Church of Sant Francesc Convent by David Closes

Deterioration Embraced in Renovation Project

In Santpedor, Spain, an crippled 18th century church has been restored and rejuvenated with a new purpose and life.

The church originally had a neighbouring Franciscan convent, build by priests, which was abandoned in 1835 and destroyed in 2000. Seeking to save what was remaining of the church nextdoor, architect David Closes injected an auditorium and cultural centre while maintaining original dimensions.

Leaving old materials intact, Closes added new elements on top of original ones – the difference between old and new is not only evident, but a vital aspect of the restoration project.

‘The renovation allows visitors to read historical wounds and the building's most important spatial values, without giving up the use of contemporary language in the new elements introduced in the intervention,’ Closes says.

Photos courtesy Jordi Surroca.

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