chambers.

The project, from its origin was raised with a main objective: an intervention that allowed us to wander between the past, to look for the space between the ruins, both the underlying archaeological and the emerging ones. Thus, after restoring all the remains and removing all subsequent additions that clouded the original construction, the project itself, has been a white carpet in which everything remains contained. This carpet will allow, separating from any preexisting element, lead us through the different rooms, showing this unique container without any doubt of what is original and what has been incorporated with the intervention.

In order to make a secondary and residual space a space with an entity in itself, the original ground dimension has been modified, perhaps the strongest operation carried out in these works. With this operation the soil has been depressed for more than one meter, making the silenced spaces become protagonists.

Courtesy of Pablo Millán