The Sant Francesc Church was crumbling when Catalan architect David Closes first began his renovation of the site over seven ago. Built in 1729 in the small town of Santpedor, Spain, the structure had long fallen into disrepair, given over to the pressures of time, economy, and obsolescence. The vaults had holes punched through them, the plastered walls were covered in a thick layer of grime, and the central nave was being unceremoniously used as an impromptu junk yard, with rusting cars and twisted metal occupying the floor space where pews were once arrayed. Rather than reconstructing the church, which would have erased an uneventful, yet integral period of the site’s history, Closes chose to leave parts of the structure’s ruinous elements intact. The dimensions of the liturgical spaces were also to be maintained, with the architect inserting new programmatic volumes into and around the narthex and nave. Continue.
The additions are mostly comprised of small pieces of infrastructure, from the concrete, glass-sheathed staircase at the north end of the church to the coiling ramp that loops above the nave floor. A new deck and roof volume are tiered, following the original massing of the structure, to bring in light to the church at multiple levels. Other interventions include reading cloisters and sleek lavatories. Throughout, Closes achieves a rich palette of materials and space, deftly weaving the old elements with the new.
[via World Architecture News]