La Hoya Park
Heritage, landscape, city.
La Hoya is a historic urban landscape with a unique concave shape defined not only by its topography, but also by the presence of monumental defensive architectures—the Alcazaba, the Jayrán walls and the fortress of San Cristóbal, by a large earthen dike and by the traces and material remains of ancient agricultural activities. The proposal reveals the landscape values that are inherent to this unique setting, incorporating its heritage features, in an effort to integrate territory, park and city.
The competition entry outlined a phased intervention to address the original brief, which, besides the park, included a visitor center and the need to connect the space with the Alcazaba by mechanical means. The visitor center was integrated into the dike, serving as connector between different levels and areas. The gradual appearance of a large public square articulated this area with the urban tissue of the historic center of Almería, respecting the history of a small neighborhood the disappearance of which was foreseen by the city’s master plan.
Today, the project focuses on the landscape restoration of the space of La Hoya itself, and its transformation into an urban park in accordance to this arid Mediterranean climatic context. To achieve this, each slope and the base are approached specifically—due to their different orientations and uses throughout history—in order to be able to narrate the complexity that the passing of time has contributed to the place and incorporate it into the park, all while maintaining the perceptive unity of the space. The interventions range from the vegetal regeneration of the slope of the Alcazaba, to the recovery of the agricultural terraces of the slope of San Cristóbal as well as their irrigation system, to the planting of a blanket of vegetation on the base that can incorporate the most relevant archaeological remains found there. All of this overlaid by a network of paths and spaces for different uses by the citizenry.