Master plan

Burgohondo project, Burgohondo, Ávila

New construction for a Cultural and Religious Center


type: direct commission upon interview

area: 13.000 m2

location: Burgohondo, Ávila, Castilla y Léon, Spain

year: 2004-

teamNavadijos Tarsoly arquitectos: Eduardo Navadijos, Csaba Tarsoly, Joao Gomes Leitao, Aurélie Maestre, María Dolores Sanchez García, Roberto Sánchez Castro, Aldo Trim

rammed earth specialistMartin Rauch

structural engineerStefan Polónyi Köln, BAC ecg Madrid

cost consultant: David Gil Zazo

status: in process

A group of the Catholic Church acquired land in the Sierra de Gredos to build their center. Profound meeting sessions – held over the years – for the understanding of the group’s philosophy and the definition of the program set the basis for the architectonic proposal.

The architecture has the intention to be humble, but with power and restrain. That is why the choice of the material for bearing walls and facades has been a very important decision.

The earth excavated on place, poured in formworks and rammed with great strength becomes the bearing walls. Once excavated, the granite base that lies beneath will come to the surface. This stone plate will become the pavement flooring between the Moradas. Building geometry stays close to the ground following the topography without terracing, avoiding unnecessary excavations and retaining walls. Inspired by the great granite boulders covered with moss and lichen, the rammed earth walls reflect and absorb the intense natural light of this landscape.

Aware of the ecological dimension and the need to reduce energy consumption that a project of this sort requires, and conscious of our responsibility with the landscape, the architecture is oriented to the sun. The roof, deployed in great surfaces over the earth walls, accommodate a system of water pipes that capture the heat provided by the sun making easier the work of the geothermic pumps.

We attempt to preserve the property´s rural character. Therefore we will maintain the existing vegetation, the pastures and trees, which with particular lyricism shape the atmosphere of this land