I don't understand...

I don't understand...

Monteagudo Museum

A hill, a parasite... and an author who tries to understand all of this...

“It has a certain oriental touch”, I think at the first glance and proceed to comparing the pictures with Indian jalis, which confirms my impression. The shell of the building appears like a reinterpretation of Mughal architecture. Ornaments cut into Corten steel panels and a latticework of the same material. “Like the science-fiction version of the Agra Fort”, I fantasize rather a little farfetched, then I start reading the project description, which will prove the former peg to be untenable. I have to realize that my interpretation of the project is not at all in accordance with the intention of the architects. For what Amann-Cánovas-Maruri attribute to the Monteagudo Museum is not very flattering and is rather part of the field of zoology. They call it a “parasite”! And I am still trying to understand why.

Historical Hill

The Monteagudo Museum in Spanish Murcia is situated in a, historically speaking, interesting context. For its location, the Monteagudo Hill, shows both architectural remains of an early agrarian culture, and structures from the Roman age as well as from the Arab conquest. Furthermore, the shrine of San Cayetano from the 18th century is also found here. And what does this museum do? It lies on the hill like a parasite, sucking its blood! At least according to the architects. Aha.

High-contrast Parasite of the first Phase

The museum is only the first phase of a project whose main goal is to restore the castle of Monteagudo, also located on the hill. In its cubage, it picks up on the topography of the hill, reminding of a heavily battered horseshoe. Whereas most of it consists of concrete, the Corten steel shell and latticework are supported by a framework of steel beams.

The raw, earthy outward appearance of concrete and Corten steel is, surprisingly, contrasted by very smooth surfaces and partly very vivid colours in the interior. Besides plastic floorings of a bright green and red, there are also white and brown walls and ceilings. But most impressive are those parts where the Corten steel claddings and the plastic floorings directly oppose each other.


I still don't get it. How did the architects get to this parasite analogy? Is it maybe because it extends over the hill like a fungus? But the latter would not suck blood. I even viewed pictures of parasites to check if the façade would perhaps resemble the skin of such. But all that I found out was that, despite all the years of watching TV and surfing the internet, there are still some sights that can actually turn my stomach. So I once more read the description, find “As a parasite, getting camouflaged in colors and shapes (...)”, and just think to myself: “What do I care...” Nevertheless, it's well-done.

Project details


Completion: 2010


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