PLANTA BAJA’S FLAMES Music Club rehabilitation after a fire
The traces of fire, materially, technically and conceptually, become the guide to the process of restoration of a mythical music club after the fire that almost turns it into ashes.
In 1989 Planta Baja Club reopened in its current location after leaving an old and small place. For this occasion the grapix designer Carmen Sigler would make a collage in which Nosferatu, under the slogan "Killing to Resurrect", said farewell to the past welcoming a new upcomming phase. Since then the club would consolidate its position of vanguard becoming one of the spaces of reference within the musical scene as much local as national. With an attractive interior design this space was presented divided in two levels. The large room on the basement floor would be used for holding concerts while the local upstairs, in direct contact with the street, would serve as a showcase, access, lockers and bar. Although the concert space wouldn’t suffer many transformations over time, the upper level would be intervened as a result of successive adaptations to technical regulations and changes of ownership. The result would be an amalgam of layers of different periods that detracted from the strong unitary character present in the original intervention. On June 12, 2016, just one day after the season closing concert, Planta Baja burned. A failure of the electrical panel caused the spark that led to the fire that would destroy much of the top floor of this mythical club. Fire damage would not only result in a necessary intervention at the level of finishes but also a complete restructuring of the evacuation and conditioning systems throughout the premises affecting especially the ventilation installations. The new and voluminous machinery necessary to comply with the technical requirements against fire made any attempt to conceal or camouflage it impossible to be integrated into the solution assuming its strong presence. On the other hand, paradoxically, the local after being damaged by the flames presented an overwhelming material unity which opened us the possibility of understanding the fire as the start point for a new stage, a foundational one, an opportunity to rethink its image again in an integral way. The fire could then serve as a guide for the proposal. Its needs would sort the premises. Its footprint and patina would qualify it. Its agents (installers of machinery, the people in charge of insulation against fire, metalworking manufacturers of conduits, etc ...) the artisans. The structure of the space would remain practically the same. In fact, we would work to emphasize those inherited elements that had built the identity of this place: the circle as a very present element in the room (passage, staircase, columns), color chart (black, gray and red), white trencadis baths, disheveled circular columns lined with galvanized or the presence of materials such as concrete and stone. The first operation would consist of folding the concrete floor to form a lon table that recycled the structure of the original one giving a greater order to the space of the bar. The projected cement used to insulate the ducts in the lower level would be used as a ceiling finish wich also improved the acoustic performance of the space. Crude steel, as it comes out of the furnace, with its carbonized stains and textures, would become the element that will cross the plane most affected by the fire. This sinuous metal wall adapts to the original layout, acting as infrastructure for the passage of light (backlit) and air. With no apparent gratings, the perforation pattern acts as both a lamp and an extraction machine at the same time. The opposite wall would be maintained with the original stone "colored" by the soot marks that would be left as they were found. The ducts and machinery for the air drive in the room and the extraction of the lower room will become surprising protagonists of the space acquiring a strategic position next to the window, superimposed on the posters that announce to the pedestrian the programming of the club. As in the interior, the facade, also metallic, acts as skin for the management of light and air. Without any presence of machinery on the outside, the whole envelope functions as an extensive plenum that "breathes" and illuminates at the same time. The light, of an intense cadmium red, in the middle of the night demands attention for itself and reminds us of that fire that once was unleashed inside. Four months after the closing and after the period of works, a poster announced the reopening of the club. Following the line marked in the late 90's a new figure was responsible for embodying the rebirth of the space after the fire: Guy Montag, the famous firefighter protagonist of the novel by American writer Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, with the face of Oskar Werner, the main character in the film of the same name directed by François Truffaut in 1966. It was no accident that the first band to play in the room resurged from the ashes were Los Bomberos (The Firefighters). The new slogan would be: "Burn to Resurrect". TECHNICAL DATA
Authors: CUAC arquitectura (Tomas García Píriz y Javier Castellano Pulido) Place: Calle Horno de Abad 11, 18002, Granada (Spain) Colaborators: Álvaro Castellano Pulido (Architect), Francisco Ruiz (Architect) / Marc Bardelloni, Ania Bozek, Emilie Froelich, Jane Horcajo, Graziano Testa, Martina Vismara ( Students) Graphic Design: Ángel Lozano Fotographer: Fernando Alda Start Date: Julio 2016 Finalization Date: Octubre 2017 Budget: 60.000 euros Surface: 232 m2 Promotor: Planta Baja (Guachimango Club S.L) Constructor: Guachimango Club S.L Metal: Grupo Innovahogar S.L Concrete finishings: Indalcret Microcemento S.L Fire Insolation: Aislamientos Técnicos Berbel-Porcel S.L Acoustic: DBA S.L Engineering: PKMYR S.L