PRÁCTICA: Refurbishing the Monument to the Fallen

PRÁCTICA Does It Again

February 2019

PRÁCTICA’s proposal for the refurbishment of the Monument to the Fallen in Pamplona, Spain, into a new City Hall building has been shortlisted for the second phase of the international competition. It will be presented in public on February 19th as part of a participatory process aimed to involve the local population in the final decision about the future of this public space.

Technical facts:

Architecture: PRÁCTICA

Architects in charge: Jaime Daroca, José Mayoral y José Ramón Sierra

Location: Plaza de la Libertad, Pamplona, Spain

Competition year: 2018-2019

Area: 16.796 m2

Other participants:

Collaborators: Teresa Celaya and Alonso Rosa

Renderings: Martín Azcárate and Kelvin Ho

Design description:

This project for a civic center in Pamplona is triggered by the conviction that the monument on Plaza de la Libertad should not be demolished. Our cities are active witnesses of the different stages of our rich history. As such, they should be understood as a superposition of diverse layers representing the imprint of all different regimes, milestones and events in our society. Consequently, we should not aim to erase the historic layers that don’t match our most present values. We should learn from them in the most productive manner in order to serve today’s society as a whole.

This poses the intellectual challenge of how to re-appropriate a monument built during a totalitarian regime, in order to serve the entire collective of a new, united and democratic Pamplona. How should we lay a new historic layer to the historical palimpsest of Plaza de la Libertad?

In response to this dilemma, the project proposes the refurbishment of the complex into a new civic center in Pamplona with cultural and administrative uses. Far from demolishing it, the building is liberated from its totalitarian connotations in order to make it represent the entire collective of the city’s inhabitants.

The project takes advantage of the site’s ideal location between the areas of Segundo Ensanche and Lezkairu in order to generate a new pole of civic activity in the geographic center of the expanding city. Architectural barriers are removed, and a new square is proposed to host all kinds of public initiatives, such as demonstrations, markets, fairs or concerts. This allows for an inclusive and participative way of understanding Pamplona’s public realm.