Preserving Barcelona's History: Call District Restoration
A financier, collector, and avid traveler with a deep passion for art, history, and Barcelona decided to embark on a restoration project in the Call, the old Jewish Quarter of the city. With his pristine white suit, complete with a Panama hat, hanging in his main floor apartment, he dedicated himself to the daunting task of rebuilding the foundations of an 18th-century property that had been severely damaged during the civil war. Prior to this, he had already donned his working overall, ready to tackle the extensive renovations.
The restoration process began by stripping away all the wooden floorings and ceramic tiles, revealing the hidden treasures of wooden beams and ceramic filler blocks. To strengthen the structure, new reinforced concrete beams were meticulously placed and connected to the existing beams using steel pins. The perimeter walls were skillfully sewn together with high strength resin mortar. Countless cracks and breaks were repaired, and the height of the lintels was made uniform throughout the property. This painstaking work was crucial in consolidating the property's structure.
Once the foundation was secure, the focus shifted to the reorganization of spaces. The living rooms, hallways, and courtyard were restored to their original grand proportions. Interestingly, the courtyard was built over the footprint of a watchtower from the fourth-century Roman wall, and remnants of its stone foundation can still be seen in the base of the surrounding walls. With an expert touch, the rest of the property was adorned with an exquisite collection of hunting trophies and antiques from around the world. This careful curation created a scene reminiscent of a Vermeer domestic painting or a Baroque still-life, where furniture, sculptures, and textiles from the five continents patiently await the return of the Girl with a Pearl, whose captivating gaze brings a sense of serenity to the space at the end of her journey.
The restoration project in the Barcelona Call District, led by the Wortmann Architects architectural studio, is a testament to the dedication and passion of the financier and collector. Through his unwavering commitment to preserving the history and beauty of the property, he has breathed new life into a once-damaged structure. The result is a harmonious blend of art, history, and culture, where every corner tells a story and every detail adds to the overall ambiance. This property stands as a testament to the enduring allure of Barcelona and its ability to captivate the hearts of those who appreciate its rich heritage.