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Mollino de Sollo : a Sturgeon Hatchery

Part 2 Project 2013
Barnaby Ghaui
Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture | UK
Mollino de Sollo proposes an architectural landscape that seeks to reconnect the ancient heart of Córdoba with the Guadalquivir, the river that forms its aqueous southern boundary. A cluster of islands, now a natural monument, occupy the passage of this watercourse whose flow once formed the political, economic and social connection to the Bay of Cadiz and the oceans of the world.

The proposals have emerged from a complex series of representations – both modelled and drawn – that have sought to merge a reading of the layered history of the city of Córdoba with the shifting landscape of silt, scree and melt-water. This creative practice has blurred the boundaries of research and proposition, allowing the rich material and spatial language of analytical drawings and constructs to influence and inform the tectonic character of the new architecture.

The ruins of the Islamic Mills of Albolofia have, historically, played a passive role in maintaining the island territories downstream. Their stone forms channel the waters eroding the riverbed and depositing pebbles into eddies. The proposals for the Mollino de Sollo draw from this ecology through the introduction of a constellation of strategically placed fins that deflect the river – eroding the existing fabric - while acting as anchor points that seed new islands for flora and fauna to colonize.

The resultant flow-lines and deposition voids describe a landscape from which a proposal for a sturgeon hatchery has emerged. The sturgeon, once a staple of Córdoban cuisine, has been farmed successfully in Rio-Frio. The new hatchery operates as a focal point, taking its place amongst the ruined Moorish mills. Like these mills, the architecture of the hatchery surrenders the spaces of its robust lower footings to the waters the Guadalquivir when in spate. During this seasonal condition, lighter programmatic elements are retracted - by means of a choreography of counterweights - into husk-like lofts where they nestle until the waters subside.

The hatchery becomes a catalyst for a series of pools within the grounds of the neighbouring Alcazar that act as both an extension to the palace’s pleasure gardens and a sustainable agriculture of fisheries.

Barnaby Ghaui


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