Oria’s Castle

mnarquitectos: This Project is part of a series of interventions in the Almanzora River Valley, which were planned and designed as only one: a big landscape project to make it easier for the visitor to understand the territorial meaning of the region. Therefore, all the projects share common elements: the materials used, such as COR-TEN steel, wood or white marble gravel, the design of the signs, etc. These interventions in castles and towers help us explain the Muslim defensive network of the Valley. All these defensive buildings were visually linked at least to two other defensive buildings, which allowed them to alert everyone in the Valley by sending light or smoke signals. Therefore, all the projects have built elements that point to these other defensive buildings to show the visual interaction between defensive buildings in different locations. The locations of the castles are the best ones to understand the landscape of the Almanzora River Valley, because of their wide magnificent views.


The project idea of boosting the presence of the existing ruins using just a few elements and cleaning the place (hiding undesirable elements) is a way to clarify the meaning of the landscape. The project does not try to recreate ancient walls but tries to recover the memory and the meaning of these places. So we created a small route to guide visitors and show them the hidden remains and meanings of the place.

The main idea of the design inside the castle was to emphasize its defensive use. To do this, we recreated the patrol path, removing the plants and placing an anti-root membrane under the new path. We let the plants grow in the middle so as to hide the big antennas and make a contrast with the path. Thus, the central part was turned into a park just by putting a few benches here and there. Finally, we placed two wooden elevated platforms, in the same place where the ancient towers used to be, to point to other defensive buildings.

Landscape Architecture: mnarquitectos (Miguel Rodríguez López and Noemí Lorenzo Martínez)
Location: Oria. Almería (Spain)
Promoter: Mancomunidad de Municipios del Valle del Almanzora
Area: 5000 m2
Design: 2006
Construction: 2008
Cost: 150.000 €

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