in open dialogue with history, barcelona-based firm flores & prats has restored the historical building of the old peace and justice cooperative, adapting it for new theatrical uses. the institution, much loved by locals, is characterized by its vivacity and a surprising relationship with history which tends to redefine the theme of architectural restoration.

flores prats sala beckett barcelona designboom
all images © adrià goula

 

 

led by architects ricardo flores and eva prats, the ‘sala beckett’ project began in 2011 where they carefully studied the production activities, theatrical experimentation and going-ons to get a clearer understanding of the emotional ties between the users and the architecture. dating back to the 1920s, the building was in desperate need of restoration, the interpretation by flores & prats stems from the spatial and decorative qualities of the existing building.

 

 

‘taking care of the ghosts’ – sala beckett renovation

 

 

each significant element has been carefully collected, from the frames to the doors, the polychrome tiles, rose windows, the stratifications present in the masonry fabric and the plaster work. the design process included an in-depth study of the environmental characteristics, identified and developed through numerous drawings and detailed study models.

flores prats sala beckett barcelona designboom
the vestibule and skylight

 

 

the restored sala beckett reflects the dense memories profoundly rooted in the culture of the historical industrial district. the faded vibrant colors and interior details have been brought back to life. substantial traces of the original building is left intact, turning all the signs of time and the uses of the building into a device through which to give further meaning to the drama.

flores prats sala beckett barcelona designboom
light filters from above through a skylight into the entrance area giving rise to the complexity of the spaces and
delivers a sense of unity to the whole building

 

 

‘the ruinous state in which we encountered was of interest, not because we wanted to restore it, but rather to take the ruin forward and make it a participant, with its unfinished character of superimposed periods, in a new reality that would continue to be updated on this foundation. the challenge of the project is therefore to adapt the building to its new use without banishing its ghosts.’flores & prats

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the curving and overlapping forms of the architecture makes the historical building characteristic

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the original structure is confronted by sympathetic interventions

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details emerging from the building’s previous use

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exhibition room with natural light

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