Architecture and enhancement of the historic-artistic complex

Tatiana Bilbao, a renowned Mexican architect, leads the architectural project of Collegium. The proposal aims, as far as possible, to search for a new concept of museum institution in open dialogue with its physical and cultural environment.  

The architect, after an exhaustive research, bases her project on official writings that describe events related to the spatial distribution of the Jesuit complex of Arevalo during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, in which the floor plan of the old Royal College of the Holy Spirit of the Society of Jesus in Salamanca is mentioned as analogous, which helps to visualize the original approach that the college had in its time of greatest splendor and thus develop hypotheses about its functionality. In them, the body of the church and the college are related to each other through a central cloister, an element that rescues and enhances the conceptual architectural proposal in a contemporary way.

The objective is to consolidate the historic buildings, linking them by means of new smaller scale volumes to recover their habitability, without suffering significant modifications to their original state. The new constructions will be integrated into the existing buildings, looking towards history and bringing it closer to the present day.

In the studies carried out in the vicinity of the buildings, archaeological remains of the old Jesuit cloister were found, which, through the excavation and opening of the public space, will be enhanced by occupying a central position on the site, fragmenting the image of the complex. Its initial appearance will have a strong presence, just as its historical role will become an inexorable memory.

With a surface area of almost 15,000m², including 5600m² of exhibition space, the development of links with the region is launched from (i) the Curatorial Program comprising a 21st century artistic research center, restaurant, artistic residencies, conferences and courses; and (ii) the Extended Experience, which will include cultural and architectural tours through the history of Arevalo, reviewing the interaction between Muslim, Christian and Jewish culture, as well as a gastronomic ecosystem.

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