An 18th-Century Catalan Church Revived by a Contemporary Renovation
The Sant Francesc Church was crumbling when Catalan architect David Closes first began his renovation of the site over seven ago. Built in 1729 in the small town of Santpedor, Spain, the structure had long fallen into disrepair, given over to the pressures of time, economy, and obsolescence. The vaults had holes punched through them, the plastered walls were covered in a thick layer of grime, and the central nave was being unceremoniously used as an impromptu junk yard, with rusting cars and twisted metal occupying the floor space where pews were once arrayed. Rather than reconstructing the church, which would have erased an uneventful, yet integral period of the site’s history, Closes chose to leave parts of the structure’s ruinous elements intact. The dimensions of the liturgical spaces were also to be maintained, with the architect inserting new programmatic volumes into and around the narthex and nave.