Masia de Sant Josep, built in the mid-19th century, was a large farm hosting the farmers and a large number of day laborers. The house had wine presses and a cellar, an oil mill and a large attic to breed silkworms. Various economic spaces had been attached to the house, such as the pavilions on either side, but only the walls facing south on the ground floor and the chapel had been preserved.
In late 2017, the Montserrat municipality acquired the complex, which had been abandoned since 2004, in order to rehabilitate and expand it. The competition for ideas intended the recovery of this house as a building for the municipality and the reconstruction of the side naves to house the new headquarters of the Montserrat town hall, as well as the design of the front and rear gardens.
The project stems from the desire to preserve the reading of the original building, reconstruct the volume occupied by the historical complex, and acknowledge the characteristic elements of the Masia. The intervention criteria were guided by the premise of having the minimal possible impact on its construction system and its spatial configuration.
The administrative program contained in the new town hall is basically assumed by the lateral wings. The Masia thus becomes the central element that articulates both bodies, and a hub for activity. The organization scheme of the Masia extends towards the side naves, where the same three bays can be glimpsed. The work spaces are located in the exterior bays next to the façades, and the central one is occupied by circulation spaces, administrative spaces of a more public nature and common connection elements.
The side naves that originally completed the Masia reappear in the proposal, and a skylight is introduced in response to current needs. This singular element introduces natural lighting which modulates, orders and directs the rest of the spaces from the roof.
The façades of the lateral bodies introduce a new order of tapered openings, to the beat of the existing openings in the original building.
Masia de Sant Josep is currently a building open to all residents of Montserrat and visitors alike. By combining its administrative function with the museum character of the Masia, it highlights the heritage and history of the municipality.
Architects: Carpe studio, Crux arquitectos, Anna Solaz
Photography: Milena Villalba
Client: Montserrat City hall
Project management: Eva Fernández Simó
Technical architect: Juan de Llano Cebriá
Builder: Proyme Ingeniería y Construcción SL