Intervention on a Stone Ruin
CESUGA School of Architecture + Sebastian Erazo + Stefano Pugliese
Sebastian Erazo, Stefano Pugliese
COORDINATION AND MANAGEMENT
Silvia Blanco Agüeira
Jorge Castro , Pablo López , Jorge García , Sara González , Abigail Ballesteros , Maria Varela , Yago Otero , Diego Rey , Paula Yañez , Noa Trigo , Bárbara Gargallo , Helena Cameselle , Carlos Tomé , Judith Pedreira , Alejandro Varela , Pedro Abeijón , Paula Agulla , Carlos González , Brais Pérez , Antia Priegue , Maria Jimenez , Antón Chivite , Matilde Parga , Juan Carlos Viteri , Arturo Vázquez , Alberto Pardo , Harry Mantilla , María Béjar , Carmen Cambón , Javier Perez , Ramón García
Javier Caride, Tomás Valente
The faculty of architecture of CESUGA completed a wood and design workshop (during the III International Conference on Timber 2023), whose main goal was to promote the use of wood as a building material in the forestry region of Galicia, Spain, through education in design and construction techniques.
An intervention on the ruins of a water mill became the starting point and main objective of the workshop that took place on Senda do Rio Sisalde (The Sisalde River trail), a wide valley that runs from the Atlantic coast, through agricultural land, productive forests, and the Fraga, a protected native forest rich in biodiversity, all the way to the top of the hills.
The ruin, without a roof, was found exposed and partly collapsed, as a result of erosion by wind, rain, and vegetation.
The state of the ruin and its fragility led the team to set the first constraints for the project: not to touch either the existing walls or the stone slab that sustains the millstone (pé, in Galician).
This left all interior supports limited to the earthen area which represents nearly half of the ruin´s plan.
After analyzing the site and collectively studying nine proposals, these were discussed and merged into one design that considered the particular characteristics of each.
The final proposal was developed to be built on site, applying a constructive logic that would maximize prefabrication, and thus reduce assembly and adjustment times on site.
The project consists of a structure standing mainly on natural soil with the sole exception of the contact with a stone step, which is independent of the mill´s structure, and standing directly outside its unique entry.
The main axis of the structure is a narrow "corridor" that enhances the perspective towards the Pe, the millstone of the ancient water mill.
Through the entrance, the platform extends towards the right, facing the stream and a small clearing and sparing a distance from the wall to the south of the ruin, which is the highest and seemingly most unstable.
At the same time, it is the most expressive in its vestigial condition, as well as vegetal, and mineral presence–an old wall that invites the visitor to contemplate.
The resulting difference between the floor platform of the new wooden structure and the level of the ruin’s existing stone slab allows the platform to cantilever between 20 and 30 cm over the ancient slab, gaining floor area inside the ruin without standing on it, and still not touching it.
At the same time, this level difference leaves the floor of the platform at the height of a seat, both affording visitors rest and giving them the opportunity to contemplate the cylindrical stone of the water mill.
The entire structure, starting from its entry walkway, is protected from the rain by a single-pitched roof, which replicates the slope of the roof once removed from the ruin, and provides shelter for hikers seeking a break on their way.