In order to have a perfect knowledge of the building's history, important archaeological investigations preceded the restoration projects of the different areas of the shipyards.
The different interventions have been made over many years so it was necessary to have general criteria that should give unity to the restoration: on one hand, the adjacency; new interior walls and new additional structures are arranged independent of the original structures. On the other hand, transparency, which has allowed to revalue the isotropic space for the ships moving to outlying áreas,catering services, objects, models, boats etc. and also warehouses. A third approach has been the introduction of natural light into the exhibition space of the ships; finally a fourth idea is identified with an economy of materials: continuous concrete flooring, wood finishes any new closed volume metal sections of steel and glass in all façades and light elements.
The building was conceived originally as a structure of stone arches without any facilities, however, the operation of a museum today,requires an enormous amount of technical facilities, to live with the origin must, in its most, be hidden. Keeping the hidden facilities has been a fifth criterion, solved by arranging distribution galleries next to the pillars. Buried galleries drawn every subsurface archaeological remains and the support elements of artificial lighting and signs contain all necessary equipment.
The building of the Barcelona Royal Shipyard is located next to the statue of Columbus and the wall and bulwark of the XVI century makeup the facade to the Parallel avenue. The main facade overlooks the Paseo Josep Carner, the front side to the Drassanes avenue and the rear facade over the Blanquerna Square. It is a large building covering an area of 17,500 m2.
The characteristic structural element of the shipyards is the inter section of two arches: the diaphragmatic arches, beams in decks and aqueducts arches containing drainage channels are supported. This is a very stable structure that forms an isotropic space of 6,000 m2.
The covers hadn’t thermal insulation and an irregular configuration; due to irregular configuration in a first resto ratio ncarried out in the 1950s, the imprecise support beams (wooden and concrete mostly) in the low walls of the diaphragmatic arches was entrusted. Thus, the function of the corbels was merely decorative,the ridge did not have a solid line and the skirts of the covers were warped surfaces. The overall restoration of the building allowed the removal of all covers in order to have new wooden beams supported on stone corbels. The beams are arranged by ceramic elements and an insulating mass placed between two hollow ceramic layers.
The restoration of the main exhibition space (2010- 2013)
Archaeological surveys have revealed the existence of an ancient Roman cemetery and remains of walls, wells and pillars of medieval times in an elongated hollow made to that effect on the ground between two aqueductarcades.
Coverand structural restoration of the arcades has been made similar tothe first intervention in the Marqués de Comillas Hall. Thelayout of the air conditioning ducts was performed circumventing the archaeological remains and the machinery is located in the courtyard.
The facade shows large ships to Av. Parallel is the fifteenth-centurycity wall was built attached to the wall enclosing the portico of thewest. This portico was very run down and conformed aqueduct arcadethat was boarded up so that neither the porticoed, nor the curtainwall, and the wall and the interior was absolutely dark is notappreciated. The work of reform has been to empty and restore sixarches of the arcade and the curtain wall; it had torn apart openingsfacing each saetera of the wall of the XV. The restoration of thiswall consisted of consolidation in order not to lose the "patina"of over the years and some have steel frames in the openings with thedimensions of the interior space of the loopholes.
The operation of emptying the arches of the porch last setting allows notonly feel the transparency that characterizes the whole building butlight invade the huge South isotropic space that configures the RoyalAtarazana of Barcelona.