Various architectures

Barcelona. Spain

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Restoration of the old Damm brewery in Barcelona

Gianni Ruggiero, arquitecto

Description Technical file

This interesting restoration project started with the intention of rescuing its industrial identity as part of a complex conforming process in which functional substitution and the emergence of new uses necessarily led to a new spatial scaling.

The Damms were the first Alsatians to settle in Barcelona in 1872 and to start doing what they knew about: beer. After forming an association with another Barcelona family, and after occupying other locations, they moved to the La Bohemia brewery, which took it back to its origins. This was in the early 20th century. Today, that brewery has been absorbed by the city’s expansion. However, the Damm company understood that this architectural heritage was important in its history and thus sought to update the facilities, transforming them into a multi-purpose centre. The commission, therefore, sought to bring new life to the century-old halls, which had become obsolete after transferring beer production to new facilities further away from the city centre.

Conferences, presentations, parties, business meetings or activities not yet imagined by the clients or the architect had to be able to be staged in a place that in its transformation could not lose the essence of what it had been: a brewery built in 1905.

The original materials now coexist with other new ones and the accord between both modifies the space but not the character of this place. This is not a project out to make an impact; it is a task of centimetres and layers in which the greatest difficulties consisted, at the outset, of making 40 linear metres of fencing “disappear” and which was finally redesigned by Javier Mariscal so that it would facilitate its partial deployment.

For the indoor paving, the original cobblestones have been recovered. They were buried under several layers of concrete. A handrail was then designed for the staircase leading to the boiler room “as if there were still industrialists from the modernist era”.

Although many of the rooms were in ruins, the architect worked by “arranging everything so that it would seem that nothing had been done”. That is the brewery today. The restoration rescues its industrial identity, making the most of the original walls and cast iron pillars and introduces new openings and corporate colours and brings in light through roof lights to rationalise and dynamise the space.

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Localización Location: Barcelona. Spain. Promotor Promotor: S.A.Damm. Arquitecto Architect: Toolstudio. Gianni Ruggiero. Colaboradores Collaborators: Sofia Cassales Kozma, Ana Mª Salgado, Iván Pérez Carretero, Hanan, Bensho, Salvador Gil, Gina Teixidò, Willy Imgruth, Pau Monguió. Josep Comella y Mauricio Ramirez (paisajismo). Indus (ingeniería). Gianni Ruggiero (diseño iluminación). Javier Mariscal (diseño valla). Valeria Dubin y Sebastian Saavedra (diseño gráfico). Arquitectos Técnicos Technical Architects: Francesc Belart, Indus. Constructor General contractor: Abolafio, LLoret y Sacyr. Superficie construida Built area: 2.100m2. Fotografía Photography: Rafael Vargas, Betadisc.
Rafael Vargas