Intervention in Matrera Castle

Intervention in Matrera Castle

Carquero Arquitectura
Villamartín, Spain | View Map
Project Year

Cultural Centres

Consolidation of the Matrera Castle Keep Tower

Carquero Arquitectura as Architects

This medieval tower has always been a historical landmark due to its strategic position in the latest “Nazari” border, where the Guadalete Valley meets the Bética mountain range. However, it had partially collapsed in 2013, losing part of its imposing volume and putting at risk not only the architectural stability of the rest of the tower, but also its role as a landscape landmark, linked to the iconography and culture of the region. Therefore, our project was to consolidate such a landscape icon.


These cultural models and emblems of our cities and territories have suffered enormously due to the economic crisis, which has made them fall into decadence because of the lack of economic interest in their maintenance.

With compatibility and authenticity criteria, the intervention looks at structurally consolidating the elements that were at risk, to differentiate the additions from the original structure, avoiding mimetic reconstructions (that our law prohibits), and recovering the volume and tonality that the tower originally had as a landscape icon.


The essence of the project is not intended to be, therefore, an image of the future, but rather a reflection of its own past, its own origin. With brandian reference, this project aims to look at a unifying potential restoration, without undertaking the task of building a false historical monument or cancellling every trace of the passage of time. It tries to approach the work in recognition of the “monumentum” (memory) in its physical consistency and its dual polarity, aesthetic and historical, in order to transmit those two aspects to the future.


All that previous historical, constructive, functional, structural and pathological analyses, as well as the archaeological supervision that has taken place have been important to define the details of the project. New discoveries have appeared during the works that have served to recover part of the interesting history of this monument of cultural interest.​

The very limestone that had collapsed was re-used for the buttresses that guarantee its stability and for the reinforcements/protections of the internal degraded cores that had lost their exterior stonework. The top was executed in order to consolidate the slender wall that remained after the collapse and that was running a serious risk of overturning. In its exterior face, the flesh was removed and the original white covering was retained in its interior face as well as an interesting fresco painting of a boat in ochre tonality. All the edges were also rethought from the details of geometric existing geometrical elements, in order to mark its original volume.


In parallel to the practical intervention of movable heritage, its historical value has also been enhanced, facing its original volume using a continuous coating (mortar of lime) similar to the one which originally covered it, which clogs the gap and allows reading of the architecturally recessed unit. Likewise the upper casing defines its construction phases enhancing the original battlements shots that were hidden behind their stratigraphic superposition. 



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