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Gallicant, Every Stone Counts

How to turn an abandoned town into an outdoors summer camp for young and not so young kids? A place where they can live with their wild, while shaping shared dreams and adventures. A place where they learn by being free. It is not a ruin, but a new mountain built by organising old stones, one by one. This would be the largest outdoors learning environment in the south of Europe.

Gallicant is a ruin. A small town that was abandoned in the 1950s. It is a 223 ha. (512 acres) hill, on top of the Mussara range, the northern border of el Camp and Priorat, an extraordinary wine region.

It is 900 metres above sea level, and looking towards Montsant, the magic mountain of this land.

How to turn this ruin into an outdoors summer camp for young kids and not so young kids? A place where they can live with their wild innate nature, while sharing and shaping their untamed dreams and adventures.

A learning place related to Montessori and Waldorf schools, this would be the biggest outdoors learning environment in the south of Europe.

This ruin and its surroundings are full of resources: it used to be a town not so long ago. Our aim is to work only with what’s there. Stones, trees, air, time.

Hunting, gathering, foraging, up cycling, reinforcing, emptying, building, bringing new dreams, organising matter and space in such a way that this place is inhabitable. Not inhabitable again, just inhabitable.

A paradox: Gallicant remoteness, which made people abandon it some sixty years ago, is now its main potential to transform it into an inhabitable environment. Although it is not far away from civilisation, we might find enough resources at hand to use them as building materials, so we don’t have to carry everything from afar.

Search questions

As a consequence of our search as architects, we also produce understanding and knowledge made of words -written and spoken. This search revolves around twelve constant themes, questions we don’t have a definitive answer to yet. This knowledge is not just a by-product of our activity, but rather an instrumental part that develops simultaneously and is imbricated in building. Search Questions is our sisyphean effort to organize and share this knowledge while it's blossoming, fragile and unstable. By doing so, a more specific understanding, and more refined questions emerge.

1. Pequeñas Cabañas BIY

An exploration on children's innate drive and ability to build, and some huts that they can build together with grown-ups. Published by Editorial Gustavo Gili.

2. Endless beginnings

Graduation Ceremony. AAA. Aarhus, Denmark. September 2020.

Journal paper
3. OE House

ARQ 94. Universidad Católica de Chile. With Cristina Goberna and Urtzi Grau.

4. Open Process Ecosystems

Beyond Product Platforms for multi-storey habitats design and manufacturing. With Duncan Maxwell.

5. Subrural

An incipient theory of the subrural, first published in Catalan in AT magazine, edited by Nuria Casais and Ferran Grau.