Renovation of Casa Dorda.
Casa Dorda: Cartagena and its inhabitants.
The city of Cartagena is full of scars that have marked its layers at varying depths (“the
puff pastry city”, Carlos García Vázquez) throughout the city’s history.
And it is among these layers and between party walls where one must attempt to
preserve the life of the city, through interventions involving the renovation, revitalization
and regeneration of the residential urban weave, of the dwelling, which, in sum, is the
use that maintains and accelerates the pace of the city.
(left) View from main street 从主要街道上看
(right) West elevation 西立面
Casa Dorda has been and continues to be an emblematic building within the urban
framework of Cartagena, located in calle del Carmen, which is the continuation of calle
Mayor and the main axis of the Historical Quarter.
It is a unique, stately, beautiful building, linked to the work of an important architect for
the history of the city, from the early 20th century, Víctor Beltrí.
Everyone remembers Casa Dorda from visiting the doctor who had his office on the first
floor, and looking out onto the Arab, “Nasrid-style”, courtyard, with its fountain, trees and
tiles… Everyone from Cartagena, somehow or another, has been there.
The court & The fountain 庭院和喷泉
Casa Dorda: Innovating the everyday.
To quote George Perec:
”What’s really going on, what we are experiencing, the rest, where is it? How should we
take account of, question, describe what happens every day and recurs every day: the
banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common, the ordinary, the infra-ordinary, the
background noise, the habitual?”
(PEREC, GEORGES; L’Infra-ordinaire; Ed. Impedimenta; Madrid 2008; 128 pp.)
The approach to the intervention/innovation here is not the result of the use of the latest
technology or experimental materials, but rather arises from the concept of recovery of
everyday features, “Costumbrismo” (in the strictest sense, referring to literary or visual
arts in which “attention is paid to portraying the typical customs of a country or region”),
as a tool in the creative process in both the conceptual phase and the construction
“The everyday” does not involve renovating/refurbishing yet another building so much as
it means recovering the identity of a city, based on small actions taken within its urban
weave, leading the past to intermingle with the present.
Casa Dorda cannot and must not be a museum artifact.
Casa Dorda must constantly have life running through it, in order to become implanted
in the collective imagination of those just arriving in the city and thus last throughout
This is the task of architects, the job of creating an inventory of everyday features,
beyond the catalogs of Cultural Heritage Sites in General Urban Zoning Plans.
Casa Dorda is from the beginning of the last century, fruit and reflection of a period of
abundance: the ornate façade, lavishly-decorated ceilings, decorated flooring and
As if it were an old, broken toy that is still full of charm, each piece must be taken and
cleaned, polished and repaired to decide how and where to put it back, because now
each piece of the puzzle can fit in more than one position. By modifying its place, we
can recreate the original and bring the building into the 21st century.
The court 中庭
(left) The court 中庭
(right) The court from a balcony 露台
(left) Main stairs 主楼梯
(right) Inside 室内
(left) Inside 室内
(right) Inside outside the court 内廊
Main entrance & Main entrance ceiling 主入口及其天花
REHABILITACION DE CASA DORDA. CARTAGENA.
Renovation of Casa Dorda.
STREET, TOWN, COUNTRY Carmen street, 55-57
CLIENT Sociedad cooperativa limitada de viviedas ‘casa dorda’
AUTHOR Martín Lejarraga
ARCHITECTURAL OFFICE Martín Lejarraga
PROJECT TEAM-collaborators- Office= Ana Martínez (architect) Julián Lloret
On site= Antonio Pérez (technical architecture)
– general consultor= ACE Edificación
(Mariano Alegría, José Ibeas, Pedro Ruiz)
– photographs= David Frutos
GENERAL CONSTRUCTOR Gestomur 2000 S.L.
Jose Garcia Madrid
BUILT-UP AREA 8.316 m2
START OF PLANNING 2006
BUILDING COSTS 3.711.016 €
GF & 1F
2F & 3F
4F & BASEMENT
INSIDE COURT ELEVATION