La Casa de los Lujanes is located in the historical part of Madrid, Madrid de los Austrias. It’s in the Plaza de la Villa .
J.S BACH BADINERIE ROCK VERSION
Located in the Austrias neighborhood, it is one of the oldest houses conserved in Madrid.
The tower is the oldest building of the complex with Arabic architectural inspiration from the Gothic and medieval times, such as the horseshoe arch that overlooks El Codo Street.
Building date and architect
La Casa de los Lujanes was constructed in the year 1494. There isn’t any information about the architect, it is anonymous.
La Casa de los Lujanes was constructed in the Mudéjar style, which is a Muslim-influenced style of architecture that came into being around the 12th century in Spain.
Who commissioned its construction?
Álvaro de Luján was the one that commissioned its construction in the year 1494, who was the son of Pedro de Luján.
Original and current function
Originally, La Casa de los Lujanes was the residence of Pedro de Luján and all the Luján family. There is a legend that says the the King of France, Francisco I, was imprisoned in the tower after been captured in the battle of Pavía in 1525.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the tower was chosen to locate the line Madrid-Aranjuez optical telegraph station.
Nowadays, La Casa de los Lujanes is the Academy of Moral Sciences and Politics of Madrid and the tower is the Real Sociedad Económica Matritense de Amigos del País.
Main architectural and decorative elements
La Casa de los Lujanes has an irregular floor plan and a large central patio.
This building was constructed in the Mudéjar style, so it has a Muslim-influenced style of architecture. The tower has a horseshoe on its door that leads to the street “El Codo”. It also has a gothic façade.
State of conservation and restorations carried out
The exterior of the main tower has been remodeled many times and two of the parts of La Casa de Lujanes have changed during the years: one of them is the library. The interior also has been remodeled many times.
The building has gone through many renovations. Before it became the Academy of Moral Sciences and Politics of Madrid, the government did some works that changed completely the original aspect of the building. In the final years of the XIX century, the first remodeling started. They tried to unify both buildings, the house and the tower; they included battlement and arches and made the windows equal in both buildings.
In the XX century, Luis Bellido remodeled the whole plaza and he changed the tower and tried to return it to it’s initial aspect incorporating what we call “estilo toledano” of mud wall and bricks. The last remodeling was made by Fernando Chueca Goitia.
Type of rock used to build the building
The main rock used in this building is granite but it’s not the only material. They used bricks too.
Geological origin of the rock and features of it
Granite is a plutonic igneous rock consisting essentially of quartz, feldspar and mica.
Granite is the preferred building material for modern architecture and it is the hardest building material in request. Granite has a rich color and texture variety. Due to the fact that granite can be cleaned easily, it is the most useful and hygienic material to use in exterior and interior spaces. Granite is mainly used for structural and decorative purposes.
Bricks is a material made by clay, that is a sedimentary rock. Bricks are also the main material for construction, especially nowadays.
Justification of the type of rock chosen.
They chose granite because it is an igneous, plutonic rock.
It is used as a coating in buildings, replaces the marble to be a cheaper material, durable and impermeable.
They used bricks too because it was a very common material and it is very easy to produce it. Bricks give stability to the buildings and they are very durabe and resistant. Also, they are strong, that is why it is the main material used nowadays. They use cement to put together the bricks.
Quarries used for rocks extraction (and way of transport of them).
Normally is difficult to know from what quarries was a rock extracted from to then be used in a building. But in the historical buildings is easier to know this.
People used to use the rocks, in our case granite, that came from quarries in the surrounding areas of the construction, so in this way the way of transporting this rocks would be much easier. We aren’t sure but we think that they transported the rocks with mules and carts.
If you take into consideration the rock that is used and the historical evolution of the city where it is, you can easily find the places from where the rock is from. Rocks in Madrid mainly come from la Sierra de Guadarrama, where the quarries of Alpedrete, Zarzalejo, Moralzarzal, Colmenar Viejo, Galapagar and Cadalso de los Vidrios.
Quarrying natural stone and then installing it in someone’s home is an incredibly long and very hard process. The first step is to find the material that has the color and composition that you are looking for. Some rocks are very heavy but at the same time very fragile so people have to carry it very carefully, for example, granite.
Alterations that the materials have suffered.
The materials have suffered many transformations in order to reach the balance to the new conditions of pressure and temperature. The effort they have supported during the construction of the building causes alterations in the rocks.
The alterations that may have suffered some buildings in Madrid depend mainly of its textual properties and of the alteration factors that exist in the environment of the city.
One of the main factors that affect the alterations is pollution. The deterioration of granite in Madrid consist mainly of superficial displaced and softening, with the loss of weight.
The main forms of deterioration are because of the climate, Madrid and the urban environment where it is Madrid and because of the pass of the time.
AUTHORS : OUMAIMA BOUCHEKOURTE, PALOMA FERNÁNDEZ, JESUS MARTÍN, SHAOXIA ZHENG