TS&JT Architecture & Design

Santa Cruz de la Palma

Museum and public square, competition 2020

This project for a Naval museum and public square is one which balances the collective and the individual experience, the quotidian and the exceptional, the idealised and the realisable. It represents a conversation between classical order and contemporary conditions; the need for significant change at Plaza de San Fernando and the augmentation of the built heritage of La Palma and the city’s narrative.

A simple urban plan provides defined urban space and decorum for the Holy Week and Bajada celebrations, and a robust but elegant new seafront promenade.The museum and housing we propose for the east and north of the square create a stage of festivity in the theatre-like topography and promote a dialogue between Barco and Castillo and.
The museum provides restrained and well-proportioned rooms for exhibition and public gathering, and intimate rooms for visiting researchers to study quietly while the citizens of the town use other parts of the building to meet for coffee; the exceptional coexists happily with the quotidien.

The symmetry of the principle façade enables this relatively modest civic building to anchor the whole urban design. On entering through the central passageway the horizon over the sea can be seen through the sheltered courtyard and the open loggia beyond.

Good, thick walls of load-bearing masonry are finished in render and basalt stone in the manner typical of La Palma. The entrance bays project slightly, and feature a stone flagpole base and the inner courtyard features an arched Doric order with a giant Ionic above, giving plenty of light to the exhibition spaces within. Further local details are integrated into the proposed housing to the North of the site, with multi-storied wooden balconies.

This dialogue between the traditional and the classical is not one of nostalgia, but a foundational armature for a sustainable and robust architecture of the future.

  • Museum entrance.

  • Museum ground floor plan.

  • Museum first floor plan.

  • Museum second floor plan.

  • Museum detailed cutaway.

  • View from museum across square.

  • Museum square elevation.

  • Museum sea elevation.

  • View across square to museum.

  • Museum end elevation.

  • Museum end elevation.

  • Museum cross section.

  • Site overviewn.

  • Housing street elevation.

  • Housing ground floor plan.

  • Housing typical upper floor plan.

  • Housing sea elevation.

  • Housing garden elevation.