priests residence
(Cáceres, ES)
Obispado de Plasencia
4055m² built area + 1207m² landscaping
2000 to 2004
Miguel de Guzmán, Andrés Jaque
  • Contractor: Grupo empresarial Magenta S.A.
María-Solange Faría, Raquel Limeres, Henar Molinero, Ana de Miguel

The clerical population in Europe has experienced an aging process that makes difficult the maintenance of an individualised geriatric attention model. The concentration of welfare services in specific retirement homes demands from the priests both a reconstruction of their relationship with the territory and a redefinition of their insertion in a community.

The building works as a device that articulates this transformation: not only the transition from a rural and extensive environment to a compact and urban one, but also the shift from an existence marked by an individual representation, to a community life, with mingled roles and smaller hierarchy. These transitions are eased by the display of a series of:

1:: Transferences: the synthesis and concentration of binding elements with the landscape (cutouts from ecosystems: cork oaks meadow and a pool, valley of cherry trees, gardens of lemon trees; memory objects: banks, books, tents, clouds, lamps, chimneys…) through low-tech devices.

2:: Invitations to participation: elements that stimulate the response of the inhabitants and encourage associations. The chapel is a transformable space, open to reconfiguration of the users, while the sacristy is not a closed and opaque room, but a sort of ‘diluted’ series of self service cupboards.

Part of the garden in divided to promote recreational cultivation. Also there are elements where personal decision is possible: Garden lights with their own switch, clusters of birdcages, movable bonfire-lamps, light boxes for internal announcements, blackboard court… are also elements where personal decision is triggered.