Arab Tower in Guadalajara

Located in Riba de Saelices, Guadalajara, the site sits on top of the highest hill of the surroundings, originally serving as a defensive point where the Arabs could have an advantage over their enemies.

The project consisted of a modest architectural intervention that restored the semi-destroyed tower to its original volume. Rebuilding the stones back into their original position, the tower can be contemplated again as an object in the landscape.

Our challenge was to define minimal architectural elements that could reactivate the interior of the structure. These “interventions” reinforced the main qualities of the tower, such as the thickness of the walls, the heaviness of the stone, and the privileged views from the top.

To dignify an entrance and to establish a procession through the project, a small bridge and two staircases connecting the different levels inside were built out of aluminum, a very light material. The bridge forces the user to experience the landscape as a fragile structure, which starkly contrasts with the solidity of the interior. The bridge’s handrail metaphorically refers to the shrubbery found in the surroundings. The highest level is covered with an aluminum mesh, where visitors can have a global perception of the landscape.