Pre-industrial buildings in Ademuz/Sesga

Sesga (Ademuz), Valencia, Comunidad Valenciana.
Grand Prix, Medal/Award in the category Conservation in the year 2011.

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

Applicant: Fernando Vegas López-Manzanares and Camilla Mileto.

Reason for the award :

For the effort made to enhance, restore and maintain this set of pre-industrial buildings, abandoned until now, in the town of Ademuz and the neighbouring village of Sesga, as well as for its integration into the landscape.

The restoration process has been the object of a rigorous study and meticulous methodology to recover both the buildings and their interior, evoking the memory of the old trades and workshops that they housed.

Traditional activities in rural areas have often generated an architecture, which in the case of the area of ​​the Valencian Community, is known as the pre-industrial architecture of Rincón de Ademuz. The school-furnace-barber shop in the village of Sesga constitutes an exceptional building not only for its multifunctional character but also for its efficient social use and intelligent use of fire. The hydraulic infrastructure formed by the fountain, trough, sink, and overflow reflects the wisdom and use of water in the past. The José el Maroto wine press is a three-story building with access from two levels that contains all the necessary elements for the production and storage of wine. The Sesga factory, with its kneading cistern and warehouse, is one of the best-preserved buildings related to the vernacular production of ceramics. As in the case of the press, not only the building is preserved, but also the tools used in this trade. The Ademuz weaving was initially supposed to be very similar, but it has come down in worse condition to our day. Sesga’s furnaces are stone cylinders filled with aljez for the production of gypsum. The plaster, together with the clay, is the only mortar used in the area, hence the importance of these ovens.

The objective of the project was to restore, value, and disseminate the existence of this pre-industrial vernacular architecture as a hallmark of these towns. At the same time, these restorations have tried to show what life was like then and how much knowledge is hidden behind the manual and artisan character of these buildings. In other words, it has been a matter of rediscovering vernacular technology as the basis of modern civilization. Each year, the area was visited to select pre-industrial buildings in need of restoration. After the approval of the proposal by the Revitalization Plan, a survey and exhaustive preliminary study of the building was carried out, which included the registration of the knowledge of the inhabitants of the place about the construction and its use. The process was similar in all cases: the furniture and objects were catalogued and listed, they were stored in a safe place; restoration work was carried out respecting the history, materials, character, and patina of the building, and the furniture and objects were returned to their original place.

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