Final project-thesis: A children hostel in the Spanish Pyrenees, by the Llauset lake-water reservoir in the high Aragon district, influenced by the local historical architecture, Bruno Taut’s work, built modern mountain refuges and children dreams and imagination
The building is placed in a remote valley in the Spanish Pyrenees, half flooded by the Llauset water reservoir, placed in the Aragonese former County of Ribagorza and close to the Dales of Aran and Boi, within the province of Lleida, and it is one of the many picturesque locations interconnected by the GR11 route, a mountain hiking route that runs by the mountain chain from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea The valley can only be acceded through a tunnel drilled in the mountain granite rock during the construction of the water reservoir’s dam. The environment resulting from the combination between the majestic nature of the high Pyrenees and a very fortunate human intervention produces a superb scenography, a landscape of rock peaks and natural spires and waterfalls that cascade down from glacial lagoons to the greater levee, making it a perfect place to build a child hostel The project is addressed from three different aspects: firstly, the site, its landscape and its natural landmarks, and also its vernacular and historic architecture; secondly, the built architecture: the mountain refuges built in this last two centuries and, finally, Bruno Taut’s theorized Alpine Architektur. All of these ideas are intertwined by the concepts of “tower”-present both in the historical local architecture and in Taut’s work- and crystalline, glass-like shapes-which both Taut and the built refuges seem to tend to.
A fourth condition superimposes to these three: the user’s cultural conditioning-primarily children- formed by a fantastic imaginary, which is reflected in the building’s complex, varied-sometimes even windy- interior rooms, creating memorable places such as the ever unpredictable, inter-crossing, inter-connecting staircase and the “secret tour” a series of hidden rooms, passages and stairways, created so the children find the different parts of it room after room; also, the dormitories have been shaped as amphitheatres so they become places of leisure and playing.