Ingrid Picanyol Studio.

Project Diary: El Pazo de Castadón #01

12 August 2022
4 min


Project Diary: El Pazo de Castadón #01

At the end of last year, Margarita Cid walked through the door of the studio to ask me to create a graphic identity for a new boutique hotel in an old “pazo.” A parenthesis for those who, like me, have no idea what a “pazo” is: a traditional Galician manor house, of noble character, where the important people of the community used to live. This particular “pazo” is called Pazo de Castadón and it is located in a small part of the world between Ourense and Pereiro de Aguiar and at the gates of Ribeira Sacra. A real gem of inland Galicia. 

Eight months after that first meeting, I get on a plane to fly to Santiago de Compostela and discover, among many other things, that it will be the most beautiful landing I have ever experienced because I will feel like I can almost touch the trees with the tips of my toes. Once on the ground, a taxi will take me to the train station so that an air-conditioned carriage can take me by the hand and accompany me to Ourense. Since I left home at dawn, buildings, clouds and landscape have been parading past the windows, I have not stopped listening to Baiuca and I have not detached myself from my notebook. It measures about 10 by 15 centimetres, its pages are off-white with ash grey stripes and I write anything that crosses my mind in them. I want to state the deal I have made with myself: to enjoy a process that has just begun and that won’t end until the next nine months are up.

As I did with the Masvell project, I would like to approach this one from the perspective of research. I want to put myself in a place where I can ask questions, question others, and, at the same time, allow myself to learn as many things as possible, no matter how disparate they may be. I have time and I want to make the most of it. I wish to create an identity which is born there and sets the hotel in the precise place where it is and that could rarely work in any other place. I fantasise about finding something that spans all its periods, polishing it and presenting it to the rest of the world from a contemporary perspective.

To start with, I set out to investigate not only the people who lived there, but also the stories, the ghosts, the legends, the landscape, and the magical and folkloric characters that live there. I like to think that this small plot of land is steeped in stories, that I can find those traces left by those who have wandered there over its more than three centuries of existence. I imagine myself tearing off one by one all the layers of the stones of the walls and scattering each fragment on the table of the studio to decide then which part of all that we have found seems the most appropriate and valuable.

For now, I have three visits scheduled with professionals from the city’s historical archives to whom I have explained the case from a distance. I have arranged a meeting with a professor of heraldry from Ourense, with whom we will have an ice cream and promise to exchange a book we love by post, and I am carrying an A4 kraft paper envelope with several printed documents: everything I have found on the internet about the “pazo” and its coats of arms, a freehand drawing of a hypothetical family tree and about twenty sheets of paper full of comments and memories that many people have shared in a post I published on Facebook. 

Have a great summer!

Ingrid Picanyol
12 de agosto de 2022