Architecture for culture

Barcelona. Spain.

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Rei Martí water tank. Restoration and conversion of an old stormwater retention tank


Description Technical file

This especially sensitively and subtly executed project is based on the idea of enhancing the original power and condition of an unexpected space in order to maintain this concealed treasure without changing its code of nature.

There are spaces that are not anticipated, that emerge or present themselves unexpectedly. In such cases, surprised at finding an unforeseen space, we are filled with the immediate need to appropriate it, to give it a use, a social dimension that will involve it in new activities, unscheduled relations, future realities or imaginations. It was this idea of a find that was behind the Rei Martí tank, an old water supply space for the old estate of Barcelona’s Bellesguard Tower, the work of Gaudí. The tank had remained concealed under a pine wood until a truck began to sink into the terrain during some building works. Everyone was astonished to see that under the earth was an immense space with a ground plan covering more than 600m2.

The works on the tank and its setting consisted of three actions: the most significant one was the refurbishment and new use of the old water tank, which is now a multi-use space; a second intervention created a new-built body attached to the tank that operated as a nucleus of services, technical rooms, installations, galley kitchen and emergency exit from the tank; and finally the access to the tank was urbanised and a plan was made to give access to the rest of the plot.

The construction works involved giving the tank an access, which materialised in the shoring up of the solid ceramic brick wall with a 9-metre-long reinforced concrete beam. Access is via a slight three-step descent and a ramp to ensure accessibility. The interior lighting is based on LEDs which run longitudinally and gradually light up the arches from the base of the pillars, with direct vertical light. Also noteworthy is the use of cladding made from wooden pieces installed inside a galvanised wire mesh, arranged to be more or less dense to help absorb noise. There is also an ensemble of handrails made from stainless steel that are fitted with LED light along their entire length. A cylindrical column formally illuminates the space and a space at its back, where it borders on the plot of the Bellesguard Tower estate, has been reserved for installing a lift that will lead to the top part of the plot and which has yet to be developed.

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Localización Location: Barcelona. Spain. Arquitectos Architects: Martínez Lapeña – Torres Arquitectos | José Antonio Martínez Lapeña y Elías Torres + Daw Office | David García. Arquitecto Técnico Quantity surveyor: Dalmau + Morros Tècnics. Colaboradores Collaborators: Static Ingeniería, estructuras, Consulting Oficina Tècnica Lluís J. Duart, instalaciones, Restauracions POLICROMIA, restauración. Colaboradores estudio Studio Collaborators: Equipo Martínez Lapeña – Torres: Adrià Orriols (Arquitecto responsable del proyecto y de la dirección de obra), Carla Coromina, David Costa, Roger Panadès, Galo Pujana y Jennifer Vera. Equipo Daw Office: Jesús Amengual (Responsable de la dirección de obra), Diana Jiménez, Violeta Linares, Pablo Navas, Laura Pérez, Aina Santasmasses, Cristina Sarandeses, Aina Tugores y Carlos Tugores. Promotor Developer: Casa Vicens-Gaudi SAU. Constructora General Contractor: UTE Calaf - AMC5. Superficies Areas: 1.219m² (superficie construida) y 375m² (superficie de jardín). Redacción proyecto Project Draft: 2013-2015. Fecha inicio y finalización de la obra Start and completion date of the works: 2015-2017. Fotografía Photography: Pol Viladoms.
Suppliers list
Tejido cerámico, Dressing Architecture:
Marc Chalamanch

Miquel Lacasta

Carmen Santana

Adrià Goula