A panel of renowned architects recently awarded winners in the 15th annual Tile of Spain Awards, presented by ASCER. The first place award in the Architecture category was presented to ‘Two Homes in Oropesa” (Toledo, Spain) by Paredes Pedrosa Architects.
The town of Oropesa, at the foot of the Sierra de Gredos mountain range in the province of Toledo Spain, is renowned for its ceramics and for its castle. Built in 1402, the castle features a remarkable yet unfinished overhead connection with the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción and stands on a series of arches and walls that cross the town, with houses slotted in between.
In the case of this Tile of Spain Awards project, ceramic tiles are more than just a material used as a covering or finish: here they have the ability to heal the damage wrought on the historic walls of the various constructions comprising two small homes. At the same time the ceramic tiles project a unique image that envelops the new courtyard created to accent the spaces and provide a setting for the ancient arches.
This site started off with three small highly compartmentalized houses in ruins. They shared two courtyards hidden behind a facade that has remained unaltered over time, and crossed by large brick arches.
Inside, the houses lacked a sufficient amount of windows to provide the necessary ventilation and light for the space. In order to preserve the facades, the design included a long, narrow inner courtyard, creating a longitudinal opening. The courtyard marks a division and sense of order for the two unequally sized homes.
The far end of the courtyard boasts a new view of the church tower, creating a landscape effect as well as creating a sense of order and providing the project with natural light. Both homes open up onto the central courtyard that preserves the ancient walls featuring Toledo’s traditional brick layout. One of the homes also features a small private courtyard.
The courtyard walls, which were severely damaged at the base, were repaired with a superimposed skirting of ceramic tiles. Tiles were also used as the sole material for the courtyard floor. They were arranged in a grid pattern to reinforce their use as a floor covering and create a contrast with the layout of the brick walls.
The competition for the Tile of Spain Awards of Architecture and Interior Design is organized and promoted by ASCER, the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association. The prizes aim to improve awareness and understanding of ceramic tiles made in Spain among architects and interior designers and promote their use by these professionals. Entries must make significant use of Spanish ceramic floor and/or wall tiles in the formal part of the building. Honorable Mentions and Winners are awarded in Architecture and Interior design categories. For more information visit, http://tileofspainawards.com/.