Restoration for the Tàpies Foundation


Fact sheet

Site: Barcelona
Client: Ayuntamiento de Barcelona
Year of the project: 1986
Construction: 1990
Area: 3.750 m²
Awards: FAD Award Finalist and Década Award First Prize. Entered the Museology Conference of the Ministry of Culture. Selected for the IX Architectural Bienal Venecia 2004.
The publishing house of Montaner i Simón was the first building of the Ensanche to integrate industrial form and technology in the city center. Like many of the buildings of the first Ensanche the publishing house is of a height which corresponds to three stories, being boxed in with respect to the cornice line of the Ensanche.
The effort to make the contemporary nature of the project compatible with the Modernist building and the problem of the reduced height of the building, have suggested the treatment of the upper part of the building. The reconstruction of the profile of the cornice of the Ensanche is based on prolonging the structure, projecting beams supporting several sheets of semitransparent metal mesh. This metallic assemblage is carried out in curtain mesh steel and serves to support a work of Antoni Tàpies which.
Inside, the project attempts to exploit the grand spatial quality of the old publishing house, slender pillars, six meters tall, arrangement of the floors with respect to the level of the street, zenital light.
The lighting of the large exhibit halls has been the main reason for modifying the existing central lantern.
This substantital has produced the solution of a unitary roof which meshes with the roof of the library, conserving the original structure of wooden roof beams.

The most important intervention of the project was resolving the effect of the two main dividing walls that box the building amid the neighbouring blocks completely respecting the existing state of the façade. For this purpose, a series of eight semitransparent panels were built, perpendicular to the façade and following the order of the internal structure that in the design vision, hide the separating walls and redraw the line of the Eixample cornice. 

View of the rehabilitation from Aragón Street

View of the rehabilitation from Aragón Street


  • View of the rehabilitation from Aragón Street
  • Solution for the effect of the two adjoining party walls
  • Respecto for the modernist building
  • Modification on the existing skylight
  • Modification in the block patio
  • Relation with the intervention in the roof level
  • Integration of Tàpies work in the space
  • Bookshelves from the former Printing Office
  • Ground floor
  • Transverse section
  • Longitudinal section
  • Longitudinal section