ROMAN VILLA LA OLMEDA – PAREDES PEDROSA ARQUITECTOS

architects_ Paredes Pedrosa arquitectos, Ángela García de Paredes and Ignacio Pedrosa
collaborators_ Clemens Eichner, Álvaro Rábano, Eva Urquijo, Andrea Franconetti, Eva M. Neila
location_ Pedrosa de la Vega. Palencia. Spain
construction supervisor_ Luis Calvo
structural engineer_ GOGAITE S.L.
contractor_ UTE La Olmeda
construction year_ 2009
area_ 7.130 m2
photography_ Luis Asín, Paredes Pedrosa

from the architects_ In1968, the casual discovery of a bronze find of Roman epoch marked the start of a digging campaign that brought to light the archaeological site of the Olmeda. Among the scattered wall ruins, in a site of immense value as far as the landscape was concerned, the excavations brought to light the remains of a Roman building, more precisely of a country-villa that dated back to the final period of the Roman Empire, among the most complete and rich to be found in Roman Spain.

Toward the half of the 90’s, at the time that the site was being arranged, the hypothesis was made of a more thorough work of preservation for the whole complex. The valorisation program of the archaeological site included the construction of a roof for the excavations, the protection of the mosaics in situ, and building an exhibition and study center for tourists and archaeologists.

The whole architectonic complex is protected by a wide metallic structure of four vaulted roof modules and one lowered plane module that connects with the restoration area. 110 pilasters and four freestanding pillars support all the structure. The pilasters are situated outside the translucent facade in polycarbonate that provides the homogenous lighting of the interior. The enwrapping rhomboidal roof structure is situated in light contact with the upper vertical part of the facade on a white concrete plinth enclosing the entire perimeter of the villa at the visitors level. All the new volumes and the partially delimited archaeological zones are joined by a raised floor made of wooden slats that present paced connections. The outline of the itinerary gets narrow and expands depending on the width of the mosaics to be observed, with a disposition thought for an open display. On the outside of the building, the upper part above the concrete plinth is surrounded by a folding façade. These perforated corten steel panels, that attenuate solar irradiation and casts scattered shadows to the interior, are responding by scale and appearance to the surrounding poplar tree cultivations.

Courtesy of the architects