Peratallada is a remote village located in the region of Baix Empordà, Spain. Its name means “carved stone” and it is one of the most singular medieval enclaves of the country, where the Peratallada Castle arises. A heritage architectural ensemble composed by several buildings arranged around a common patio dated from the 10th century.
Within the complex of Peratallada Castle it is included a private holiday residence. A retreat for body and mind located at the heart of a village whose streets preserve the vestiges of its medieval past. In this context, the architecture studio Mesura is commissioned to develop the refurbishment and improvement project for this garden with terrace.
The landscape project designed for the renovated garden is materialised out of carved stone which perfectly merges into the historical setting of Peratallada Castle
The intervention is based on the respect for the historical value of the place and the use of local materials for the landscape design. With this in mind, the existing water tank is turned into the central point of the project as an astonishing integrated swimming pool. An element that, along with its three different levels of terrace, acts as a ball-and-socket joint to bridge and solve the complex topography. The marked horizontality of the project is counterposed by the presence of a grand centenary acacia grown in front of the house.
The new Peratallada Castle garden presents a stony materiality very much in line with the historical complex where it is located. Turkish white travertine marble covers a series of platforms arranged at different levels -which configure the terrace as a whole- using recovered pieces from an old architecture project in the near region of Girona. The use of this recycled material implies working with small-sized pieces and requires an arduous carving up procedure. The result is a perfectly solved complex quartering and realignment scheme that reminds us to the paving system designed by Dimitris Pikionis for the landscaping project of the Acropolis of Athens.
Nevertheless, the project carried out by Mesura is not only aimed to integrate the garden intervention visually into the historical environment but also in a sensorial way. The recovered water tank is finished in colourless micro cement and thus preserves the traces of the medieval past and the surrounding nature in its reflection. But it also plays an active role in the landscape through the calm sound of the constant movement of the water overflowing in one of the longitudinal sides as if it were a natural falling water.
Photos by Salva López