PAX Patios de la Axerquía (Córdoba)

Gaia Redaelli   Jacinta Ortiz Miranda   Carlos Anaya Sahuco 

The winner of a Europa Nostra Award in 2022, PAX Patios de la Axerquía is a program initiated in 2018 by a group of people belonging to the fields of architecture and anthropology, created with the mission of incentivizing urban refurbishments through social innovation and cooperative processes in areas of heritage value, but on a clear anti-gentrification note.

The collective begins the implementation of the program in the city of Córdoba. This pilot project – after the formation of PAX Astronautas, a cooperative composed of six families – involves revamping a tenement house at Calle Montero 12 in the Axerquía neighborhood. In the past inhabited by eighteen families and awarded several times in the Courtyards Festival of Córdoba, the building has gradually been abandoned.

A work of Gaia Redaelli, Jacinta Ortiz, and Carlos Anaya, the intervention restores the building’s architectural value, its imbrication with the urban fabric, and also its ecological and anthropological component, saving it from a tourist use that would compromise the collective worth of this piece of heritage as well as the livability of the old quarter. Rediscovering the beauty of the inner landscape of this tenement house has unearthed the history of its plastered walls. Materials found in the process, such as the well or parts of the hydraulic flooring, are reused, but never in a way that undermines the desire to achieve a contemporary design. The ecology of the courtyard has received special attention through active strategies, such as aerothermics and radiant floors, and above all passive ones, taking advantage of adobe walls, the role of rooted plants, the porosity of soil, and so on. All this contributes to updating a material piece of heritage, the building, and an inmaterial one too, the community. The result is a contemporary exaltation of the eco-social importance of the courtyard in Cordóba and Mediterranean cities in general, and an assertion of its resilience in the face of forces like touristification and climate change.