28 August 2011


Barrueco / Barrocco / Baroco / Baroque [ a pearl of irregular shape ]

Adjective relating to or denoting a style of European architecture, music and art of the 17th and 18th centuries that followed mannerism and is characterised by ornate detail. In architecture the period is exemplified by the palace of Versailles and by the work of Bernini in Italy. Major composers include Vivaldi, Bach, and Handel: Caravaggio and Rubens are important baroque artists.   

I dedicate this blogpost to my undergraduate Thesis which took place in Guadalajara, Mexico and Seville, Spain (1994-1995).

Thesis title: "Diagnóstico, Pronóstico y Rehabilitación del templo de San Miguel de Belén".  

The first stage of the project focused on a particular colonial baroque building in Guadalajara, Mexico: 'Templo de San Miguel de Belén" part of the study was to provide a full architectural and artistic survey as no documents related to the site existed (destroyed during the Mexican reform war 1860). The second stage and culmination of this project took place in Seville, Spain where my investigation pitched at the the urban scale and historical research on the Baroque influence in Mexican architecture. The case study was the complete San Miguel de Belén site including the botanical gardens, the hospital (Hospital Civil de Guadalajara), the cemetery (Panteón de Belén) and the school of medicine (Facultád de Medicina de la Universidad de Guadalajara) and a social housing neighborhood named "Las Casitas". 

The final architectural study, architectural and artistic survey, drawings and historical investigations were submitted to the Chapel - no building documentation existed as it was destroyed during the Mexican 'Guerra de Reforma' (1857-1961).  The final design intervention proposal was submitted to an international competition organised by the ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Sites) UNESCO.

Prof. Ignacio Garza Mora (Guadalajara, Mx)
Prof. Eduardo Mosquera Adel (Sevilla, Sp)

Juan Manuel Salgado Alcaraz (research/writing)
Luis Francisco Vargas Marques (survey/drafting)

The following images show the documentation generated as part of the architectonic and artistic survey. The intervention outcomes included the rescuing of the atrium (atrio) liberating the main façade at street level as two obstructing building volumes were built in the 1940's forming part of the adjacent School of Medicine, University of Guadalajara. A measure is to rescue 'el templo' both building volumes  removed and the full atrium regained and the façade disclosed. The second major intervention was the creation of a "plazoleta" - a pedestrian zone connecting the Temple with the Botanical Gardens.  

First found schematic plans: Radial distribution for the hospital and triangular floor-plan for the chapel.   

Baroque music: It was my attendance to a Baroque concert at the Instituto Italiano di Cultura Melbourne last week that inspired/trigged me to come back to my early beginnings and write this blogpost (Gems of the Italian and German Baroque).

Baroque paintings: In this return to 'square one' I also remembered the exquisite paintings by Caravaggio in Florence at the Palazzo degli Uffizi  and Rubens at the cathedral of Antwerp, Rembrandt van Rijnt in The Netherlands all which I visited November and December 2010. Ultimately the work I admired in Seville including Diego Velázquez, Ribera y Francisco de Zurbarán. Not to forget the wonderful explorations of the southern Italian city of Lecce - " a true PEARL of the BARROCO!

Overall, I found revisiting my early work to be a fascinating exercise.


  1. Anonymous29.8.11

    Aló Tetuán:
    Muy interesante desarrollo ideológico y ejercicio profesional. Yo creo que conjugar eclécticamente los elementos, es una habilidad poco común.
    Cuídense mucho y seguimos BXXKGAAMMXI-M.

  2. Anonymous29.8.11

    Guillermo Hola

    Very impressive line up of co-speakers at the forthcoming BEA conference. You're in the academic A list, it seems. Congratulations. Love your blog. Friday 16/09 sounds good to me. I'll block that date for our lunch.
    until then, ciao,


  3. It has been a joy to remember your thesis work, and how this evolved and you with it! The sketches and models that made your room at our parent's house your first personal museum!

    Certainly that Barroque hapiscorde concert was well worth the attendance!

  4. Anonymous2.9.11

    Very impressive Guishe!!!

    Two typos you might want to check out:

    "Las CasiStas" , and the word: maYor, as opossed to maJor " mayor intervention was the creation of the plazoleta...." it's meant to be: "major intervention...."

    Mile becci Grandíssimo Fratello!!