New Atrium for the Alhambra

new atrium for the alhambra - international competition
location: granada, spain
date: december 2010 - february 2011
authors: manuel aires mateus + antonio tejedor
consultant: gonçalo byrne
project team: jorge p. silva, neus beneyto, germán pró, blanca morales, matilde girão, joão esteves, olga sanina, ania aguilar, elod glocza, ezio siciliano, luz palacio, alexandre branco, francesca lupo
engineer: AFAconsult
landscape: joão gomes da costa, joão nunes

The main goal is to transform the sequence of arrival, the reception and initiation of the visit on a topographical, architectural and landscape device: the Atrium. Intervention is topographical, not a building that fills the landscape. Playing with terraced areas, a entrance-world to an inhabited space is created, with no external consequences. It goes without imposing a new presence where the weight of history had already written its long existence. The wide ramp lateralizes the new Atrium and the narrow crack in the ground progressively reveal a powerful tectonic that builds landscape while announcing an appellate interiority. Two penetrable and cyclopean walls converge in an improbable vault. As the roots of a hanging garden, a sensitive spatiality is sensed, which grows from that specific ground in search of the sky. In the limit of memory, space and light are caved, and with them, the thickness of time. Freely projected out of areas of centrality, designing a precis space.