June 21, 2021

The Royal Artillery Factory of Seville changes cannons by art | Culture

The Royal Artillery Factory of Seville changes cannons by art | Culture


Twelve years after the defense ceded to the City of Seville the Royal Artillery Factory, an industrial complex of the 18th century that adds 22,000 square meters in the center of the Andalusian capital, the group finally has a plan with economic support that will allow to rehabilitate its buildings and create a space of entrepreneurship of cultural and creative industries. The EU approved on 10 a project submitted by Spain and Portugal and endowed with 27 million – of which 18.5 million will go to Seville – which will allow the place of leaving cannons and projectiles feared overseas become a nursery of artists

"We intend that Artillery be a great cultural container of artistic production at national and even international level; that channels the creativity that there is in Seville in the plastic and scenic arts, including the circus and the cinema ", affirms Antonio Muñoz, councilor of Urban Habitat, Culture and Tourism.

"We want the new Magallanes Center, which we have named for the enterprising spirit of the Portuguese navigator who sailed from Seville in 1519, be something like The Cenquatre of Paris [un espacio de creación que ocupa el antiguo servicio de pompas fúnebres], the Azkuna Zentroa [la antigua alhóndiga de Bilbao] or Tobacconist in Madrid. Our idea is that there is a synergy between everything that hosts Artillery, which are not watertight compartments. There will be spaces for coworking, workshops for emerging creators, exhibition halls and a nursery to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the cultural industries, "said Isabel Ojeda, director of Culture of the City Council, in the courtyard of Carlos III's warehouses on Friday, before going through the door of the Barrenado ship, which gives access to the almost 8,000 square meters that the project will have.

Great cultural container

The uses of these almost 8,000 square meters in the neighborhood of San Bernardo, a suburb outside the walls that grew from the Artillery Factory, are not defined and their managers are considering many possibilities. "The times are very tight, but we just signed and we have to go in parts. The first step is to make a public tender to choose the architectural firm that will write the rehabilitation project, with the added conditioning that Artillery has been declared a Property of Cultural Interest (BIC) since 2001, "explains Javier Huesa, of the Planning Department

Although the project approved by the European Union, within the program Integrating growth through a cross-border cooperation in favor of business competitiveness, has 11 partners from Andalusia, Algarve and Alentejo, although Seville is the biggest beneficiary. In addition to the City Council – through the Management of Urbanism and the Institute of Culture and the Arts (ICAS) – two councils of the Junta de Andalucía (Economy, through Andalusia Emprende, and Culture, with the Andalusian Agency of Institutions) collaborate Cultural).

The challenge has a deadline, 2021, marked by the EU and coinciding with the fifth centenary of the death of Magellan and of its circumnavigation that Elcano completed in 1522. By then the project must be a reality, according to the bases of the Interreg Cooperation Program, which supports cross-border plans and has approved the proposal of Andalusia and the Portuguese regions of the Algarve and the Alentejo, where centers with similar objectives will also be created, but on a smaller scale and in pre-existing infrastructures.

Of the 27 million that the project has in total, 20 will come from European funds and the rest will be own resources of the institutions involved. Sevilla wins in the cast, as it will receive some 18.5 million for the rehabilitation and transformation of part of the Royal Artillery Factory in the Magallanes Center.

"In addition to laboratories of cultural industries, training workshops and exhibition halls we would like to create a film school, which could be private … We have the ingredients of the recipe, but we still do not know what will come out," says Ojeda. "We are working on a management model that can be extrapolated to the three regions and to which the private sector will be incorporated. Otherwise, maintenance would not be viable, "he adds.

Assembly workshop, of the Royal Artillery Factory of Seville.
Assembly workshop, of the Royal Artillery Factory of Seville.

The factory complex, built mostly in the eighteenth century by the architects Prospero Verboom and Jean Maritz on the foundry of the Morel of the XVI, remained in use until 1991, although since then it has needed various emergency interventions, especially in the roofs and to recover the original spaces, altered the last century. "The factory, which started working with a blood machine, a wheel pulled by mules to drill the cannons, was adapted to the progress to include steam engines and their buildings were also adapted. Our work, until now, has been to consolidate and conserve the spaces as they were conceived, "says the Urban Planning architect Cristina Sánchez Mendoza.

"We do not start from scratch here. Everything adds up and is a sediment, like plan director [encabezado por el especialista en arquitectura industrial Julián Sobrino] which the City Council commissioned for cultural uses and which was presented in 2011 ", points out the architect Javier Huesa, head of the Sustainability and Innovation Service of the Urban Planning Department.

Since 2015, the Seville City Council has invested 2.8 million in consolidating the real factory, especially in the roofs that, with their lanterns and mounds of the vaults, constitute one of its great attractions. The project, which includes a tour that can be visited by the whole, defines this large roof with an accessible surface of 5,380 square meters as the fifth facade.

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