Andalusia - a tour to Granada, Córdoba, Sevilla and Málaga
The national tourism office of Span (spain.info) starts a text about Andalusia with:
“This is a land of culture, history, fiestas, nature areas and excellent food. You’ll be able to visit everything from outstanding monuments to a wide variety of different natural landscapes… and you'll have the chance to take part in several unique popular events and sample a range of delicious gastronomic products”.
Indeed, Andalusia is known for flamenco, paella, beaches, Picasso, the Alhambra in Granada, the Great Mosque in Córdoba, Sevilla’s historic city, the white villages, etc. Very few people go to Andalusia for modern architecture in their city trips. And Andalusia has very fine modern buildings and cityscapes. A number of places worth visiting are pictured below. This is far from a complete list; places like Jerez de la Frontera, Jaén, Almería and Huelva are not mentioned, and also projects in rural areas are lacking. And even in places visited we make a selection.
We made an Andalucian tour (click on the map to enlarge); first to Granada, then to Córdoba with a stop in Jaén, then on to Sevilla and we ended with a few days in Málaga. The route is beautiful with olive trees as far as they eye reach on the roads to Granada and Córdoba, and hills from Granada to Sevilla and further to Málaga. As often, the provincial roads offer better views than the highways. Some very nice and enjoyable architecture is pictured below.
Granada - Parque de Sciencias (Science Centre)
In Granada, two places of modern architecture are worth a visit: Parque de Sciencias (Science Centre) and its neighbour Centro Cultural CajaGranada Memoria.
Parque de Sciencias is a big (70.000 sq.m) space with all functions that can be expected from a science park. During weekdays, schools from the region organise visits for their students. The park has seven halls with permanent expositions, temporary exhibitions, a digital planetarium, a library, a conference room, a viewing tower, etc. The latest enlargement of the park was in 2003. Pictures with an overview of the architecture are given by Architecturaviva (click here).
The science park is a very pleasant architecture, both the park and the building. In the building the visitor keeps an overview and sense of direction. The walls are closed but daylight comes in through windows in the roof. The exterior is a nice design, with all sort of objects and a viewing tower.
Museo Memoria de Andalucía
Located next to Parque de Sciencias is the cultural centre Museo Memoria de Andalucía and the Exposition Hall. They are centres of the foundation CajaGranada. According to the CajaGranada foundation, the magazine National Geographic included Museo Memoria de Andalucía in a list of 10 museums in the world with 'spectacular architecture'. That is a matter of interpretation; how spectacular, special, different, appealing is the architecture of this museum. It is not in our top 10, but it is different, and worth a visit when you are in Granada or do the Andalusia modern architecture route.
Once a month an architectural guided tour is organised.
CA3 is the short name for Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía. The focus of C3A is on production, creation and experimentation. CA3 wants to show to the public the creative process and its outcome, not just finished works. There are audiovisual labs and creation workshops, a reading room and exhibitions spaces, and public space for for example concerts. Workshops for professionals and courses for the general public are offered.
The exterior of the building has references to the city of Cordobá and its Hispano-Islamic past. The interior has a hexagonal geometric pattern that allow natural light into the workshops and galleries. The centre has a 100 m. wide media wall (behind the wall with its hexagonal holes), and projections start after sunset. CA3 has a big open space - a garden with art and orange trees.
In the centre, tourists stand in a queue for a visit to the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (a wonderful UNESCO heritage place), and the old part of the town. Very few cross the bridge to visit CA3. That is good news for a relaxed modern architecture experience.
Click to enlarge
Two other places in Cordoba may be mentioned. Ciudad de la Justicia de Córdoba (first and second picture below) which is unfortunately not accessible to the general public - only those who have a meeting with the legal system can enter. Second is the modern church Parroquia Nuestra Señora de la Consolación (third picture, close to Ciudad de Justicia), and that is also interesting because it reminds of the Centro Cultural CajaGranada Memoria de Andalucía in Granada (above).