The sublime restoration of Sant Pau’s Hospital: a modernist treasure looking to the future.
If you have time, we invite you to take a tour and enjoy of this superb restoration project. DiarioDESIGN had the privilege to do so thanks to Lutron, one of the companies involved.
Photography by Robert Ramos, courtesy of Sant Pau’s Hospital.
During the previous eight decades of medical activity, the modernist building had suffered multiple architectural changes affecting both its structure and the ornamental elements. Given the situation, in 2006 a Master Plan was drafted to evaluate the situation of the pavilions and set up a roadmap for its rehabilitation. The conclusion: the whole complex was in a critical condition.
Respect for the past, technology of the future
Before starting any work, the different teams of architects developed a very thorough historical investigation and documentation process to find out the original configuration of the buildings, the construction materials used and the layout of the ornamental elements. The ultimate goal was to guarantee consistency and harmony among all proceedings.
The restoration performed has set a reference in terms of quality, sustainability and energetic efficiency that has mobilized tens of architects and experts under the supervision of architect Frederic Crespo. The consideration of the heritage, the application of new technologies and the latest advances in energetic saving systems have been its main differentiating features. On this basis, the procedure was divided into three stages:
1. Recuperation of original volumes: elimination of structures and buildings added to the original premises.
2. Consolidation of structural elements: restoration of the internal iron framing of the pavilions, deteriorated due to time and the effects of corrosion.
3. Design of new installations and infrastructure: Construction of a perimeter ring and a network of underground rooms to accommodate the equipment, keeping the buildings intact and reducing at the same time the visual impact that these facilities could have on the heritage.
A sustainable and efficient space
The restoration of Sant Pau’s Hospital has been executed with another goal in mind: to turn the architectural complex by Domènech i Montaner into an efficient and sustainable space. In order to do so, the standards and solutions implemented have allowed to decrease the energy consumption and to maximize the water resources, among others.
Additionally, every building has been equipped with different systems to adjust the use of energy according to the users needs, such as presence sensors or central management and control systems. Proof that this restoration is energetically efficient is that there is not a single air-conditioning unit or radiator in any room.
Lighting control, provided by the company Lutron, is 100% domotic and is controlled via WiFi to avoid any wiring; even the switches are mobile to prevent any damage on walls or mosaics. The inner new layouts on each pavilion respect the original elements and any new division or workspace needed have been defined by overlapping or mobile structures.
Today, this Modernist complex has been transformed into an innovation and knowledge campus, so the renovated pavilions foster cutting-edge organizations in the areas of education, sustainability and health. The University of United Nations, Casa Asia, the European Forest Institute, the Global Water Operators Partnership Alliance, the Resilient Cities Profile Program of UNHABITAT, GUNI and the World Health Organization are the first organizations to occupy the new pavilions.
The Management Pavilion
Created by Lluìs Domènech i Montaner between 1905 and 1910, during the hospital years it hosted various uses such as admissions, finance or customer services, Occupational Health Service, Historical Archive and the offices.
Today it hosts the headquarters of the Santa Creu i Sant Pau’s Hospital Private Foundation and the cultural branch, the Historical Archive, as well as the rental spaces service.Building area: 6.840 sqm Restorated by: Joan Nogué (interior restoration and adaptation)
Sant Leopold’s Pavilion
Its last medical use consisted of hosting services of Internal Medicine, Dermatology, Teaching, Organ Donation Coordination and Tissue Bank. Currently it hosts the headquarters of the European Forest Institute, UN-HABITAT and GUNI.
The interior project has extended the useful area by implementing a mezzanine in the central building. This structure, ephemeral and respectful towards the original framework of the pavilion, is formed by sets of spruce wooden laminated slats. Inside this space a series of offices and workspaces have been set, complementing the great open space that remains in the upper part of the mezzanine.
Wood and glass are the main elements in the new dividing panels, which have allowed to turned the level -1 of the pavilion into a spacious office area. Inside this space, natural light plays a prominent role thanks to the recuperation of the great original openings.
Building area: 1.571 sqm
Restoration by: Ramon Calonge (structural consolidation and restoration of facades, domes and terraces) and Xavier Guitart (interior restoration and adaptation).
To be continued…(stay tuned!)