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PRESENTATION « Fortified Places Sevilla




General objective.

Continue and increase the academic exchange already established among the following European schools of architecture: Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura (Universidad de Sevilla), Facoltà di Architettura (Università IUAV di Venezia), École National d’Architecture Paris-Malaquais and Faculdade de Arquitectura (Universidade da Évora).


Specific objectives.

-Extend the consciousness of the historical significance of the fortified places in Europe, providing the students with the disciplinary tools that are requested in order to preserve and renew these places.

-Insert the obsolete fortified places in its social, political, cultural and productive context, proposing its recuperation for new and contemporary uses (mainly sustainable tourism and cultural activities).

-Define an architectural proposal that will insert and connect the fortified places, not only with its urban surroundings, but also with the defensive territorial system of which they are part.

-Train the students in a transdisciplinary approach to the architectural project. In addition to the specific tools of the disciplines of architecture and urban planning; the contents, research process and proposal of intervention will be nurtured by several other sources: landscaping, urban history, geography, photography, etc.

-Train the students in the research techniques needed in the documentation and analyze phases previous to the project. Given the scarcity of time, the teachers will provide them with the necessary historical documentation (written and graphic). Their work will focus on its interpretation and application to the design process. The use of drawing and photography will be encouraged in this task.



This workshop continues the activities and methodology already tested in the first edition of the “Fortified Places” workshop, celebrated in Venice from April 13th to 27th, 2012. In that edition, the selected study cases consisted in two fortified compounds located in islets of the Venetian lagoon.

This second edition will focus on the case of Cádiz. From the Middle Age to the 20th century, several types of defensive architecture have been displayed in the stretch of the Atlantic coast existing between the Guadalquivir river mouth and the strait of Gibraltar. This strategic enclave, that separates Europe from Africa, became especially important in the 16th century, when Seville was officially declared as entrance harbor of all the merchandises coming from the colonial America. This function was transferred to Cádiz in 1717, forcing the militaries to expand the fortified places from the river mouth to the whole coastal line. The most important one were concentrated in the bay where the city is located.

Many architects and engineers, experts in military constructions and mainly coming from Italy, were invited to design and build every kind of fortified architectural typologies. Many of them were observatory towers built to visually control the ocean. These small structures conform an interesting network along the coast. An arsenal was also built inside the bay. Its functions were the construction and repair of ships, as well as the storage of weapons. Associated to the arsenal, a large number of batteries, docks and piers were also built.

Three of these places have been selected for the workshop:

1. Fuerte de Cortadura.

2. Castillo de Santa Catalina.

3. Castillo de San Sebastián.