Rehabilitation of the San Miguel Tower for municipal tourism office

Date: 2018
Design/direction: Eduardo Delgado Orusco
Team: Javier Rincón Sánchez

Located southeast of the Bay of Almeria, the San Miguel Tower shares its name with the nearest town, San Miguel de Cabo de Gata.

However, the tower was designed linked to the landscape, as an element of protection of the settlement of La Almadraba de Monteleva and its salt mines.

Even today it retains its recognizable and exempt profile, and our proposal works in the line of maintenance and empowerment of this presence. Indeed, the successive actions of plaster, walled and nearby buildings of no equity value, together with the generalization of the use of the car, has caused a "dirty" of its image, in this case it is still possible to recover.

Specifically, we propose a cleaning action -constructive, environmental and landscape- that recovers its original value. The excitement of the exempt and clean piece, whose construction evokes other defensive constructions - even previous ones - and that were characterized by their stony and inaccessible character: the stone canvases that should be repeated and brought to light, the minimum gaps that function as eyes of the together, its crenellated profile eroded nonetheless through time.


Thus, our proposal is based fundamentally on an alteration of the floor plan that serves, both for the removal of the wall, which has nevertheless served to protect the heritage value of the tower from possible vandalism attacks, as well as to conceal a level lower the proposed new building while containing the vehicles that the new use of municipal tourism office will attract.

Likewise, this operation will generate a cleanup area around the tower, given the real impossibility of building around it, moving away from the possibility of the environmental "fouling" referred to above.
The proposed excavation would have a depth of only one and a half meters, what is necessary to hide the height of the vehicles. Also in this way, most people will still be able to maintain the horizon vision on the outside, avoiding the burial sensation that this action could give rise to. This also minimizes the movement of land and, with it, the cost associated with the operation.

The shape of the excavation is the maximum circle that can be inscribed in the terrain associated with the tower, and that has a radius of 24 meters. This measure allows to accommodate a car park, and a differentiated pedestrian movement scope, although it is foreseeably at the same level to facilitate the occasional movements of vehicles.

Inside the tower, technical-lighting, computerization, audiovisual, etc. -activities are always easily reversible and they coexist well - in a differentiated way - with the original elements: the brick vaults and the stone factories that, as in the outside, it is proposed to discover and leave in sight previous protection treatment.