Longitudinal section through the exposition space and the new staircase., Room on the main floor. Photography Adrià Goula, Arrival to the rooftop., 13. Library to the dome., Rooftop with lightwells., Plan of the roof., Ground floor access., Smoking room on the main floor., Ellipse window., Cross section, with the entry of Vertical and horizontal light., Coffee shop on the ground floor. Photography by Adrià Goula, Exit to the rooftop., Lightwell on the future library., Axonometric of the light distribution by the dome., New rooms for paintings and reading., Continuous windows on the coffe shop., Walk through the dome., Longitudinal section, from Union Street to the rear passage through the central courtyard., New staircase., New concrete staircase., General axonometric of the project., Library underneath the roof., Second floor, library and reading room., Facade on the rear passage., Climb to the dome., The palace seen from the neighbor`s house., Third floor, rooftop., Windows in the Old service space.
Casal Balaguer is a palace at the historic center of Palma, a building that has evolved over the centuries as a family home, starting in 1300, then in two additional stages in 1500 and 1700, and finally in its current state as a cultural center for the entire city. The intention was to value the events contained in the building without taking physical distance from the historical stages that have shaped its qualities. Therefore the architects have transformed the building with the decision to reoccupy it, giving it a new era of longer life making it more sustainable. Having drawn the building for a length of time aided the decision process, and in this sense the drawings inspired confidence to work on what was found without physical and temporal distances from the story, in a continuous time frame which makes new interventions appear as if they had already existed. The end result is a new generation, with a new legacy that takes the existing strain and and draws from it. It is not only a geometric metamorphosis, but also one of materials, proportions, and dimensions.
The building is updated based on the previous one, in a transformation that welcomes the new features. The effort is to make the ancient palace express its maximum spatial, material, and historical qualities. Viewing it as a new construction, without the typical constraints of the use for which it was intended, allowed the architects to stop seeing it as a building of domestic dimensions, and move on to assess the spatial and physical requirements for a new type of occupation. Exploring the unfinished condition of the existing building, suggests that transformative actions upon it are not over, but that it is continually evolving. This dialogue of confidence in what we find, in a positive observation that values and respects the signs of an earlier occupation, gives the project a temporary sense which makes the time period of the place unrecognizable.