Arquitectura Viva
Thursday, October 22, 2020

Antonio Montes Gil, El Molí Library in Molins de Rei (Barcelona)

Shortlisted in the Architecture category of the 2020 FAD Awards, this library in the Barcelona municipality of Molins de Rei, takes up the two higher levels of a former Ferrer y Mora textile factory, built in 1858. Designed by Antonio Montel Gil, architect of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, it brings back the building’s original silhouette, defining a new cross-section of the roof which incorporates views and natural lighting on the top floor by means of side terraces.

The project focuses on restoring the facade and recovering the original structure inside, achieving this through an upper reinforcement of lightened concrete on the partitioned ceramic vaults, which are held up by cast iron columns that also support the existing wooden beams.

One of the old lateral facades, practically opaque, becomes a gallery that brings in daylight, filtered by a ceramic-and-glass lattice wall. In this space are an exterior reading zone, the stairs, and the accesses to the future municipal facility.

The vertical circulation core and equipment elements are placed at the center of the building. This new space has a system of intersecting walkways around a stair suspended from the ceiling, creating visual connections among levels.

Part of the basement has been joined with the ground level to expose the old concourse, including the factory’s original doubleturbine, which was found and unearthed during construction works.
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