Archaeological site in Daroca

Daroca, Zaragoza, Aragón.
Special mention / Diploma in the category Conservation in the year 2014.

Dating of the building: 1st - 21st century.

Applicant: Sergio Sebastián Franco.

Reason for the award :

For the integration of the archaeological findings, with remains dating back to the 1st century, adapting it to the new institutional uses, with exemplary respect for its historical value.

The discovery of some archaeological remains during the construction of the Town Hall allowed for the dating of the foundation of Daroca to Celtiberian times and helped the realization of a project that integrates the archaeological findings with the new institutional building and the surrounding urban spaces.

The remains found in the urban area of ​​Daroca in 2002 were of such importance that they determined the dating of the foundation of the city 9 centuries before its Islamic origin, situating it in the Celtiberian period, circa 1st century AD. It was, therefore, the most complete stratigraphic sequence in the municipality, made up of two Celtiberian silos from the 1st century, a significant section of Roman road from the Flavian period, three Islamic dwellings from the 10th century, and five arches that possibly belonged to the Almudí Palace, a late medieval construction.

Given the relevance of the find, a brainstorming competition was organized to harmonize the relationship between the initial need for a parking area and the presence of the archaeological findings that could become an option for local private developers. The winning project was to create a new urban space, understood as an overlap of layers belonging to different stages throughout 2,000 years of history, where the balance between the importance of each of them would prevail.

The work carried out was concerned with establishing a fluid dialogue between the new institutional uses of the place and the historical structures for which a multi-level space was generated. Thus, in the area between the arches, there is a meeting room, while the first level and the lower level, respectively, house a conference room and a small museum with the valuable archaeological remains found during the excavation. These are shown to passers-by, through a glass, as in a museum open to the street, where the roof is conceived as the main façade of the building, in continuity with the nearby streets. The intervention is completed with the design of urban furniture created expressly for the place and a set of accent lighting that reproduce the shape of the archaeological remains found in the basement, and that, in different colours, express the four archaeological layers: Celtiberian, Roman, Medieval, and Islamic.

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