Teresa Rodríguez-Gimeno, third-year student of Architecture at IE University, has participated in a symposium in Venice. There she presented a project that was selected in the contest studioplex.org.

Martha Thorne, Associate Dean for External Relations of IE School of Architecture, Art and Design, and José María Churtichaga, Degree program director, were there giving support to Teresa. This event hosted a live discussion of selected work displayed on http://www.studioplex.org/. Students from around the globe presented their design proposals and discussed research topics with world-renowned architects and educators. 

Here is Teresa’s project:

Segovia´s Plaza Mayor is the city´s face to the world. It is picturesque and well-kept, but in its midst one can find a building that has been abandoned for 20 years, ignored by all as they walk past it heading for the imposing cathedral. A gate marks the limit between the present and the past, access to the Hotel Victoria. The first part of the project consisted of a mapping this gate and analyzing the changes it has suffered due to the passage of time. Rust and dirt now cover it, and an array of wasted objects cover the floor of the hall of entry. Hotel Victoria is a static container of history, for 20 years its architecture has been empty of stories, but has been the perfect showcase for the traces left on our urban environments by abandonment and the passage of time.

No program was pre-defined, therefore, the ideas of memory and senses indicated a direction. That direction was to create a whisky distillery, that would be accompanied by a visitors’ center and a tasting bar. I explored many different aspects of whisky, from the production phase to the tasting phase. I visited a nearby distillery, and the tasting experience took place in a bar with a group of friends. All this allowed me to understand the processes involved, from the most practical to the most psychological, and consequently apply them to my design. After several design iterations I arrived at a building that consisted of two different systems, the production space and the visitors’ space. The systems were given coherence within the pre-existing building. They could be differentiated by the cladding materials- copper reminiscence of the still- for the production areas and recycled wood from whisky barrels for the cladding of the visitors’ center.”


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