¡Qué Salero!

Date 2024
Client TAC! Festival de Arquitectura Urbana
Value n.a.
Location San Fernando (Cádiz), Spain

Que Salero_interior

''Since 2022, TAC! Urban Architecture Festival, turns different Spanish cities into a space for innovation and experimentation. This is carried out through the construction of a temporary pavilion in each city chosen through an open competition. The two host cities for 2024 edition have been San Fernando and Vigo.''

Aside from the southern Spanish turn of phrase, ‘salero’ also directly translates to ‘salt’ or that which contains salt. Both meanings resonate with the proposed public pavilion – an inhabitable object that re-imagines the salt pans of San Fernando through new geometrical purity. The structure references the triangular piles of raw salt gathered in the customary salt pans of the region. Made from real, regional salt stock, the pavilion will present as a clean, solid white pyramid – an organic volume in the urban context of the Plaza del Rey. In doing so it will create a micro-ecosystem at the core of the public plaza. ¡Qué salero! will be a penetrable temple of nature, solid outwardly, reflecting the autumn sun off its angled walls, and temperate inwardly, creating a cool, evenly-lit space with the traces of Andalusian salt in its air.

Plaza-del-Rey-Block plan Salinas

References: The Story of Salt in San Fernando

A constant determining factor in the economy and society of the Bay of Cádiz and San Fernando, the region’s salt mines were historically both landscapes of work and places of congregation and leisure, with frequent scenes of lively snacking and dancing taking root amidst the salt pans. These disintegrating, shifting mounds of salt created a landscape of geometrical and chromatic contrast on the salt marshes, framing the views to and from the town.

Que Salero_roof structure

Construction: Carried and Compacted

The pavilion’s pyramidal salt volume will be carried on a wooden, trellised structure, similar to that of a traditional pitched roof with an inclination adjusted to 38°, slanted enough to allow rigid settling of the salt. A lattice is created out of horizontal, secondary elements, filled and compacted with coarse sea salt. On the inner and outer face of the structure, sieve meshes of varied densities will be installed to securely contain the salt.

Que Salero_exterior

Sustainability: Built Bio-Degradability

¡Qué salero!’s materials will all be wholly circular. The remaining and un-evaporated salt, as the main construction element of the pavilion, will return to local suppliers to assume its original use as de-icing salt. The steel sieve meshes will be recovered in their entirety for other adjacent salt production uses, whilst the wooden structure can be dismantled with ease, offering reuse of its separate components within the industry. Alternatively, it can be transferred in its entirety to another site in the city of San Fernando, or find a home in the marshes themselves, re-purposed for shade and support for vegetation.