Public buildings

Gargoyles for Gothic tower

Alcañiz, Spain
Replacement of 8 stone gargoyles on a 13th century Gothic tower
The 13th century Gothic tower in Alcañiz housed several delegates and parliamentarians representing the Crown of Aragon in 1410, when it was necessary to choose a successor for King Martin "el Humano", who had died without issue. The artist was commissioned to replace three of the eight gargoyles that crowned the tower, 43 metres up. They were in a state of advanced deterioration, which posed a danger of detachment. As little documentation of the original gargoyles was preserved and it is difficult to make out details on what remains, it was decided to replace them with three contemporary art sculptures. This work was pursued by a team comprising the architect and the artist. Gargoyles are both a functional and a symbolic creation. As a technical development they ensure water does not fall on the walls, thus protecting the stone. Aside from this function, they were made most monstrous in appearance in order to frighten sinners. The design was faithful to this symbolic goal and featured grotesque figures.