Pazo and estate of Lourizán

A new functional programme for the forestry research campus

This project is the first step in the transformation of the Pazo and the Lourizán estate into the new centre of reference for the Galician forestry sector. Through the design of a new functional programme, the complex seeks to open its activity to society in general and place itself at the centre of innovation, development and environmental protection.

Axencia Galega da Industria Forestal (XERA)
Consellería de Medio Rural


Team and collaborators
Fundación RIA


Lourizán, Pontevedra

The name Lourizán is indisputably linked to the history of forestry research and management in Spain. In addition to housing material elements of great heritage interest, such as the Pazo itself, the glass greenhouse, the botanical garden and the arboretum, this estate also has a great intangible cultural value; for example, the negotiations of the Spanish surrender in the Cuban War were mediated by Eugenio Montero Ríos from Lourizán.

Located at the midpoint between the coastal towns of Pontevedra and Marín, the Lourizán estate is on an axis of social and economic development very close to the Atlantic axis. The surrounding area is home to more than 100,000 inhabitants and one of the two largest forestry industries in Galicia: ENCE (Energía y Celulosa).

The state of deterioration of the Pazo building and the greenhouse, both of which are assets of cultural interest, require immediate intervention. This fact is used as an opportunity to renovate other parts of the estate and turn Lourizán into a meeting and dissemination place for the forestry sector, as well as a recreational and learning space accessible to the public.

In this process, Fundación RIA has worked in collaboration with the Consellería de Medio Rural, through AGACAL and XERA, in the design of a functional programme that places Lourizán and the forestry sector at the centre of innovation, development and protection of the natural environment.

In Lourizán, the link with the figure of Montero Ríos stands out as a political personality of the transition to the 20th century, which in the case of Spain led to the definitive loss of the overseas colonies.

A central role in forestry

Under the name of the forestry ecosystem of knowledge, Lourizán aims to establish itself as a new hub for study and statistical analysis, research, training, and public education on forestry.

The new Lourizán complex will become a meeting point for public and private agents in the Galician forestry chain, promoting the transfer of knowledge to the business sector in its facilities, with the aim of ensuring that the added value derived from the chain has a positive impact on the economy and the well-being of Galician society. This new ecosystem will maintain and develop its role as a scientific institution related to botanical studies, genetics and research into diseases and tree species.

It will also become a symbolic reference point for our growing awareness of the environmental importance of the forest and its decisive role in decarbonisation, focusing not only on the relevance of its fundamental contribution to the natural cycle, but also as a renewable source of forest resources, especially wood as a raw material, an area that is being developed in all areas, especially in construction.

Lourizán will reflect and convey the importance of the Galician forest for the economy and the environment and will be a symbol of Galicia’s approach to innovation, development and the carbon transition.

Analysis and management proposal

The RIA Foundation carried out an analysis of the infrastructures, land uses and current activities on the estate, taking the available information as a starting point supplemented by interviews with the staff of the complex and in working groups with the business sector and the administration. This analysis led to a diagnosis of needs and opportunities, which was used to draw up a strategic framework and a set of actions.

The main research activities of the complex will be complemented by an extended programme of dissemination and training, both formal and non-formal.

The transfer of the information and knowledge achieved will be reinforced by the establishment of collaborative links with the business sector, which will have a presence in the facilities through the creation of incubators and accelerators for forestry companies. The presence of Galician universities will complete the participatory scheme proposed for the complex.

Opening the park to the public

The historical relevance of the estate and a long tradition of visits by the general public will mean a landscape redevelopment to turn it into an attractive park that combines research, exhibition and conference activities and, at the same time, becomes a place for recreation and learning.

The coexistence of science, innovation, dissemination and training will also allow for the use of hotels and restaurants linked to a public oriented towards cultural and landscape ecotourism.

The Pazo de Lourizán itself, an important element of the historical heritage, will be restored and will become the centrepiece of the estate. The complex will be redeveloped, rationalising paths and roads, car parks and services, in order to create a unique environment for researchers, residents and visitors. Other buildings will be repaired and restored and the greenhouses will be opened to visitors as far as possible. The landscape design will encompass the scientific and research elements, as well as the estate’s representative and unique trees, in a new public recreational space, open to society.

Architectural competition

After this process of analysis and organisation of the uses of the estate, an architectural competition was designed to suit the scope of the project, drawing up complete technical bases aimed at the project’s objective.

This ideas competition was created in response to a twofold opportunity. On the one hand, to recover a space of high historical-natural value and, on the other hand, to integrate new uses in a large multi-sectoral public-private forestry study and research centre that will make a significant contribution to promoting sustainable and active forestry management, adding value to all the resources and services provided by the Galician forests. It will also promote the use of wood, the needs of our forestry sector and the expectations demanded by Galician society.

The call for ideas, at preliminary project level, has been published on the Public Sector Procurement Platform, being an open procedure consisting of two phases, in order to limit the number of participants.

The candidatures must contemplate the rehabilitation of the existing protected buildings on the plot and their adaptation to meet the needs of the new Lourizán forest complex. In addition to the possibility of proposing the construction of a new building and other complementary actions, there will also be a proposal for a landscape intervention on the plot.