Photo © Fernando Alda

The Water Museum

Juan Domingo Santos

Lanjarón, Spain

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Completion Date: January 2009

Owner:Town Hall of Lanjarón

Program: A 5,490-square-foot museum devoted to water and its history in Lanjarón, a Granada spa town on the southern end of the Sierra Nevada. The project is an adaptive reuse of two stone sheds from a water mill possibly dating from the late 19th century, plus another stone structure added in the 1970s, when the complex was a municipal slaughterhouse. These three spaces serve as galleries and screening rooms, and they adjoin a new wood pavilion. A second slaughterhouse building on the opposite side of the pavilion will be incorporated into the museum in a later phase.

Design Concept and Solution: Treating water as both a medium and a material, the architects linked the museum's various spaces with three thin pools of water that in turn form a circuit with an irrigation canal and the Lanjarón River. The largest pool, spread over slices of eucalyptus trunks, forms a sort of watery courtyard shaded by orange trees; a similar but even shallower pool spans the floor of the wood pavilion. Inside, the third pool takes up half the floor of one screening room, blurring the boundary between the imagery on the large video display and its reflection. The architects made minimal changes to the buildings themselves. They preserved the original stone walls, smoothed the exteriors with handcrafted white plaster, and added new corrugated metal roofs. Inside, they demolished interior partitions and inserted boxy arrangements of white gypsum board ceiling and wall panels to frame the exhibits and set off the rough stone walls and brickwork.

Total construction cost: €279,000

estudio de arquitectura
Fábrica de Azúcar San Isidro
Antigua Carretera de Málaga s/n
18015 Granada

July 2011
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