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Lanjarón Water Museum and renovation of an old water mill in Lanjarón

Juan Domingo Santos, arquitecto

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The reuse and recycling of architectures and other elements from the surroundings, applied with environmental criteria, characterise this intervention in which water and the different textures of the neighbouring eucalyptus trees take centre stage.

The museum project began with the search for a place that would favour the presence of water in natural conditions. The space chosen is situated at the access to the Natural Park of Sierra Nevada, next to the river Lanjarón and an irrigation ditch that borders some old constructions used as the municipal abattoir.

Given the few means available, the intervention consisted of recycling and reusing some of the elements from the surroundings. The abattoir premises, for example, have been adapted to museum use, and the course of the irrigation ditch and river water has been incorporated to the new facilities through a simple system of interconnected sheets of water. In front of the complex a square planted with orange trees has been slightly raised off the ground with stacked concrete prefab units and differently-sized eucalyptus trunks that are temporarily flooded with water from the ditch, thus configuring a space which an appearance that changes throughout the day. The shade and scent from the orange trees, the sound of the water as it splashes on the trunks in the pond and the reflections of the water when the square is flooded create a refreshing atmosphere before entering the museum.

Entrance is via the courtyard of the old abattoir, now occupied by a new wooden construction. This pavilion houses a representative space dedicated to water and becomes a landmark in the landscape. The construction evokes the roof of the Source of La Capuchina, an 18th-century wooden construction that housed the first spring of Lanjarón water. The new pavilion is conceived as a space with high sensorial content, hanging in the air and with two openings that allow the visitor to enter and participate in the effects of light and shadow. A sheet of water on the floor reinforces these sensations yet further and recalls those found in Islamic baths.

The intervention on the old premises is minimal and has consisted in demolishing the internal divisions, leaving in view the structures of walls and roofs. During the works it was discovered that originally the structure belonged to an earlier complex of water mills, and so the recovery acquired an archaeological dimension.

The display spaces have been arranged through a selective occupation of the interior of the old constructions, leaving the yards and other spaces unused until future needs claim them. In order to contrast the stone and brick walls of the old mill, white-clad panels have been set up in certain spots to frame the newly intervened places. The two main bays are intended for audiovisual rooms and a third one for themed displays by content. In the oldest bay a glass pane with projections on its surface emerges from the floor flooded with water from the irrigation ditch, creating a play of reflections on the old walls of the mill.



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Autor: Juan Domingo Santos. Promotor: Ayuntamiento de Lanjarón. Colaboradores-Arquitectos: Julien Fajardo (proyecto y dirección de obra), Isabel Díaz Rodríguez, Carmen Moreno Álvarez, Margarita Martínez Barbero. Arquitecto técnico: Juan Diego Guarderas García. Ingeniero industrial, instalaciones: Patricio Bautista Carrascosa. Producción de audiovisuales: TRANSVERSAL ARTE Y ESTRATEGIA SL. Jardinero Municipal: Joaquin Funés Fernandez. Alfombra: La Alpujarreña. Empresas Constructoras: Construcción: Garasa Esñeco S.A., y Conschago S.L. Construcción en madera: Serafim Pereira Simoes Lda. Fotógrafo: Fernando Alda.
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Constructora: Serafim Pereira Simões Sucessores Lda.
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Photography
Fernando Alda Calvo
Sevilla
www.fernandoalda.com