Guadalupe Hirian

Hondarribia, Guipuzcoa

In Guadalupe Hirian, a historic fort near the France-Spain border forms the site of a proposed new town—an extension of the City of Hondarribia. This outstanding student plan explores how to establish a town that responds to local history and builds on sound urban practices.

Guadalupe Hirian Hondarribia Overall
The overall plan of Guadalupe Hirian. Source: Adam Bonosky.

The proposal of a compact, 35-acre mixed-use “village on a hill” adds to the sense of place and celebrates the Basque history of the region. The principles of timeless urbanism as described by Camillo Sitte and Leon Krier are the means to that end.

The defunct fort, Fuerte de Guadalupe de Hondarribia, is a tourist destination. The City is interested in enhancing the already existing historical site by adding a museum. Because the site is picturesque and the changing local culture is better understood through the proximity of living and working inhabitants, Hondarribia has proposed to develop the location as a city extension.

Guadalupe Hirian Hondarribia Unit Type Matrix
Guadalupe Hirian Unit Type Matrix. Source: Adam Bronsky.

The new town relates integrally to an existing medieval context, including:

  • A range of pedestrian-oriented destinations.
  • Views that lead to each public space.
  • Public spaces strung together.
  • Irregularly shaped spaces rather than very formal geometric spaces.
  • A flexible master plan to accommodate incremental growth.

The study of historic Hondarribia yielded precedent in block sizes, street networks and sections, and public space design. Also, existing city buildings and the design of the fort itself provide design inspiration. The new town design incorporates an understanding of the urban spaces that establish the appropriate scales and architecture that engages the history and context while allowing for the innovation of contemporary lifestyles.

Guadalupe Hirian Hondarribia Ground Level
Guadalupe Hirian at ground level. Source: Adam Bonosky.

Ultimately, Guadalupe Hirian’s new town plan surrounds the historic fort in a way that appears organic to the site and is respectful of culture and history.

Top photo: Guadalupe Hirian aerial. Source: Adam Bonosky.

Similar Projects


Plan NoBe

Miami Beach, Florida

For the Miami Beach, FL neighborhood of North Beach, climate change, historic preservation, a fordable housing, and walkability are all interrelated issues.


Ubuntu in Umbumbulu

Ethekwini Municipality, South Africa

When a student at Andrews University returned to his native South Africa to design a low-cost house for a needy family, his journey sparked an eight-day public charrette and design process in eThekwini Municipality—about 25 miles from the city cen


Westside Atlanta Plan

Atlanta, Georgia

The Land Use Action Plan for Atlanta’s Westside builds on the history and tremendous potential of Atlanta’s Westside.