El paisaje interpretado.La conciencia paisajística en Granada a través del proyecto arquitectónico

  1. Rodríguez Iturriaga, Marta
Supervised by:
  1. Juan Antonio Calatrava Escobar Director

Defence university: Universidad de Granada

Fecha de defensa: 19 July 2022

  1. Pilar Chías Navarro Chair
  2. Juan Manuel Barrios Rozúa Secretary
  3. Annalisa Dameri Committee member
  4. Francisco Javier Boned Purkiss Committee member
  5. Alejandro Muñoz Miranda Committee member

Type: Thesis


The conceptualisation of the landscape as a cultural interpretation of the lived territory (Council of Europe, 2000) has come to move beyond its traditional understanding, limited to the artistic-aesthetic dimension, to draw attention to the experience of the environment and its cultural connotations. This perspective allows extending the study of the landscape to unexceptional territories and to societies alien or little inclined to the “artialisation” of the environment, always provided that collective unitary interpretations of that site are detected. This study uses the definition of “landscape” provided by the Council of Europe and assumes that architecture is one of the fundamental influencing factors in the experience of the environment as a landscape, especially in the urban environment. Understanding the city as a landscape seems advantageous to achieve a more integrated vision of the entire urban phenomenon in cultural terms. At the same time, this hypothesis places architecture as a reliable record of the evolution of landscape awareness in a given site, that is, of the changing interpretation and valuation of the environment by its inhabitants and of the relations consequently established with it. Everything indicates that the analysis of the experience of the environment associated with architecture can provide keys to deciphering the historical and recent evolution of urban landscapes. The thesis takes the city of Granada as a study area and explores the interrelations between landscape awareness and architectural practice in three “windows” or specific historical episodes through a sample of their most representative architectural production. The “windows” examined are Nasrid Granada (1238-1492), Christianised Granada (1492-1667) and contemporary Granada (1900-2020). In them, approaches to the landscape shared by relevant groupings of architectural works are individualised, exemplified with case studies. The analysis of the selected works employs a mixed methodology, based on a literature and documentary review, experiential record and graphic interpretation. The study distils central aspects of the connections between architectural practice, reading and experience of the environment during the three episodes considered, in the conceptual, spatial, material or perceptual planes. The juxtaposition of these three “windows” to the local urban history makes it possible to weigh up with greater perspective the landscape implications of each of them; detect parallels, contrasts and transgressions in the architectural approaches adopted in relation to the landscape, and notice several underlying themes that permeate this narrative and continue to the present day. The dissertation concludes by identifying a circular process of permanent reworking of the vision of the environment as a landscape, in which architecture plays a prominent role; points out the need to institutionally recognise the local architectural-landscape heritage, as well as to manage the landscape reality that constitutes the city, and suggests the convenience of promoting an “attentive gaze” at the place from the architectural practice, leading to an ethical thinking of the landscape.