EDDEA makes a prison into a museum: Ibero


© Fernando Alda,


In 2001 the town of Jaén, Spain decided to convert its city jail into a museum of culture. In 2009 the project was awarded to Spanish architectural studio EDDEA, and Ibero Museum of Iberian Culture opened seven years later.

EDDEA makes a prison into a museum: Ibero

The Andalusian town of Jaén used to have an abandoned jail in its centre. An agreement was signed to convert it into a museum in 2001, and in 2003 an international ideas competition was held to give the new museum the right face. The winner was Spanish studio EDDEA, whose project displayed good spatial qualities underlining the relationship between public areas and material qualities, both inside and outside the building.

The outside of the building looked like a composition of big square concrete blocks with vertical veins and a small number of windows. The interiors are so clean they are almost dazzling: white dominates everywhere, so that the focus will be on the items on exhibit. There are interesting connections between the various planes and the solid and hollow areas, as all the spaces have an open relationship of dialogue with one another, giving visitors great visual breadth and a sensation they are in a sort of labyrinth to be explored. In other parts of the building too, the material qualities and especially the lighting are carefully designed down to the tiniest detail to obtain the most dramatic effect possible.

Francesco Cibati

Location: Jaén, Spain
Surface area: 11,152 m2
Cost: 24,689,221.28 €
Dates: 2009 - 2016
Planning and technical direction: EDDEA – J.L. López de Lemus, Harald Schönegger, Ignacio Laguillo, Luis Ybarra Working plan: F. Javier Sánchez, Loreto Camacho, Fernando Mármol
Competition for ideas: Solid Arquitectura, S.L.P. – Álvaro Soto, Javier Maroto
Team members: Rosalino Daza, Miguel Sibón,Enrique Cabrera, Blanca Farrerons, Ignacio Olivares, Jacobo Otero, Jaime García, V.Olimpia

Photos: Fernando Alda http://www.fernandoalda.com/


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