spanish architectural practice fuses-viader architects deals with the complexity of the 19th-century architecture by redesigning and extending sant julia’s fortress in girona. taking advantage of the existing structure — its thick walls buried underground — the project features a contemporary arts center accompanied by a hotel, restaurants and educational areas.

images by jordi mas



comprising a set of units, the fortress is built on several levels formed by stone walls and vaults, which are mostly underground and are connected by corridors running through the mountain. thus, the museum is arranged on the lower level, while the hotel is placed at the top, the stronghold zone, where explosives used to be stored. 

museum-level square
image by varlos suárez-kilzi



a 7,5-meters high auditorium, which is an oval in section, is cast with natural soil formwork and located in the center of the set. the huge space-like room features a metal-covered floor and is illuminated through a round skylight in the middle of the ceiling.

the auditorium
image by jordi mas



combining restoration and construction, fuses-viader’s project incorporates two design solutions: the renovated existing buildings maintain the austere spirit of the strong and secure fortress and are covered with green roofs, providing a unique system of passive cooling. meanwhile, the new structures complement them with the lightness of glazed façades and corten steel on the top. 

image by josep m. torra


image by carlos suárez-kilzi


corridor interconnecting exhibition spaces
image by carlos suárez-kilzi


image by carlos suárez-kilzi


image by carlos suárez-kilzi


image by carlos suárez-kilzi


image by carlos suárez-kilzi


image by carlos suárez-kilzi


views towards the hotel courtyard
image by carlos suárez-kilzi


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news