Restore, change, or evolve?

Restore, change, or evolve?

The dilemma on restoring a historical building or leaving it as it is during restoration has been around for some time now. For the firm MESURA, the answer lies in evolution; it is not about changing the project, but improving it while maintaining its features.

The Peratallada Castle (Girona, Spain) dates from the 10th century and, even though it belongs to a private owner, it is part of the national heritage and vestiges from the 2nd century B.C. have been found in it. It used to be abandoned, but during its renovation a purpose was needed so it was sustainable.

MESURA embarks on the task to respect the place’s history while searching to achieve an equal mix between the contemporary and history. The intervention made to the fortress was modest and neutral, in this way, the existing shapes and textures were integrated. Another important detail was light, essential for the illumination of protected areas, also featuring a symbiosis that highlights the original trace.

The façade and vegetation were in need of renovations, so the firm added a restaurant, terrace, and garden area. They also equipped the building with electricity and air conditioning systems to make it habitable, always taking the original design as foundation. The result: an evolved space filled with history.

Peratallada can be translated from Catalan as “cut rock” and the name pays tribute to the piece which, almost by chance, defines the structure of one of Reforma’s main areas. The garden is divided in three levels; two of them are in contact with two of the castle’s buildings and the third one houses the swimming pool. Elevated platforms had to be created for its construction on the ground floor, thus avoiding altering the original structure beyond what was necessary.

The terrace is surrounded by ancient architecture, so a rock of the same color and hue as the castle’s walls was looked for. This decision increased the project’s budget considerably, so a creative form was needed to stick to it; the dilemma reached the ears of people in a project who were discarding Turkish rock cut in different shapes, and so the firm decided to select the pieces that matched the construction and created some kind of floor puzzle with a border that never touches the walls of the property.