Rehabilitation of Viceroy Palace
Site: Pl. Del Rey. Barcelona
Client: Ministerio de Cultura
Year of Project: 1992-1997
In the Palau del Lloctinent we studied the clear, squared typology with the courtyard by master Carbonell, who introduced Renaissance elements that we unheard of in Barcelona. With this idea our task was to recover the most important elements without committing ourselves to leaving our tracks. The restoration of the façade was an attempt to re-sketch the rigorous design, ant the magnificent restorers from the MNAC did it as if it had always been in such perfect condition. At certain special moments (the redesign of the courtyard with the recovered “pou de l’infern”; the choice of new “Austrian” yellow stucco in memory of emperor Charles I, a decision that I value as much for the Austrian “legitimacy” as the courage to change the previous greyish environment, which even in the middle of the 20th century looked as if it was inhabited by the Inquisition), the building integrates new design. The Lloctinent building has remained vitally integrated within the city, alongside significant cultural milestones (Corpus Christy and the “l’ou com balla”, Santa Llúcia Christmas market, the “fringe” concerts and the guided tours of the Rei Martí tower, etc.) and I feel taht the building does so with equal grace as the homonymous Flemish buildings of Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, from where, as told by the chronicles, the knights arrived accompanying the Emperor, “the most capable and handsome”. Perhaps from the day Charles V arrived in Barcelona, in 1519, Barcelona became Europe, or at least I like to think of it that way.