The Granada practice of Diego Jiménez López and Juana Sánchez Gómez, DJ arquitectura, has been commissioned to eliminate obsolete structures and refurbish installations of the Fine Arts Faculty of the University of Málaga, in its El Ejido campus, in addition to fitting out and improving the courtyards for proper use by students. The old buildings of the industrial engineering school, disparate constructions raised in different periods that together formed a blurry ensemble of patios and voids, became the fine arts school in 2010.
The project tries to connect the various buildings and facilitate exchange, access, and circulation between them by turning the courtyards into foyers. The initial phase of the intervention involves two operations, called ‘the plaza’ and ‘the bent grandstand,’ giving the existing voids a new language altogether.
On this heterogeneous site, the plaza is created with a pavement that addresses the matter of access to the buildings, reestablishing the original levels of the entrances by means of a continuous topography rendered in Portuguese stone without binders.
The bent grandstand is a structure of reinforced concrete – fitted into one of the courtyards – that links up the various levels with platforms and stairs of varying width. Besides high-resistance structural cements hollowed out to make them lightweight and increase their structural inertia, it is executed with waterproofing additives and artisanal formworks prepared by local builders.