Architecture for culture


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Sala Beckett. International dramaturgical workshop

Ricardo Flores y Eva Prats / Flores & Prats Arquitectos

FAD Awards finalist 2017  Architecture
Description Technical file

The Jury’s appraisal: The intervention on this old workers’ cooperative showcases the building’s historic patina, consolidates and dignifies the material essence of its walls and finishes, which have been imaginatively converted for the new use in a dialogue between the contemporary intervention and the archaeological refurbishment of what was there. The material richness placed at the service of a new interpretation, establishing a suitable hierarchy for the discourse of reusing the joinery and flooring, has allowed them to increase the instrumental value of the spaces and fit them out with unexpected visuals and circulations, thus enhancing the scenic use of a building that is now a theatre.
The new Sala Beckett is a place where creators, public, directors and students come together and where the still-present old ghosts of the consumer cooperative await the arrival of new actors and together imagine different worlds and create new fictions.
For the director of the Sala Beckett, the “ghosts” that inhabited the building when the architects arrived “were not to be chased away”, since they helped to engage in the activity of the experimental theatre in whose setting actors and playwrights find complicity with the story that has already begun and of which these walls speak.
For them, in performing a theatre of words, the walls are filled with the stories of the lives that passed through here. It is now easier to approach this open history, to touch these walls and operate on them if necessary. The challenge of this project consisted of adapting the building to the new use without banishing the ghosts: adapting the old cooperative to the new technical requirements of a contemporary theatre while retaining the delicate and oh-so-fragile beauty of the original construction. The project evaluates both the spatial and the decorative qualities of the existing building. To divide those vast spaces would have been to conventionalise its legacy, split it up and rob it of its spatial richness. The decoration, too, is key, as it refers to the era when it was built: materials and decors locked into a time in the city when worker’s associations appeared that were able to create an appropriate setting for their leisure activities. This meant that, when starting on the works, the architects drew up an inventory of everything that could be recovered of the building and which they sought to relocate, even in places and in ways that differed from the original ones. These elements, even the smallest ones –signs, floors, windows, doors, stairs, hangers, mouldings and rosettes—return to the building in a recovery or recycling operation, seeking to make the most of them t o the fullest possible extent.

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Localización Location: Barcelona. Spain. Arquitectos Architects: Ricardo Flores y Eva Prats / Flores & Prats Arquitectos. Dirección de obra Site management: Flores & Prats Arquitectos. Colaboradores Collaborators: Eirene Presmanes, Jorge Casajús, Micol Bergamo, Michelle Capatori, Emanuele Lisci, Cecilia Obiol, Francesca Tassi-Carboni, Nicola Dale, Adrianna Mas, Giovanna de Caneva, Michael Stroh, Maria Elorriaga, Pau Sarquella, Rosella Notari, Laura Bendixen, Francesca Baldessari, Marta Smektala, Ioanna Torcanu, Carlotta Bonura, Florencia Sciutto, Georgina Surià, Elisabet Fàbrega, Julián González, Valentina Tridello, Agustina Álvaro Grand, Monika Palosz, Shreya Dudhat, Jordi Papaseit, Judith Casas, Tomás Kenny, Filippo Abrami, Constance Lieurade, Iben Jorgensen, Lucía Gutiérrez, Gimena Álvarez, Agustina Bersier, Mariela Allievi, Toni Cladera, Clàudia Calvet y Iván Alcázar. Ingeniería de Teatro Theatre Engineering: Ing. Marc Comas. Asesoría acústica Acoustic Consultancy: Arau Acústica. Estructuras Structures: Arq. Manuel Arguijo. Instalaciones Facilities: AJ Ingeniería. Promotor Developer: Institut de Cultura de Barcelona + Fundació Sala Beckett. Constructora General Contractor: Betaconkret S.A. Concurso Competition: Enero 2011. Anteproyecto y Proyecto Básico Preliminary and Basic Project: Marzo 2012. Proyecto Ejecutivo Executive Project: Enero 2014. Ejecución Execution: Abril 2014 - Marzo 2016. Superficie construida Built area: 2923m2. Fotografía Photography: Adrià Goula.
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Restauración de carpintería: Decoración J. Pagés
Eva Prats
Ricardo Flores
Flores & Prats Arquitectos

Adrià Goula