The Barcelona practice of Carles Enrich has transformed an old church in the Catalonian municipality of Gironella into a cultural center for the performing arts.
Built in the mid-14th century, the religious construction was repurposed several times, including into as a residence, a carpentry shop, a noodle factory, and a bar. In 2016, the poor state the building was in, combined with its lack of services and MEP installations, made it necessary to reformulate the space altogether in turning it into a venue for cultural activities related to the performing arts, especially dance, music, and poetry reading.
The project highlighted the strengths of each previous intervention, understanding the sequence of different historical layers. It adapted and inserted services and upgraded installations to comply with current codes and curb the deterioration of enclosures and pavements.
The refurbishment focused on three strategies: first, enlarging the building's usable space by retrieving the church's main nave, in the process incorporating a central pavement of birchwood to insulate the floor well, and along the perimeter, adapted to the stone walls, a continuous pavement of self-leveling mortar; second, introducing a cluster of services in one of the chapels – conceived as a pinewood box with an enclosure that conceals the door – and including a new heating system, designed to push warm air off the floor; third, creating a visual connection with the surroundings through facades composed of vertical modules of transparent glass that bring in daylight.