The building, located at No.6 of Plaza de Mina in Cadiz, is known as Casa Pinillos and is part of the historical city. The town grew and consolidated in a short period of time during the 17th and 19th century as a result of the role played by the city after the discovery of America.

Architect: Francisco Reina
Studio Name: Reina & Asociados
Design Team:
Mercedes Sánchez González, Olga Valderas Grisalvo, José Allona Rosendo. Juan Pablo Rodríguez Frade (Museology)
2079 m2
Competition 2009. Project – construction: 2009-201.
Plaza de Mina. Cádiz (Spain)
Photography Credits:
Fernando Alda
Developer: Ministry of Culture. Government of Spain.

Pinillos House. Expansion of the Museum of Cadiz by Reina y Asociados - Sheet2
©Fernando Alda

In this historical period of maritime booming, Cadiz had a commercial splendour that made it the world’s economic epicentre as a European gateway to the Americas. The Casa Pinillos is one of the few houses that maintained its bourgeoisie single-family character today. Its owner bequeathed to the Museum of Cadiz in 2006 and the aim of the intervention has been to recover their cultural values ​​while providing with the necessary infrastructure for its use as museum.

Pinillos House. Expansion of the Museum of Cadiz by Reina y Asociados - Sheet4
©Fernando Alda

Some Features set the building around the early 18th century. The present appearance of Casa Pinillos is the result of a series of modifications that have been adapting its structure to the mercantile bourgeoisie lifestyle of Cadiz, the biggest one during the 19th century. It is necessary to highlight the continuity of the historical city style from baroque to neoclassic in a natural way, which is recognized in the house.

The functional disposal of the house shows the orderly life of the owners. The ground floor was meant for warehouses; the mezzanine floor was offices; the main floor was intended as family house and finally, the top of the building was used as service area. On the top is located the watchtower, a viewpoint where movements of ships can be controlled. It also became on one of the most characteristic elements in civil architecture of Cadiz. And finally, down the ground, a cistern which collects rainwater from roofs and courtyard.

The house is arranged around the courtyard and the main staircase. There are other minor patios around the domestic areas. The building presents a slim section, very high, which has been modified adding new volumes changing the original appearance of the tower.

Pinillos House. Expansion of the Museum of Cadiz by Reina y Asociados - Sheet6
©Fernando Alda


The intervention respects the most relevant elements of the building. Far from an attitude of mere conservation of old elements, the building has been released of unfortunate additions made ​​during the 19th and 20th century; a building characterized by enriching coexistence of valuable elements from different periods and where the new action is to find a natural continuity in the long process of transformation.

The project recognizes the potential for higher levels as basic axis of the museum spaces (privileged places to stay and enjoy the environment). The main intervention is a dynamic structure of steel and glass in the manner of traditional skylights that protects the courtyard and frames the watchtower, making it the centre of gravity of the new scenery. This new piece approaches the concept of showcase. In this way, the new skylight becomes the mediator between the building and the contemporary landscape of the city.


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