San Miguel District Refurbishment

PrizeWinner in Landscape Architecture / Urban Design
Firm LocationMadrid, Spain
CompanyOoiio Architecture
Lead ArchitectJoaquín Millán Villamuelas
Design TeamJesús Reyes García, Magdalena Polvorinos Caeiro,Gloria Moya Paniagua, Gabriela Sanz Rodríguez.
ClientCouncil of Talavera de la Reina

Local handcraft and colour to reactivate public space: The city of Talavera de la Reina (Spain) has a very special pottery tradition. This material, its hundreds years old ancient techniques and its typical Renaissance hand drowned motifs are deeply rooted in the local culture. In Talavera everyone has hand drown pottery objects in their houses. We decided to use this material now in large scale murals to reactivate public urban space. Talavera´s inhabitants are very proud of those objects and we decided to take advantage of the special relation between this material and the city using its happy colours to cause a change of mind, turning over neighbour’s spirits, refurbishing the degraded public spaces and fighting against the bad economic situation of local craftsmen with new ways of using their work. We worked over two squares in the city centre: One of them was used as informal parking and we transform it into a pedestrian zone, recovering some ancient tower degraded ruins popping up everything with the use of Talaveran pottery over tall grey walls. On the other square we built an open air theatre, bringing into the streets the activities of a nearby Cultural Centre. Culture for free for everyone!