Courtyard of sant jordi and sant domènec

It seems that the author of the architectural plans of the building was Martín García de Mendoza, master builder of the cathedral of Tortosa between 1581 and 1615, and one of the most outstanding architects of the territory of the diocese during the Renaissance. He was even called upon to give his opinion as an expert on numerous buildings, including the Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona.

Worthy of praise is the monumental gateway, inspired by the work of Sebastiano Serlio, in which there is an inscription indicating its function, “Domus Sapientiae” (House of Wisdom). The upper body is presided over by the coat of arms of Philip II. The rounded arch of the entrance is flanked by Dominican heraldry.

Originally devoted to the study of theology, and also called Col·legi de baix (Lower School), after the secularisation of 1835, the convent was used as a military barracks and suffered the effects of the 1936 Civil War. When rebuilding the convent, the Dominican cloister was reproduced.

Location: Carrer Sant Domènec, 14

Author: Unknown

Year: 1578

Architectural style: Renaissance

Current use: Escola Oficial d’Idiomes (Official Languages School)

Covered courtyard area: 264 m2

Uncovered courtyard area: 126.50 m2


Curiosity is a force in constant tension with reality. It nourishes the imagination, encourages the being to fly, to redraw the limits of the world, contemplate new paradigms and know. It is the process of self-discovery, a learning process revealed over time, the engine of knowledge. It is the gaze that positions us, the force that incites us to dream.

This intervention aims to encourage the curious among us to enter a sea of information which can be interpreted in many ways. A changing environment where reality hides and light is transformed.

Light, as a base material, creates different perceptions depending on the surfaces with which it interacts, defining the space and meaning of the environment.

A series of layers made up of thin aluminium-coated films with a mirror finish transform the cloister and commandeer the space, filtering the gaze of spectators. Filters which, when in contact with the solid light of the courtyard, capture the material in it, reflecting it, illuminating it and concealing it. A seemingly opaque material that under diffused light reveals its transparent properties.

From heaven to earth, from light to mind. Curiosity starts an introspective journey that, through dreams and the use of reason, creates the basis of every reality.

The “DE CEL A TERRA” team is made up of architects Álvaro Alcázar del Águila, Miquel Figueras Segalà and Lucia Huerta de Fernando. They are young professionals who work at ETSAV, the Vallès School of Architecture. Different perspectives from different places that meet and combine in a common language so as to explore ephemeral interventions as an artistic and temporary concept.

Álvaro, from Barcelona, studied architecture at ETSAV and the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. From a perspective of sensitivity and reflection, he works on the essence and identity of a sensitive atmosphere and experiential phenomenology. He has carried out his own projects and also collaborated with MAIO and dataAE.

Miquel, from Tarragona, studied architecture at ETSAV and the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice. He is interested in projects based on sustainability, construction technology and memory. He has carried out his own projects and also collaborated with Toni Gironès and dataAE.

Lucia, from Madrid, studied architecture at ETSAM, UCEN in Chile and TUB in Berlin and has a degree from ETSAV. She values architecture that uses material intelligently, takes into account the qualities of a space and adapts to the location. She has carried out her own projects and also collaborated with Harquitectes and GINA Barcelona Architects.