RC - Seville, Royal Artillery Factory (Plan director de la Real Fabrica de Artilleria de Sevilla)

Short description: 

The Factory is an important piece of XVIII c. industrial architecture. Its industrial activity ceased long ago. It remains the property of the Ministry of Defence. It houses some office facilities and archives, but it is mostly empty. Its location, just outside the city walls, is rather central nowadays. It occupies 17000 m2.
In 1994 the National Ministry of Culture began a procedure to declare it "of cultural interest"; as a result it was declared a "Monument" in 2001. In 2000 the IPHE, part of the Ministry of Culture, implemented a Plan for Industrial Heritage (Plan de Patrimonio Industrial). Within this plan it commissioned the "Director Plan for the Royal Artillery Factory of Seville" to an architectural practice, Estudio Cano Lasso, which recruited a multidisciplinary team.
The Plan diagnoses the precarious condition of the buildings. It proposes a photo exhibition to publicise their importance, architectural quality and need for restoration. It recommends that the restoration preserves the nakedness of the imposing spaces. Ownership would be public. A mixed regime of uses: public cultural -exhibitions, performances, etc - and private rental (for business presentations, seminars, courses.., filming set) would ease the financial costs. A consortium of public and private bodies could manage it. Marketing based on their connections and projection would be essential. The costs of restoration and maintenance would still be much higher than income.

Implementation date: 
2006
Place: 
Seville
Country: 
Spain
Region: 
Andalusia

Scale
Site

Phase
Planning

Type(s) of MILU

Interweaving:
Use of the same space for different functions.



Use of the fourth dimension of space, i.e. time.

Theme(s)

RED - the urban fabric and its infrastructure.

Partners

Initiative:

IPHE, Instituto del Patrimonio Histórico Español (Spanish Institute of Historic Heritage)

Planning and design:

Estudio Cano Lasso, Madrid

Realisation:

Ayuntamiento de Sevilla

Lessons learned

After 2001, when the Plan was presented, the IPHE had taken no further action. In June 2005 it was announced that the Ministry of Defence and the City Council had signed an agreement by which the ownership would be transferred to the latter in 2006. The Factory would house a Museum and the General Archive of Andalusia. An allowance for the Factory has been included in the National Budget for 2006, still to be approved by the National Parliament.
The Director Plan was commissioned due to the increasing awareness of the importance of industrial architectural heritage. As a result, the plan favours the preservation of the uniqueness of the spaces over the requirement for financial viability. Nevertheless, it outlines a strategy to attract certain private investments. This is somewhat unprecedented in the city, accustomed to public funding for this kind of operation.
The IPHE has no decision making power on the issue, but the Plan made the competent bodies and the local media aware of the possibilities.
The sustained collaboration between the Ministry of Defence and the City of Seville has facilitated the agreement on the ownership (it is part of a wider agreement by which the City also transfers property of other lands to the Ministry). The future of the building as a whole remains uncertain, since no programme has yet been presented, and no statements have been made about the suggestions of the Director Plan or the possibility of a different course of action.