About the project
Whereas the Catholic Church has officially claimed to construct its social and ideological expansion through a centralized model controlled from the Vatican; in practice, when seen from its periphery, the Catholic Church operates on a daily basis as an ecosystem of alternative, subversion, misunderstanding, and invention. This co-inhabitance of two diverging orders within the same institution was the origin of this project. The former seminary for minors of the historical city of Plasencia, built in the fifteenth century in the domain of the city’s cathedral and expanded in the nineteenth century, became redundant due to the reduction in candidates willing to initiate their training to become priests at the early age of 12. Geriatric residences were needed to provide accommodation for the aging population of dispersed countryside parish priests. The project consisted in transforming the former seminary for minors into a clergy house for retired priests.
In terms of design, the main challenge was to transform a building designed to instruct and unify children’s bodies and behaviors, into an architecture that instigates alternatives and pluralism in daily life practices. A number of devices and strategies were introduced to mediate in this evolution: from devices that instigate broader participation in decision making, to protocols allowing residents to participate in the formulation of the house’s daily life, to a self service chapel (designed to allow each priest to make decisions about its temporary configuration).
Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation with Miguel de Guzmán and Enrique Krahe
Dionisio Hernández Gil Prize
Architects: Miguel de Guzmán, Andrés Jaque, Enrique Krahe
Quantity Surveryor: Marco Antonio Durán
Design, coordination and edition:
María-Solange Faría, Raquel Limeres, Henar Molinero, Ana de Miguel
Structures: Alfonso Pérez-Gaite, Belén Orta
Mechanical Engineering: Vectoria Consulting
Quantity Survey: José Ramón Pérez-Arroyo
Miguel de Guzmán