Oscos Valley, Asturias, Spain
The emphasis of this plan is to revitalize the numerous villages (pueblos) that have become nearly or completely depopulated due to the exodus of people from the area. The development of new inns and restaurants to serve the region's growing tourist market is left to others, although all these efforts need to be coordinated for maximum economic synergy. Discussions indicated that approximately 2000-2500 people could be added to the Sta. Eulalia area with a sustainable environmental impact. It is estimated that 50-60 percent of this new population could be housed in the revitalized pueblos scattered in the Oscos Valley. This means new housing for 1000-1500 persons to be created within the traditional framework of the small scale area, built by artisans with the advantage of some modern materials and techniques.
Working with officials and residents in Oscos Valley, DIAP developed a plan to repopulate the villages and enhance the local job market while preserving the character of the hidden rural valley. The target market will bring wealth and economic activity without displacing the indigenous culture. With a careful respect for the history of the area and a limited number of new buildings, DIAP’s plan revives Oscos Valley without overpowering its delicate beauty.
Features of this “vision” would include:
- New housing that is for (i) active retired people from Spain, Europe or anywhere in the world and (ii) second or primary homes for active people who enjoy post-industrial lifestyles. These two markets are largely compatible and can use the same product in many cases.
- Preserve old structures as the “core” of each redeveloped pueblo. Adapt the old structures for continued service where it makes sense-homes, artisans' studios, cafes or some amenity for the community. Generally, create new buildings for the new housing.
- Except for a small café or artisan studio, the new pueblos would not have any commercial space to compete with the town merchants.
- Start with two new “housing clusters” so that a market choice can be created with some differences between the two pueblos. One or both will have an indoor/outdoor swimming pool/spa and maybe a tennis court or it may be decided to create a shared pool/spa/recreation facility in Sta. Eulalia. Such a facility could be an amenity to serve residents of the area and visitors.
- Help the local government attract individuals to the area by implementing a strategic plan that allows for sustainable growth.
- Enhance economic activity in the Oscos Valley without interfering with the indigenous culture.
- Integrating historical structures with modern interiors and utilities / integrating contemporary lifestyle needs into traditional exteriors. Preserves community values and protects the traditional ambiance of the area.
- Plan focused on increasing the population of residents who derive their income from outside the region in order to bring new capital into the economy of Asturias.
- Sustainable development that allows for continual growth within the existing valley environment.
Main Level House One Plan
San Julian (Xulian) Site Plan After
Before - Typical Village Cluster Site Plan
Main Level House Two Plan
Main Level House Three Plan
After - Typical Village Cluster Site Plan