Adaptation of the archaeological remains of the ancient Roman Theater of Tárraco (Sg I a.c to Sg.II d.C), and its activation as public space. Tarragona (2013-2018)

The archaeological remains of the ancient Theater of Tárraco were discovered in 1885 at the limit where the Roman wall followed and took advantage of the original topography, thus saving the difference in height of 9mts. between the platforms of the city and the port.

Transforming a large urban vacuum of 6000m2 into a new accessible public space that connects both platforms is the aim of the successive phases of action. This first, however, recognizes, activates and allows visiting the archaeological remains as an original element of this enclave.

Since 1885 and throughout Sg XX, in the then newly discovered site with the first sector of the entire Roman cave, have been important transformations; two factories of industrial oils in the 1920 and 1950, and the concrete structures of a few promotions of housing stopped in 1977, have been building a new contemporary condition as sediment and deposit of time and matter.

The construction of a corrugated steel rod structure complemented by a horizontal plane of sand, draws the guidelines and generatrixes that activate in geometry and scale part of the remains of the original cave and the Roman "orchestra", relating them with to its old semicircular and concentric condition.

Like a cloud of starlings and inverting what is static (the observer) and what is mobile (the choreography of birds in motion), the tangential visions of the successive alignments, build the shadow in the time of the old theater from the movement and the experience of the visitors as the new contemporary viewers.

They filter the information and become the directors of the new scene, where the distracted and spontaneous looks searching for a place to stop. A viewer who, at the same time, is part of the new events, becoming another interpreter more of the life of this place.

The stage no longer focuses on a specific point, the classic idea of semi-panoramic vision, that framed, it vanishes. The centrality moves, the symmetry disappears. The stage expands, the boundaries star to blur ... Now, the different elements come into the game, and as a gear, the story and the performance are ordered, offering endless versions according to the new actors and their looks that, little by little, will harmonize with the weight and the passage of time in this new public space.

toni gironès


Estudi d’Arquitectura Toni Gironès

Secció de Restauració del Patrimoni Arquitectònic de la Direcció General d'Arxiu, Biblioteques, Museus i Patrimoni de la Generalitat de Catalunya.

Building Company
CONSTECNIA (Cap d'obra: Josep Lluís Garriga). Estructura de ferro: LACONCET (Ramón Cestero) Enginyer MASALA CONSULTORS