Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis'
Convent by David Closes

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Convent de Sant Francesc by David Closes

Jagged glazed stairwells climb the stone walls of this eighteenth century church in Catalonia that architect David Closes has converted into an auditorium.

Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis' Convent by David Closes

The church is all that remains of a Franciscan convent that spent over 150 years in ruin in the town of Santpedor.

Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis' Convent by David Closes

The external staircases wind up from the entrance through the walls of the building, overlooking the auditorium in the former nave.

Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis' Convent by David Closes

The existing vaulted ceiling remains damaged, but a new roof overlaps and shelters it.

Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis' Convent by David Closes

Two mezzanine floors are located in the wings of the church and will later become a historical archive.

Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis' Convent by David Closes

Other renovation projects in Spain include a cinema in an old slaughterhouse and a market hall converted into a children’s centre.

Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis' Convent by David Closes

Photography is by Jordi Surroca.

Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis' Convent by David Closes

Here's some more information from David Closes:


Church of Sant Francesc convent

The Sant Francesc convent, located in the small Catalan town of Santpedor, was built in the early 18th century by Franciscan priests. In 1835 the convent was sacked.

Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis' Convent by David Closes

Thereafter began the process of progressive deterioration of the building that ended with its demolition in 2000. Only the church remained standing, but in a completely ruinous state.

Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis' Convent by David Closes

The project was aimed to convert the Church into an auditorium and a multifunctional cultural facility. The intervention has consolidated the church without deleting the process of deterioration and collapse that the building had suffered.

Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis' Convent by David Closes

The project has maintained the dimensions of the church interior space and, also, the unusual entries of natural light produced by partial roof collapses. Rather than reconstructing the church, the intervention has just consolidated the old fabric distinguishing clearly the new elements executed of the original ones.

Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis' Convent by David Closes

The renovation carried out allows 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.

Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis' Convent by David Closes

The new programmatic volumes inserted (as vertical accesses or technical equipment) have been located partially outside of the church with the aim of preserving the inner space unity of the nave. In addition, the new stairs and ramps provide an unwonted circular route across the building with amazing and diverse views.

Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis' Convent by David Closes

The intervention preserves the historical heritage of the building and simultaneously adds new values which highlight and singularize the ancient church in a contemporary way.

Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis' Convent by David Closes

In the future, a final phase will complete the project by placing a historical archive on the upper floors of the south side of the church.

Auditorium in the Church of Saint Francis' Convent by David Closes

Project: Auditorium in the church of Sant Francesc convent
Location: Santpedor (Catalonia), Spain
Area: 950 m2
Client: Santpedor City Council
Author: David Closes (architect)
Collaborators: Dídac Dalmau (construction engineer), BOMA (structures consultants), Toni Vila (industrial engineer)
Date of project: 2005 (1st phase), 2010 (2nd phase)
Execution: 2006-2008 (1st phase), 2010-2011 (2nd phase)
Builder: Construccions F. Vidal / GrupSoler
Cost: 1.601.553 euros (vat included)