Various architectures

Palma de Mallorca

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Portal of the church of Sant Gaietà i Sagrats Cors in Palma de Mallorca

José Antonio Martínez Lapeña y Elías Torres Tur, arquitectos

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Sensitivity, knowledge and historical respect come together in an intervention that is apparently simple yet generous in regard to symbolic content, on the old portal of a piece of religious heritage in the city of Palma de Mallorca.

En Mallorca, the churches of both the countryside and the city tend to have main facades in sandstone (marès stone), restrained and with little ornamentation, whereas the old portals consisted of ornamental extensions of the doorway to apparently increase their dimensions. The shadows produced by the geometric mouldings and vegetable or human figures helped to create the fiction of a monumental work in keeping with the size or importance of the church and the façade plane in which the door was situated.

In the completion works of the portal of the Church of Sagrats Cors - Sant Gaietà, in Palma de Mallorca, material has not been added but rather removed, with the objective of completing a desired but never known image. The portal has been modified by sculpting the elements that were already there, as Gaudí and Jujol had done on the walls of the Main Altar of Palma Cathedral, and eliminating the mortar that covered the marès ashlar stones of the façade.

The words Ador-te-mant from the Llibre d’Evast e Blanquerna book by Ramon Llull have been sculpted in the manner of old-style typewriter letters on the ashlar stones situated above the entrance door, together with a Llullian tree, painted with gold spots on red ruddle. The jumps between ashlar stones above the entrance, which were probably awaiting the arrival of an arch, have been lowered by shaping diamonds, with their lower sides also brushed with gold and ruddle in order to gently incorporate them into the façade. When cleaning the mortar off the tympanum of the door some irregular masonry appears, of which the joins have been cleaned and then filled in with strips of gold-enamelled ceramic, giving the impression of marés stone stained glass filled in with gold.

The existing wooden door has been glad in bush-hammered copper sheeting and nitric acid streaks have been added to form the letters A + Ω. Meanwhile the new domed interior enclosure, larger than the old one to allow the stone arch of the inner wall of the façade to become encompassed within its volume, incorporates two small lateral doors to facilitate entry to daily mass.

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Emplazamiento: Palma de Mallorca. Arquitectos: José Antonio Martínez Lapeña y Elías Torres Tur (Martínez Lapeña - Torres Arquitectos). Colaboradores: Pau Badia, Pep Boada, Josep Maria Boronat, Borja-José Gutiérrez, Sol Jaumandreu, Marc Marí, Roger Panades, Luis Valiente, Jennifer Vera. Constructor: Restaurotec. Promotores: Fundació Amics del Patrimoni i Missioners del Sagrats Cors de Jesús i María. Patrocina: Grupo Barceló y Ajuntament de Palma. Fotografía: Martínez Lapeña - Torres Arquitectos y Stefano Cortellaro.
José Antonio Martínez Lapeña
Elías Torres Tur