Lithica – Quarry of s’Hostal, from a forgotten landscape to a living heritage

Ciudadela de Menorca, Menorca island, Islas Baleares.

Dating of the building: 18th - 20th century.

Applicant: Laetitia Sauleau Lara, president of the Líthica Foundation - Pedreres de s’Hostal.

Reason for the award :

The jury appreciated how this project is an example that the industry can create spaces and forms, which cannot be found in other types of architecture.

The most recent projects have been the creation of a large mineral labyrinth and another of aromatic plants in 2014, as well as adapting in 2018 an interior path system of the Labyrinth of the Vergeles.

For centuries the s’Hostal quarries supplied ashlars of marés (calcarenite stone) for the traditional architecture of the island of Menorca. The intensive use of the quarry generated 5 hectares of a sculpted landscape, spaces excavated in the rustic terrain of the island.

After the quarry closed in 1994, the Lithica foundation, created by Laetitia Sauleau Lara, initiated and developed a long-term sustainable rehabilitation and restoration plan to transform the mine into a living space for environmental, artistic, and cultural activities. Within the framework of this plan, cleaning and debris were cleared, a road system designed, and security walls and essential infrastructures built. To improve accessibility and interpretation, an information and services pavilion was additionally built. Visitors to the centre can now immerse themselves in this unique landscape, wandering through the various paths and gardens repopulated with fruit trees and native plants.

Others awards in Islas Baleares: