Ciudad del Flamenco
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Competition 2003, project 2004-2006, realization 2005-2011

Today we face an empty lot in the traditional, homogeneous and perfect space of the city, and on this empty lot there is a little forest growing naturally, as if by chance. What shall we do? We like the empty space, we like the trees, but we would also like to restore the solidity and physical presence of the original Plaza de Belen. A paradox?

Our proposal: a walled garden becomes the Ciudad del Flamenco.

We do not want a blockbuster building, but rather a puzzle of fragments that can grow, and integrate other buildings, existing ones as well as new ones. The garden is the heart of the Ciudad del Flamenco. It is the core out of which the city can grow and expand as the need arises. There is no hurry and, above all, there are no architectural or artistic constraints because the strategy of the project does not constitute a single building, but rather it is a city (of Flamenco) within the city (of Jerez).

A partially perforated wall follows the historical contours of the city. A tower rises above this wall. Its scale recalls the two towers of the Alcazar and it also engages in an urban dialogue with the nearby Cathedral.

The materiality of the project is reduced to the traditional, homogeneous use of stone that characterizes the Old Town. The perforated wall itself, as well as the interior of the garden form a topography out of extruded, sunken and projecting bodies, generating a rich interplay between outside and inside spaces. The Ciudad del Flamenco is a radically contemporary and dynamic platform for performers and audience.

The surfaces of the Ciudad del Flamenco consist of poured, perforated and artificially processed concrete; they follow the lines, shapes and patterns of Gypsy tradition and Arabic ornamentation. Both traditions are extremely contemporary; to be more precise, they are centuries-old and ceaselessly new source of inspiration for contemporary art and daily culture. We encounter them in punk and rock music, in tattoos, in symbols and emblems, in patterns and in many other places. This kind of ornamentation informs the concrete at the Ciudad del Flamenco.

Our proposal for Jerez might be seen as an artificial and iconographical topography whose spirit draws on the traditions of the Gypsy world, the Arabic world, and contemporary everyday life and culture.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2004


Herzog & de Meuron Team:
Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger (Partner in Charge)
Project Team: David Koch (Associate, Project Architect), Nuno Ravara (Associate, Project Architect), Andreas Fries (Project Architect), Miquel Rodriguez (Project Architect)
Javier Artacho, Lluís Avilés, José Berrueta, Amélia Brandao Costa, Simon Chessex, Sergio Cobos, Rodrigo da Costa Lima, Alexander Franz, Silvia Gil, Albert González, Patricio Guedes Barbosa, Sara Jacinto, Luis Játiva, Michel Kehl, Martin Knüsel, Josep Martínez, Maria Cèlia Monfort, Mónica Ors, Miguel Pallarés, Maki Portilla Kawamura, Pedro Ramalho, Miquel del Río, Francisco Rojo, Ana Santos Lima, Kai Strehlke, Lys Villalba, José Yerga

Competition Phase:
Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger (Partner in Charge)
Project Team: Andreas Fries, Yuko Himeno, Martin Knüsel, Jean-Fréderic Lüscher, Matei Manaila, Pedro Ramalho, Margherita Salmeron, Christof Weber

Ayuntamiento Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Architect Planning: Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
General Planning: Herzog & de Meuron SL, Barcelona, Spain
Construction Management: Integral S.A., Barcelona, Spain
Cost Consultant: J / T Ardévol i Associats, SL, Barcelona, Spain
Electrical, HVAC, Mechanical, Plumbing Engineering: Estudio PVI Ingenieria, SL, Barcelona, Spain
Landscape Design: Joan Pinyol, Ingeniero Agrónomo, Barcelona, Spain
Structural Engineering: WGG Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG, Basel, Switzerland; BOMA S.L., Barcelona, Spain

Acoustics: Estudi Acústic H. Arau, Barcelona, Spain
Facade Engineering: ACV, Técnicos Proyectistas, Barcelona, Spain
Geotechnical Consultant: VORSEVI, Sevilla, Spain
Lighting Consultant: Isometrix Lighting+Design Ltd, London, UK
Fire Protection: Francesc Labastida i Azemar, Barcelona, Spain
Theatre: FDA, Fisher Dachs Associates, New York, NY, USA; Ducks Sceno, Lyon, France

Building Data:
Site Area: 51'344sqft / 4'770sqm
Gross Floor Area (GFA):  135'561sqft / 12'594sqm
Footprint: 51'344sqft / 4'770sqm
Length: 307ft / 93m, Width: 193ft /59m, Height: 76ft / 23m


Paul Andersen, David Salomon: Promiscuous Patterns, Synthetic Architecture.
In: The President and Fellows of Havard College (Eds.). Harvard Design Magazine. Vol. No. 31, Cambridge MA, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2009. pp. 128-134.

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): Arquitectura Viva. Herzog & de Meuron 1978-2007.
2nd rev. ed. Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 2007.

Nobuyuki Yoshida (Ed.): Architecture and Urbanism. Herzog & de Meuron 2002-2006.
Tokyo, A+U Publishing Co., Ltd., 08.2006.

Fernando Márquez Cecilia, Richard Levene (Eds.): El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 2002-2006. Monumento e Intimidad. The Monumental and the Intimate.
Vol. No. 129/130, Madrid, El Croquis, 2006.

Terence Riley: Ciudad del Flamenco.
In: On-Site. Arquitectura en España. Hoy. Exh. Cat. On-Site. New Architecture in Spain. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. 12 February - 1 May 2006. 2nd ed. Madrid, PromoMadrid S.A., Desarrollo Internacional de Madrid, 2006. pp. 170-175.

Ciudad del Flamenco. Jerez. Concurso Internacional. International Competition.
Edited by: Departamento de Comunicación, Gerencia Municipal de Urbanismo, Ayuntamiento de Jerez. 2003. (= Biblioteca GMU/1). pp. 22-29.