Monday, January 14, 2013

convent de sant francesc converted church

It's true that the church renovations that I tend to be drawn to have generally been converted into residences, but that doesn't mean that I don't also have a fine appreciation for a good historic restoration project, regardless of its intended outcome. And projects like the Convent de Sant Francesc, a former church in Guardiola, Spain that architect David Closes transformed into an auditorium and cultural space, is a particularly wonderful example of a renovation that successfully preserves the original historic structure while simultaneously transforming it into something new and incredible.

According to the architect:
The Sant Francesc convent, located in the small Catalan town of Guardiola, was built in the early 18th century by Franciscan priests. In 1835 the convent was sacked. Thereafter began the process of progressive deterioration of the building that ended with its demolition in 2000. Only the church remained standing, but in a completely ruinous state.

The project was aimed to convert the church into an auditorium and a multifunctional cultural facility. The intervention has consolidated the church without deleting the process of deterioration and collapse that the building had suffered. The project has maintained the dimensions of the church interior space and, also, the unusual entries of natural light produced by partial roof collapses. Rather than reconstructing the church, the intervention has just consolidated the old fabric distinguishing clearly the new elements executed from the original ones. The renovation carried out allows to read historical wounds and the building's most important spatial values without giving up the use of contemporary language in the new elements introduced in the intervention. 

(Via Design Milk)

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