Hortus Conclusus

We are working on the limit: in the place where historically the cityturns into farmlands. An enclave that has been kept unchanged since the originsof the Convent of Saint Francisco. The site proposed for the competition is aplace which has always been empty, which has only been occasionally occupied asa vegetable garden for the Convent, as shown on Torriani’s early plans, andmore recently as an area destined to military use, but its characteristicemptiness has always persisted.

The city of La Lagunais World Heritage for its urban planning morphology, which makes it into one ofthe first models for cities without walls.

Our proposal considers the urban emptiness surrounding the Convent ofSaint Francisco as a historical asset to be protected. A place recognizable forits emptiness within the urban morphology of the city of La Laguna. We must not only preservewhat is built in our heritage, but also, as in this case, what is not built.

We do not want an impressive building or an urban landmark, but ratherto maintain the emptiness that has persisted until the present. A buildingwhich emerges as a result of a historical process that started with thevegetable gardens of the Convent of Saint Francisco. A project withstraightforward logic: to protect this urban emptiness.

Urban emptiness. We propose building around the present site limits, soits interior remains free. A variable bay which is adapted to the urbansurrounding area and the program. Building the border to free the interior. Andthus, making the urban emptiness into a public space related to the Faculty ofEducation.

Our proposal occupies 50% of the site. The limit: the wall-vegetableplot. The building is structured as a ‘wall’, as a recreation of La Laguna fences.

A wall adapted to the geometric conditions of the surroundings. But itis not just a wall, it is an equipped space: a double façade with a layer ofvegetation in its interior.
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