There are two clear strategies behind the idea of the Project.

  1. One, inherently create a collective space that represents an exhibition and informative programme that can be called «Foro Goya” (Goya Forum) in which the origins of Francisco de Goya are showcased, along with his work and legacy. The «Space» will consist of sub-spaces that will be home to a permanent exhibition, a temporary exhibition and others spaces for social relationships and meeting areas. As the name indicates, it does not need to be an enclosed space, it should be open to the city, creating a type of «Forum» and living spaces. It should represent a meeting place between the public and the artwork.
  2. And two, extrinsically serve as a «Place» in the city that offers solutions and that complements or supports city trails and tours. It has to form part of the series of temporary and permanent urban spaces of the historic centre and it must also resolve the current residual status of an area that faces the main plaza in Zaragoza, the Plaza del Pilar. However, it should also be integrated to form part of the city, within the framework of the historic centre. This will help to bring back life an existing block and banish the idea of a route leading to Paseo de la Independencia from the Basilica del Pilar, which destroyed the old part of the city.

Therefore, it should become integrated into the network of Goya walks in the city, the location of his works, and the location of the places where he lived.

And it must add the finishing touch to the urban fabric, creating a solution for a site that does not currently have an everyday use or is only used for temporary installations, outside the urban context and of which is not in keeping with its surroundings.

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The location, as expected and as was mentioned in the proposal for the selection of the subject of this Final Year Project, is the space or urban gap left between the Plaza del Pilar and calle de Santiago and between Calle de Damián Forment and Calle de Francisco Bayeu (Goya’s brother-in-law). The space covers about 3,400 m2. This is a great place to create an exhibition programme as it faces the most important Plaza in Zaragoza and it is surrounded by some of the most characteristic monuments, such as the Basilica del Pilar, “La Seo” Cathedral, La Lonja and the Diocesan Museum – there is even the Monumento a Goya statue. It is a site with great sentimental character and entrenched in the beliefs of the city. This cultural space could be part of the string of cultural spaces that make up the historic centre of the city. It is a strategic place where everyone can perceive the important figure of Francisco de Goya and admire his work. He is an artist who portrays excellence and therefore this could be the perfect site as it seals off the environment of the emblematic Plaza del Pilar.

The Plaza has experienced various modifications and this new intervention would create a new collective space that would give citizens a place that would feel enshrouded and absorbed by culture. It would also complete the façade of the Plaza. The selected space arose from the demolition of old existing buildings in order to extend the Paseo de la Independencia to the Plaza del Pilar, a proposal which was fortunately rejected.


 The urban parameters resulting from this intervention are consistent with the environment and the implementation is derived from existing alignments with adjacent buildings, so that the building is integrated into the urban fabric.

The building has four floors facing the Plaza del Pilar and three facing Calle Santiago. It is in line with the highest prominent buildings of the Plaza and the lowest buildings on the back streets, belonging to the traditional old town.

The position of the building is dictated by the surrounding buildings. The height of the volumes of the Forum is in alignment with the surrounding streets Calle Santiago, Forment and Bayeu. The volume facing the Plaza required the most research and complexity.

The ground floor of this front elevation is aligned on one side, with the line defined by the interior façade of the existing porch under the Government Office building and on the other side, with the access of the façade of the Pasaje del Ciclón building. The top floors are erected in alignment with the Government building block.

And the interior alignment with the newly-created Plaza inside the block, stems from the side access to Pasaje del Ciclón.

This new interior / exterior public space will join the string of Plazas of the old part of Zaragoza, which are accessed via pedestrian walkways, creating a social city and filling it with activities. In the same way, the Forum will form part of the culture of the old part of the town, filling, quite literally, the existing gap, both in terms of the urban space and the cultural space, given the lack of a centre dedicated to Goya in this city, as already mentioned.

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The requirements of the building are as follows:

– Permanent programme:

Spaces dedicated to display the seven series of tapestry cartoons and sketches made by Goya during his time at the Santa Barbara Royal Tapestry Factory (1775-1792).

– Temporary programme:

Spaces dedicated to temporary exhibitions of artists influenced by the work of Francisco de Goya (Antonio Saura, Eugene Delacroix, Gene Kloss, Joan Miró, Julio González, Edouard Manet, Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Max Klinger and Paul Klee, among others). Informative programme.

– Library, Video Library and Store:

Spaces dedicated to cultural awareness and the sale of items related to the Foro Goya.

-Coffee Shop, Restaurant:

Equipped with a kitchen and also has an outdoors space.

-Meeting Forum Space.

-Centre Management and Foro Goya Administration:

Offices for managers, programming, administration and public enquiry.

-Reception and Control Area.

-Exhibition Warehouses and Workshop.

-Service Area for staff and visitors.

-Forum Installations.


The permanent exhibition is Goya’s tapestry cartoons which, as we have seen, deal with everyday life issues and are related to the activities carried out in the cities of his time, so the chosen site located in historic part of the city fully reinforces the exhibition framework.

The cartoons are displayed so that several of them can be seen from one position. The natural lighting from the courtyard is reinforced with spotlights so that the cartoons stand out from the rest of the space. The artwork is displayed in different rooms depending on the series to which they belong and their size.

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The design of an exhibition space has been researched and we have sought to find the fundamental role of such spaces in the perception of the artwork: spaces that apart from contextualising the artwork on display, stir emotions in people and create an experience, a communication process. Architecture is not only planning and building places and designing them functionally, but you have to think about the people who will feel that space, in the feelings that will be stirred and new experiences that they may perceive. Architecture is for people, not for machines that do not feel or suffer, therefore, this public space should provide the different sensations and actions that citizens will experience when visiting the forum. They must be spaces where visitors can interact with the artwork and play an active role during their visit.

The conceptualisation of the space must be a prerequisite for the strategy of the action, i.e., the perfect size for this museum, the spatial organisation of the exhibition pieces, the service areas and the public spaces; the materials, textures, evocations; the scale, the relationship between the user, the building and the objects on display; the routes through the forum, in this case, via ramps. These ramps are vital to connect sub-spaces and to extend the exhibition and basically the museum as part of a journey, which will make visitors experience a feast for the senses: the direct and aerial visuals of the impressive buildings of the most important Plaza in Zaragoza.

This space is designed for all citizens; it is conceived as a collective space for the city and for all ages and walks of life.


It is closed to the exterior and opens out to the heart of the project, to the courtyard, as if it were a fruit with a slice removed and all of its taste and sensations are left inside, which are not only sensory but also aesthetically and visually look different.

Therefore, the exterior is a closed airtight box with a drawing on its skin, reminiscent of Goya’s strokes in his work. The selected earth tone colour is symbolic to colours used by the maestro himself and the environment surrounding the Plaza del Pilar and Aragon, as it is the colour of the limestones in the area.

The several interactions of lights and shadows created by the different treatment in the interior and exterior enclosure will motivate the viewer and make them a participant in the building.


A courtyard open to the city is created, which creates a type of «Plaza», as one of those many open public spaces that exist in the historic centre, so that it is a space for meeting and social relationships between the visitor and the artwork, as well as a refuge from the dehumanised size of the Plaza del Pilar. It is designed to be a friendly place, a recreational and cultural space with a dynamic exterior just like the work of Goya, with the broken lines of the interior façade. It will host activities additional to those held in the interior spaces, whether they are participatory or spectator activities from the sloping Calle Forment and that achieves greater unity and relationship with the pedestrian routes of the city.


The interior spaces are airy, there is no clear, single path. It is a dynamic exhibition where the floor unfolds to be able to walk around the building in a continuous manner and so that the artwork always relates to the public space of the courtyard. There is an indoor-outdoor visual relationship where visitors and citizens are always in contact.

Ground floor activities flow out into the exterior to fill the Plaza with more activity, to make it more dynamic as it will contain educational workshops and temporary exhibitions, which will vary depending on what is showcased or displayed. So the public space, the Plaza, extends across the entire ground floor, it is not restricted to the outdoor courtyard.

The exhibition areas can be accessed walking diagonally through the Plaza, reaching a space which is majestic for its height and the interaction of the ramps that cross it. The tour begins and ends at the same point but three levels above, i.e., it starts at the Plaza del Pilar access and ends in an outdoor terrace overlooking the same Plaza. Today there is no public place that provides these views and thus, offering different images of the monumentality of the place.


Two different skins:

  1. The exterior façades are resolved with Glass Fibre Reinforced Cement (GRC).
  1. The façades facing the interior plaza will be treated using an aluminium and glass curtain wall, protecting the south-west direction, the only one where sunlight could have a negative effect as the northeast and northwest façades are protected by other buildings.

The southwest façade will feature a sunscreen based on fixed aluminium slats, creating a double façade, anodised in a natural colour. The slats are positioned so as not to obstruct the view of the Plaza but to prevent the entry of sunlight and discomfort towards the interior exhibition and Forum users.

The main volume will have a flat roof and the rear and side volumes will have a tilted roof. Both are finished with GRC Stud-Frame panels to achieve a uniform building appearance, as it will be seen from the many aerial views in the Plaza, because of the many events that it held in it throughout the year.