David Closes reinvents the dilapidated Sant Francesc church in Santpedor, Spain
Catalan architect David Closes has recently renovated the Sant Francesc Church, located in the Catalan town of Santpedor, Spain. The building measures 950 sq ft and is part of a seven-year long project to restore and re-envision the historic church.
Closes wanted to preserve the historical legacy of the building - which was built between 1721 and 1729 by Franciscan priests - in his impressive reinterpretation of religious space. In 2000 the convent was partly demolished by the state due to its ruinous appearance and fell into disuse. Closes completed the project in 2011 and he has left the rough, damaged facade of the building intact, preserving in its modernisation. Without losing sight of the architectural unity, the church is now an auditorium and multifunctional cultural space.
The lighting of the interior has been specifically designed to guarantee maximum luminosity in every area of the nave, but without altering spaces and dimensions. The windows are not imposing, but the impact of the light exuded is great. A system of stairs and ramps allow you to cross each from area to area in a circular path, coming across the amalgamation of man-made steel and the natural rock.
Closes has worked mainly on urban scale projects, on public space projects and on territorial and landscape proposals for several public institutions. From 2004 to 2011, he has been Director of the Urban Projects Department of Manresa City Council. A challenge faced by Closes in the renovations was to maintain the unity and dimension of the church despite the need for certain modernisations such as lavatories and reading units - so some of these have been located in part outside the building or remain inside to maintain the concept of unified space.