Arquitectura Viva
Monday, October 14, 2019
15/05/2017

Flores & Prats + Duch-Pizá, Casal Balaguer Cultural Center

 
The Casal Balaguer is a large aristocratic house built in the heart of Palma de Mallorca in the 14th century, renovated in the 16th, and enlarged in the 18th. At the end of the 20th, City Hall decided to convert it into a cultural center. An old residential building would thus become a public facility, open to citizens at large. The change of use determined the approach of the operation, which rested on a number of fundamental strategies: make previously closed zones accessible; recuperate and highlight spaces that were secondary; and, most importantly, form a system of circulation paths, in accord with the new use and highly intuitive, making it easy for visitors to find their way around despite the intricate geometry, almost like a labyrinth, of the historical building. With all this in mind, the project worked from deep inside. The building’s most characteristic qualities were examined, from the random-like positions and sizes of the openings to the balanced combination of materials (stone, wood, and plaster) through the unique geometry of the courtyard arches. Moreover, natural light guides the new circulations, in such a way that to pass from one zone to another is to enjoy a play of chiaroscuros, and in the entire transformation, all efforts were made to preserve the mystery of the palace, the spatial complexity that has always remained part of its growth through centuries.
Minor Surgery

Minor Surgery

Luis Fernández-Galiano
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