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Contemporary Architecture Guide: Cordoba

Cordoba has become a one night stop for travellers looking to visit the famed mosque and a conglomeration of Roman and Moorish monuments. If you’re looking for a different take, we’ve put together a guide to contemporary architecture in Cordoba. A novel way to avoid the well-trodden tourist trail and discover a wealth of architectural treasures springing up around the city.


By:  Cecilia Bogaard
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Travel NotesFind out more about this city with our insider guide.
open center for civic activitiesOpen Center for Civic Activities (CAAC) - Paredes Pino Arquitectos (2010)

On first sight it might just look like a set from the teletubbies. But it’s not. The task was to create a multipurpose outdoor space to house a temporary market and a hotchpotch of activities. The result is a forest of prefabricated coloured circular parasols varying in height and diameter that change significantly depending on light and weather conditions. A mesmerizing shadow display underlined by artificial lighting at night. (Islas Sisargas c/v Formentera c/v Cies, Cordoba, Cordoba). (Photo: ©Jorge López Conde)


centro de arte contemporaneo c4 cordobaCentre of Contemporary Art C4 - Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos

Conceived as a versatile container with the ability to adapt to the need of creatives, the C4 has been designed as a sequence of rooms linked to a public walkway. The art factory feel is highlighted by slabs of concrete, tiled floors and precast fiberglass-reinforced cement (GRC). Art studio realities:united was commissioned to develop a media skin as the outer topography of the facade. Using indented GRC they’ve created an urban communication device for artists to display moving images on the bank of the River Guadalquivir opposite the historic city centre. We’re looking forward to seeing it in action! (Parque de Miraflores, Cordoba, Cordoba).


centro salud lucano cordobaCentro Salud Lucano - Fco. Javier Terrados Cepeda (2007)

It’s always complicated building in a historic city centre. Add to that the presence of archaeological remains, strict building laws and the need to provide services to over 13,000 people and the construction of this health centre was a puzzle indeed. Javier Terrados faced the problem head-on. The project liberated the ground floor by connecting calle Lucano with calle San Fernando via an inner passage that passes through luminous patios with trees as well as access to view the archaeological remains. It was awarded the 11th Félix Hernández Architectural Award 2006-2007. (C/ Lucano, 7-9, Cordoba, Cordoba). (Photo: ©Javier Orive)


cordoba congress centreCordoba Congress Centre - OMA (The Office for Metropolitan Architecture)

Awarding this project to Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas is a statement in itself. He beat Cruz & Ortiz, Zaha Hadid, Toyo Ito and Rafael Moneo in 2002 by changing the bases of the competition itself: altering the intended construction site. On the left bank of the Guadalquivir, it aims to “transform the East-West strip across the Miraflores peninsula into a linear volume that acts as promenade, mall, and mixing chamber”. Anyone who has visited his Casa da Música will know not to expect anything less than groundbreaking. Congress center, auditorium, hotel… Let’s hope the project comes to fruition. (Miraflores peninsula, Cordoba). (Photo: ©OMA)


medina azahara museum cordobaMedina Azahara Museum - Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos (2008)

Like the ruins lying partially exposed on the hills above, the museum sits quietly in the landscape. Containing the archaeological remains of what was once the capital of Al-Andalus, one of the world’s most significant early Islamic archaeological sites, this building doesn’t want to steal any of its limelight. In fact this is a very introverted building that lets light flood in through open patios. Limestone paving, poured concrete walls and iroko wood evoke temporary structures of an archaeological site. In November 2010 it was awarded the Aga Khan Award. (Carretera de Palma del Río km. 5.5. Cordoba, Cordoba). (Photo: ©Fernando Alda)


puente romano visitor centre cordobaPuente Romano - Visitor Centre - Juan Cuenca Montilla (2011)

Part of a more ambitious plan to restore and adapt the Roman Bridge and surrounding area, the visitor centre is also set to become head office for the Cordoba Tourist Board. It’s always a worry when an architect starts work in the midst of a protected historic area. More so when this building is part of the view of the Mezquita as seen from the other side of the River Guadalquivir. Architects will debate whether it’s fresh or conservative. However, using cammouflage and composition techniques (colour, materials, volume, height), the project manages to blend into its surroundings. (Puente Romano, Cordoba, Cordoba).


sala orive cordobaSala Orive - Francisco Gómez Díaz (2009)

Winner of the Félix Hernández Award, the architect transformed the ruined chapter house of the Convento de San Pablo into a neutral container for cultural activities. High on his list of priorities: the reversibility of the intervention. Elements can be easily dismantled to facilitate future alterations. Musicians playing at Cosmopoética were astounded by the illuminated crevice created by the Great Lisbon Earthquake in 1755 and maintained to conserve remnants of the passage of time. Natural light floods in through a glass ceiling supported by a metal grid while dark floors allow the original walls to take centre stage. (Huerta de Orive, Cordoba, Cordoba).






2 comments

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El 20 September 2011 a las 12:50 PM, la cale dijo...

muy sugerente este paseo por las nuevas arquitecturas de Cordoba, llevo varios meses viviendo en esta ciudad y solo conocia uno de estos tesoros, gracias por mostrarmelos


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El 20 September 2011 a las 5:54 PM, Cecilia Bogaard dijo...

De nada. Si encuentras más, avísanos.



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