Sala Beckett's Creative Soul Lives On in the Vibrant District of Poblenou, by Flores & Prats Architects
A cultural space designed by Flores & Prats opens in Barcelona; it is characterized by extraordinary vivacity and a surprising relationship with history which tends to redefine the theme of architectural restoration. The new Sala Beckett, which opened in november 2016 in Poblenou, in the Sant Martí district, is dedicated to theatre, experimentation and training. This place for meeting and creativity found a space in the headquarters of the old Peace and Justice cooperative (Pau i Justicia). The design by architects Ricardo Flores and Eva Prats reflects the dense memories profoundly rooted in the culture of the historical industrial district, which had already undergone significant changes for the 1992 Olympics and has now become vibrant due to the presence of numerous artists and creative talents.
The light that filters from above through a skylight into the entrance area gives rise to the complexity of the spaces and delivers a sense of unity to the whole building, gently reaching down to the ground floor. Here, in the lobby of the old cooperative, it guides the public towards the performance areas.
“The ruinous state in which we encountered was of interest, not because we wanted to restore it, but rather to take the ruin forward and make it a participant, with its unfinished character of superimposed periods, in a new reality that would continue to be updated on this foundation. (...) the challenge of the project is therefore to adapt the building to its new use without banishing its ghosts.”
- Flores & Prats Architects
The design by Flores & Prats stems from the spatial and decorative qualities of the existing building, a part of the identity assumed by the city of Barcelona at a time when the workers’ associations emerged along with their surprising capacity to create space for entertainment. Each significant element has been carefully collected, from the frames to the doors, the polychrome tiles, rose windows, the stratifications present in the masonry fabric and the plasterwork. The design process included an in-depth study of the environmental characteristics, identified and developed through numerous drawings and detailed study models.
“The new Sala Beckett is a space where the audience member enters and breathes, understands, feels that they are not customers for an industrial product, but part of a dialogue, a person who makes sense of what is presented on stage.”
- Toni Casares, Drammaturgo e Direttore di Sala Beckett
Architecture Flores & Prats Architects
Project name: Sala Beckett - Obrador Internacional de Dramaturgia
Project location: Calle Pere IV 228, Poble Nou, Barcelona, Spain
Client: Institut de Cultura de Barcelona + Fundació Sala Beckett
Theater Engineering: Marc Comas
Acoustic Consultancy: Arau Acústica
Structural Engineering: Manuel Arguijo
Mechanical and Electrical Engineering: AJ Ingeniería
Photographers: Adrià Goula, Judith Casas (model photos)
Short film produced by: 15-L. Films directed by: Albert Badia
Press office: Image MEDIA AGENCY