Renewal of the Old Main Seminar of Comillas University
In the last decades of the nineteenth century, thanks to the Comillas Lord, the town became a hub of the incipient Catalan Modernism. The seminary began with some sketches of Jesuit and Engineer Miguel de Alcolado, later on Joan Martorell and Lluis Domenech i Montaner started to work in the project giving the building the monumental and desired style.
The building has an academic style plan, with two cloisters with functional rooms and a central body with significant institutional spaces. After its abandonment in the 90s, it was in a terrible condition. The most remarkable architectural spaces, the lobby, the main hall and the church facades had minimal alterations, although they presented a significant deterioration due to time and lack of use. The rest of the spaces had suffered multiple interventions that trumped the apparent clarity that promises cloistered architectural type. The diseases caused by an extremely experimental construction at the time demanded swift action. The project proposes two complementary intervention degrees in two different areas of the building.
On one hand, the maintenance and conservation of most artistic spaces, located in the central body, with extensive renovation to restore its original splendor. The intervention is enriched with small specific actions intended to qualify and reclaim the spaces. We open holes looking for permeability between parts of the building, the church gets greater formal autonomy. We design new walls and floors which naturally mixed with the modernist elements and we recreate a magical space in the mansard on the auditorium.
On the other hand, it raises a more intensive rehabilitation in the cloisters, trying to transform its oppressive character. We consider there is no need here to keep the same effort restorer we decide to operate more freely, introducing new programs and technologies as required. We demolish most of the building and built in vacuum. The brick walls remaining acquire all its expressiveness. We solve most of the project technical aspects with a new wall, following the traces of the old and obsolete intermediate one.