Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2014-2016 Cycle (Shortlisted Project # 6): Restoration of Nasrid Tower, Almeria, Spain

Aga Khan presenting the Architecture Award to Al-Kindi Plaza in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in Cairo, Egypt, 15 October 1989
His Highness the Aga Khan presenting the Award to the recipient for the Al-Kindi Plaza in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during the Aga Khan Award for Architecture ceremony in Cairo, Egypt, 15 October 1989. AKDN / Gary Otte

“Firmly anchored in the present, the best architectural efforts are those that dare to innovate, to start from what we have, and actively invent the future in practical, empowering terms, thereby creating a heritage for the future. Invariably, such efforts do not copy the past, or import solutions developed for other problems and other cultures. What the Muslim world needs today, I suggest, is more of those innovative architects that can navigate between the twin dangers of slavishly copying the architecture of the past and of foolishly ignoring its rich legacy. It needs those who can thoroughly internalise the collective wisdom of bygone generations, the eternal Message and ethic with which we live, and then reinforce them in the language of tomorrow.”

 

Shortlisted Project – 2014-2016 Award Cycle: Restoration of Nasrid Tower, Almeria, Spain

A restoration enhanced by modern design elements and sensitivity towards its built and natural environment.

This project by Castillo Miras Arquitectos explores the dichotomy between the solid, ageless construction of the existing 13th century Nasrid Tower, and the provisional, light, and degradable nature of the contemporary.

The main aim of the project was to make the tower accessible, and encompassed the repair and restoration of the original building.

The criteria followed were to preserve as much as possible of the original materials, removing modern elements and resurfacing the original.

To restore the original entry to the tower four metres above ground level, a new pre-rusted steel staircase tower and office container were built.

The landscaping of the area adjacent to the tower re-uses the existing topography to minimise ground alteration.

A careful, sensitive restoration project has been undertaken which has restored the presence and meaning of the historic Tower, while at the same time a modern design project demonstrates great flair and a sensitivity towards its built and natural environment.

The main achievement has been to transform a derelict building into a symbol of the village and its past.

Project Video

A restoration enhanced by modern design elements and sensitivity towards its built and natural environment.

 

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Researched & Compiled by Arif Ali

 

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