Over the last five years architecture studio José María Sánchez García was faced with the challenge of restoring Spain’s ancient archaeological site the Temple of Diana. Located in the city of Merida, the Temple dates back to the Roman times, when it was originally built as a forum, and the central point of Merida. The renovations were designed by the Spanish architects in order to revive elements of the site’s unique place in history, while also establishing the surrounding space within modern architectural discourse.

José María Sánchez García, archaeological restoration, temple of diana, merida roman temple, historical renovations

Each element of the design works to complement the original temple and the architects ensured that they respect the heritage of the site. An L-shaped perimeter platform was built to seal off the edge of the city and create a new perspective for visitors, while supporting the large area of the public square. The sacred space, which consists of two ponds, the cryptoportico and the Roman wall, has been restored and incorporated within the plaza itself.

This labor-intensive process emerged over several years and was finally completed in 2011. The designers mimicked the materials and techniques used to build the original site. With the use of earth finishing, lime, and granite-like stone they made sure the new platform was a fitting addition to the sacred Temple.

+ José María Sánchez García

Images courtesy of Roland Halbe