Without radical reassessment, the dominance of the city will surely lead to the death of the town, where individuals are left isolated as a result of their separation from the historic core, leaving heritage to descend into ruin. Historic towns must be re-equipped to fight the mass exodus of the countryside and offer a counterpoint to the city. This thesis proposes an educational institution within the depopulated town of Albarracín. The institution aims to cultivate Albarracín’s inherent uniqueness, offering individuals a tangible sense of place and community, something that the city often cannot.
Through an analysis of typology and urban morphology, the scheme proposes a reassessment of heritage, where monuments are utilised as propelling artefacts that encourage development, rather than stagnant objects that resist change. The rules of intervention ensure that innovation is given room, while the key characteristics of the site are not insensitively altered. By encoding this reassessment of heritage into a formal set of architectural rules, Albarracín can serve as a model of resistance. Its methodology can be implemented throughout rural Spain and the wider continent in order to address the issue of rural depopulation, therefore establishing the town as a counterpoint to the city in a move towards an urban dialectic.