CONSIDERATIONS ON THE JOINT RECOVERY OF THE MONUMENT AND ITS ENVIRONMENT: THE TOWN WALLS OF ALBARRACÍN (SPAIN)
The city walls of Albarracín (Teruel) show an exemplary trajectory of restoration and conservation works, thanks to a fifty year-long trajectory of interventions carried out by different architects. The last of these projects, promoted by the City Council and driven by Fundación Santa María de Albarracín, was drafted in 2019 and involved the restoration of the southern end of the wall. For the first time, this project has addressed the recovery of the monument and its surroundings in a joint effort that bets on a global vision for the city’s public space system. The keys to this binomial are based on the following premises: a well-coordinated monument-environment relationship, the emphasis on a conservative approach to the restoration works, the promotion of public use and the dignification of the space in a coherent way with its context. The joint treatment of the building and its environment goes far beyond an aesthetic or functional issue – which may have been achieved through independent projects – and verifies the criteria adopted for both dimensions of the project: minimal intervention, distinguishability, preservation of the authenticity, reversibility, compatibility, character, readability and sustainability. In general, this approach reduces the risks of unilateral, partial or limiting visions ending in the loss of heritage value and embraces the understanding of the immediate environment as an inseparable extension of the monument itself.