Architecture for culture

Santa María de Vilanova de la Barca, Lleida. Spain.

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Restoration and recovery of the church of Santa María de Vilanova de la Barca as a new multi-use hall for the municipality.

AleaOlea arquitectura i Paisatge. | Laia Renalias, Carles Serrano, Leticia Soriano, Roger Such.

Description Technical file

This refurbishment project on a church of gothic origin to turn it into a multiple-use municipal hall is characterised as an ensemble by the intention of restoring its volumetric shape, preserving the atmosphere of introspection inherent to the original space.

Santa María de Vilanova de la Barca, Lleida, is a gothic church dating from the 13th century that was partially destroyed in 1938 by Civil War bombings. Since then the church was in a generally ruinous state and only retained its east apse, a few fragments of the naves and its west façade. The intervention’s main goal was to restore and recover it as a new multiple-use hall for the municipality. The project seeks to establish a complementary dialogue between the new and old parts, between its present and the memory of the past.

The original church falls into a double-nave basilica type, chancel and lateral chapels. The east part retains some imposing lateral buttresses, possibly of Romanesque origin, and in the apse a late-gothic cross vault dating from the 17th century. The entire church was built from local ashlar stone, very well edged and fitted at break joint, greatly damaged by the area’s climate and the erosion caused by time. Recently the construction of a family house attached to the space of the old moat substantially affected the ensemble.

The most important part of the intervention centred on the sheltering elements: façade and roof. The project establishes a new casing comprised of a double-leaf façade and a peaked roof. The entire system is conceived as a ceramic shell delicately resting on the remains of the old walls. The external façade is given a brick lattice that reproduces the dense and irregular finish of the ashlar stones. The finish is hermetic and opaque and exalts the continuity with the original fabric. The internal façade, however, is covered in perforated brick that, together with the ceiling of metallic trusses, reinforces the contrast and discontinuity with the original parts. The entire interior was painted in white and, together with a new lateral courtyard, pursues greater clarity and bringing in more daylight into the interior. In its ensemble, the proposal re-establishes the volumetric shape of the old church and preserves the atmosphere of repose and introspection of the original holy space.

Next to the main space of the church, the project also proposes a new entrance to the complex, transforming the lateral space of the old moat into a new access courtyard. The pergola, trees, ground-cover vegetation and chain of water appear as new elements in the landscape and sketch out a stage that serves as the threshold into the church.

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Localización Location: Santa María de Vilanova de la Barca, Lleida. Spain. Arquitectos Architects: AleaOlea arquitectura i Paisatge | Laia Renalias, Carles Serrano, Leticia Soriano, Roger Such. Arquitecto Técnico Quantity surveyor: Baldomer Ric. Estructura Structure: Campanyà Vinyeta S.L. Propiedad Ownership: Ajuntament de Vilanova de la Barca. Promotor Developer: Secretaria d’Habitatge i Millora Urbana (Generalitat de Catalunya), Ajuntament de Vilanova de la Barca, Incasol (Institut Català del Sòl). Constructora General Contractor: UTE Construccions Jaen-Vallés - Urcotex Inmobiliaria. Superficie construida Built area: 300,00m². Volumen Volume: 1.800,00m3. Fecha de finalización de la obra Completion date of the works: abril 2016. Fotografía Photography: Adrià Goula.
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Dintel Cerámico: Terreal

Suministro de jardinería y árboles de alta gama: Vivers Borda

Laia Renalias

Carles Serrano

Leticia Soriano

Roger Such

Adrià Goula