jean nouvel: fabrica moritz barcelona jean nouvel: fabrica moritz barcelona
jul 11, 2012

jean nouvel: fabrica moritz barcelona

‘fabrica moritz brewery’ by jean nouvel, barcelona, spain image © pierre clemencon

the restoration of a 19th century brewery in barcelona would both convert the dilapidating building into a material representation of its historical significance, and create a community treasure centered around design, cuisine and culture. leading the renovation, french architect jean nouvel worked hand in hand with CEO albert castello, and jordi vila, director of gastronomy. the companies priorities wanted to modernize the structure while maintaining moritz’s essence and expose the unique industrial vestiges of its era, namely the brickwork, vaulted concrete cellars and floor mosaics. although decommissioned as the principle brewing establishment, the construct has been repurposed to encompass a venue for the public.

once a massive gray wall, the entrance is now greeted by a vertical garden created by parisian botanist patrick blanc. an outdoor staircase leads to the entry on the second floor which contains an outdoor terrace, museum, a gastronomical hall and workshop. at street level is the ‘M’ store, a wine bar with over 400 types, the moritz bar, water tanks, and of course a microbrewery capable of producing 60 hectoliters of unpasteurized beer per year. the subterranean fermentation halls have become the new cultural center; a restaurant and kitchen sit next to sala 39 (room 39), a large multi-use exhibition area adaptable for expositions, meeting rooms and performances for large or small audiences.

geo coordinates: 41° 22′ 57” ,  2° 09′ 48”

entrance terrace image © pierre clemencon

the architect refrains from direct modification, instead maintaining the newly formed dichotomy between the intervening elements and highlighting the existing features through the use of light and transparency. the 150-year-old masonry walls and columns have been left intact while subtle splints of steel provide the necessary support. a lustrous transparent resin coats the existing floor, preserving the antique tile patterns. a playful arrangement of mirrors have been placed throughout the central volumes to reflect light, a tactic used during the industrial years of the 1800’s. a relationship between old and new exists amongst the concrete, metal, glass and brick present throughout the scope of the project. installed concrete beams expose the wear of the original pillars. slender reflective columns assist the black iron girders. in some cases, glass has been used to transparently preserve elements, helping to transform the construction into an observable experiential object.

geo coordinates: 41° 22′ 57” ,  2° 9′ 48”

entry image © albert marin

upper level entry image © pierre clemencon

image © albert marin

image © pierre clemencon

image © pierre clemencon

image © pierre clemencon

interior mirrors image © albert marin

water tanks and bar image © pierre clemencon

vaulted mezzanine originally used for fermentation image © albert marin

fermentation rooms and tanks image © pierre clemencon

image © pierre clemencon

service corridor image © albert marin

  • superb!

    amanda says:
  • I live 2 blocks far from “this”. I guarantee these pictures show a far better image than the real thing. The sad truth is that this is probably the worse project by Jean Nouvel, real cold and unpleasent atmosphere, very bad interior finishings, poor quality furnitures, etc… Seeing is believing… Go an see by yourself, or even better, don’t bother. It’s a waste of time.

    Stephan says:
  • noooo stephan say it isn’t so! from the photographs it looks like pure nouvel greatness.

    bamboozled says:
  • Thanks Stephan…it is exactly your comment that makes spending time on this site worthwhile. I also sensed a “slick” quality about this work…if it comes across that way in reality, I imagine it is even more poorly served by inadequate craftsmanship…nothing falls flater.
    Would that the project architect had studied Scarpa a bit more closely…

    Chaszr says:
  • class is forever

    nkyb says:
  • Wonderful – can’t wait to see it!

    Pat says:

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