Monastery of St. Pedro Regalado | La Aguilera Spain | Reset Arquitectura & Land Lab

The monastery of La Aguilera responds to the settlement of a community of religious sisters Clarisas from the neighbouring town of Lerma in an old Franciscan establishment who’s origins go back to the 15th century.

The great sensibility of the religious sisters, proven by their dedication to the pilgrims, led to the need of making the original monastery grow with some new buildings. One of them is the church, which its interior design is according with the celebration of a clearly post- council liturgy and also with its meeting place function since will welcome the pilgrims. The complex also contains buildings with visiting rooms, thought as meeting points, and a specific area for the training of the Community, inside the Cloister.
The geometry of the complex is based on the idea of the raindrops, being understood as a metaphor and phenomenon of the relationship between the sky and the earth. The buildings colonize the land in an apparently random way, creating an open and somehow surprising landscape that efficiently contrasts with the previous order.

Water, trees, old agricultural constructions, etceteras, have been preserved and considered in order to configure the exterior zones where the pilgrims should be guided to, such as the accommodation area and the previous spaces to the church and the visiting rooms, the recreation zones inside the cloister and the woods. The intention has been to work with the forces of nature only acting when needed.

One of the requests made by the community of religious sisters was an alternative to the usual separation between them and the pilgrims consisting of a traditional metal rood screen. Our response was inspired in the act of walking as the characteristic of a pilgrimage. In this simple gesture one has one foot stable on the ground while the other adopts the necessary angle to initiate an advancing movement.

Surrounding this main space are the presbytery, an area of confessionals for the pilgrims a sacristy and a choir at the foot of the church by the entrance, which are organized in a peripheral manner. The location of the sacristy allows the celebration to come forth from the back of the assembly of the devotees and not from the presbytery as is common in many current churches, avoiding the sensation that one is accessing from the backstage of a theatre.

In our treatment of exterior spaces we tried to reconcile the pre-existing presences -presence of water, trees, agriculture uses, etcetera- with the necessary uses: welcoming of pilgrims and spaces before the church and visiting rooms; areas of leisure within the cloister and grove. Our intention was to propose an alliance with natural forces and intervene as little as possible proposing an environment of low maintenance but useful to ease any harshness of our intervention.

Monastery of St. Pedro Regalado | La Aguilera Spain |  Reset Arquitectura & Land Lab

Location | Aranda de Duero. Burgos. Spain

Design firm | Reset Arquitectura & Land Lab, laboratorio de paisajes

Year | 2008-2013

IMAGE CREDIT Reset Arquitectura & Land Lab, laboratorio de paisajes

About Damian Holmes 5735 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at