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Taking Care of the Ghosts

15-L. Films, Flores & Prats

Old memories in dialogue with the present for timeless emotions.


In the historical industrial district of Sant Martí in Barcelona, the Pau I Justicia workers association was a space devoted to creativity and sociality. In the course of the years, its stage hosted experiences, efforts and hopes. Then, for a long period of time the building was abandoned and became a derelict space. At a certain point however it rose from its ashes and became Sala Beckett. The short film introduces the renovation project by Flores & Prats Architects. Old memories still remain visible and present in matter and materials, but the building comes to a new life and again hosts timeless emotions. The architects created connections and dialogues between the history of the building and its present time.

The old theatre was a reference point in the life of citizens as it nourished sociality, cultural enrichment and leisure. So the memory of the place was one of the main aspects to be preserve during the renovation, along with its public function. In 2011 a competition was held to redesign the building as the new Sala Becket, headquarter for the company founded by José Sanchis Sinisterra and directed by Toni Casares. The architects did a long and detailed study, carefully observing and taking into account necessities for staging, and also testing the best way to let the ruins of the building contribute to the new structure. Numerous drawings and models attest their meticulous research.

During the renovation, the old materials that were still in good conditions were restored and reused. The new theatre is enriched by the accumulation and superimposition of old and new signs. It maintains the continuity of space in order to foster crossed glances in many levels. This quality is mainly visible in the central distribution space, hosting the ticket office, the waiting area, and the main stairs. As the architect says: "What happens in the theatre is not that unique, it explodes and spreads out thought the building".

(Story by Paola Ricco, The Architecture Player)

Authors icon Credits

Mentioned project: Sala Beckett (2011-2016)
Project location: Barcelona, Spain
Voice-over: anonymous voices of members of the Social Club Pau i Justícia, Toni Casares (director of Sala Beckett), Eva Prats and Ricardo Flores (architects of Sala Beckett), Aina Tur (programming and head of relations with companies), Sergi Belbel (dramatist and professor of Sala Beckett)
Director: Albert Badia
Produced by: 15-L. Films
Music: Frédéric Chopin, Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9 no. 2
Production assistants: Patricia Tamayo, Lukas Naraskevicius
Performer: Frank Levy

Spain 2016
Duration: 3'03''