Denia is a town on the Mediterranean coast whose principal economic activity is tourism. In the centre of the town is a small hill topped by a castle of Arabic origin that was converted to agricultural use in the late 19th century. In the early years of the 20th century stone began to be quarried from the north face of the hill in order to extend the port. During the Spanish Civil War a refuge tunnel was dug into the hillside.

The Denia Castle Cultural Park is a town project, the object of which is the reordering of the castle and its surroundings and the creation of the cultural, civic and social amenities that will make it a territorial reference point promoting the urban recycling and compact development of the town.

The principal projects to be carried out are:

1. The conservation and protection of the castle
2. The creation of a cultural centre in the Plaça del Consell square
3. The extension of the pedestrian tunnel
4. The construction of a multifunctional centre
5. The protection of the Hort de Morand, which contains the remains of the Roman town.

The principal new construction project is a multifunctional centre (with facilities, services and open space) in the quarry adjacent to the castle that will restore the original volumetry of the hill.
Given that, in the last analysis, the best way to preserve the heritage is to increase it, this project sets out to conserve the historical remains, at the same time creating a new architectural landmark that will act as a focus of attraction for culture, tourism and economic activity.

The project, originally a public initiative, will be developed with the participation of the private sector.


The interior is organized on the basis of the proposed programme around three focuses of functional attraction that define spaces for social interaction:
1. AN AGORA, around which is organized a commercial zone, cinemas and a restaurant zone;
2. AN AUDITORIUM and a zone for congresses and civic meetings;
3. A BATHING SPA, which includes a salt-water lake.
These large empty reference spaces, around which the programme is organized, take on form on the basis of three systems of crystallization characteristic of calcite. Each of these forms of crystallization grows out of the fundamental systems of interaction between minerals: macles, juxtaposition and aggregation.

Competition: 2002
Client: The city of Denia
Site: Denia (Alicante)

Design Team Competition: Vicente Guallart
Fasade: with Max Sanjulian
Auditorium: with Jordi Mansilla
Collaborators: Ivan Llach, Moon Puig, Natxo Solsona
Miquel Moragues, Raquel Colacios, Barbara
Oelbrant, Guillem Augé, Ana Verges , Carlo Mezzino, Li-An Tsien
Pictures : Laura Cantarella
Models: Christine Bleicher, Susanne Schulte

Cristallographic Advisor: Albert Soler
Acoustic Advisor: Higini Arau
Program Consultant: José Miguel Iribas