SOMOS.arquitectos obtains an Honorable Mention in the restoration of Santa Clara'S Old Headquarters in Úbeda, Jaen.

The project begins with a careful analysis of the urban area where it stands, both in terms of the relation between the competition site and the surrounding spaces and between the new public space to be developed inside and its current limits. This new plaza must be fully integrated into the urban fabric but it also must be able to emphasize its own character, providing Úbeda with a new public realm willing to allow new pedestrian activities through a major dilation of the current itineraries. We propose a porous and open ground floor level, accessible to all citizens, where new commercial premises can settle in order to revitalize the current uneven commercial system and reinforced by the creation of a cultural center + library. This level is accessible from 3 different orientations, multiplying the potential for urban routes.

The intervention in the old headquarters enhances the two architectural elements that characterize the building:

1- The two facades that conform the alignment with the urban fabric, the first one, opened to Horno de Santa Clara Street and the second one, onto Santa Clara Square. The cultural center + library are attached to the latter in the shape of a crystalline linear volume. Its roof features a first floor public balcony turned over to the new inner square, using the unique beauty of the facade to Santa Clara Square as a backdrop.

2- The small courtyard of the old headquarters, which recovers its original value as an ambulatory, allowing access to each apartment which follow the “Corrala” housing typology, qualifying this patio with a large wooden lattice skin that allows proper intimacy. The imperial stairs are maintained because its particular spatial configuration, adding another factor of identity to the new housing complex. Given the current state of the two other facades almost crumbling on site, we have decided to raise new ones along the same old trace, thus defining the volume for the rest of the housing units.