Repurpose architecture into something new was a challenge design firm Flores & Prats was thrilled to take on. As part of the adaptive-reuse project in Barcelona Spain. The former headquarters the Pau I Justicia cooperative has been turned into a theatrical space for public use. Originally built in the 1920’s the building fell into disrepair. It became a sleeping beauty. Flores & Prats saw many features they wanted to leave intact. The original building would be remembered into the future. Adapting what was already there was a rehabilitation, not a demolition.
The art deco features remain to tell a story. The large sash windows updated with paint. Mosaic tiles got cleaned to show a variety of design patterns and textures. The existing plaster left raw to give that industrial feel in areas where lighter colours work in harmony with natural light. There is a bar-restaurant open to the public to have a meal and take in a show. Attend a workshop on writing or drama. This space is for creative minds to explore and expand. The former ballroom is used for workshops and a second space for performances. All of the architectural history is left to tell a story from the past.
What Was Old Is New Again
Paying respect to what it was and celebrating what it has become. The Sala Beckett opened in 2016 to a well-received reception of people who loved the refurbishment. This well-loved building was the perfect project to repurpose architecture for a drama and creative space. This is happening in other cities. History is preserved through adaptive projects like this one. Let’s turn abandoned buildings into places for people to gather. Or better yet rezone for residential use to house our ageing population and people with a fixed income. What do you think about adaptive projects? Please leave a comment below.
Photos: Adria Goula
*Update* The Sala Beckett Project is now a five-part documentary series. Feel free to view the trailer below. Produced by 15-L. Films and directed by Patricia Tamayo and Albert Badia. The premiere at the Girona cinema in Barcelona, took place on 14 December last year in the presence of more than 200 enthusiastic people. The series is now available on demand on The Architecture Player’s Vimeo Channel.
Starring architects Ricardo Flores and Eva Prats, along with Toni Casares, the director of Sala Beckett, Sergi Belbel, playwright and former director of the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, artists Soraya Smithson and Antoni Miralda, and designer Curro Claret. The series retraces the journey behind the architectural renovation of the space and the bond that ties the building to its neighbourhood.
Observed by architecture critics in the past months, the Sala Beckett was awarded the City of Barcelona Architecture Prize, the Living – Spaces Simon Architecture Prize. It is shortlisted at the Beazley Design of the Year, the ENOR Awards, the FAD Architecture Prize and nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2017.