Partial reforms of the Ateneu Barcelonés
The Ateneu Barcelonés is in the Palau Savassona, a late 18th-century building that has housed the offices of this institution since the 19th century. On the first body built of the palace, in 1906 the architects Maria Jujol and R. Font-Gumà adapted the space on the main floor to house the library. This early reform was superimposed over the original elements of the palace, preserving the most notable ones. Later, at the end of the 1970s, another very important reform was undertaken that added three storeys to the building and corrupted it notably. The intervention on the palace is planned by necessity in stages and aims to improve the building technically and architecturally.

The first stage of the intervention project involves a rationalisation of the use of the existing building, the strengthening of its most characteristic elements and the adaptation of the building to current needs. Specifically, three spheres of work are planned. Firstly, the search for an improvement in the vertical communication and the lighting; the second sphere of work consists of opening up the ground floor to the city and giving it uses; and finally, the third sphere envisages a new emergency stairway linked to the general vestibule where the new service for the whole building are concentrated.

The second stage of the reform is concerned with the library and has been thoroughly executed. The library of the Ateneu Barcelonés is, due to the number of volumes and its collection, the most important civil library in Catalonia. The reform of this highly symbolic space faced a twofold challenge: the necessary loyalty to the historical legacy and the transformation of its functioning as a library. The space had four elements of heritage to preserve: the bibliographical collection, the classical architectural heritage, the Baroque pictorial heritage and the Jujol intervention. With this in mind, the restoration, the cleaning of the obsolete elements and the care of original forms and materials meant a continuous re-encountering of forgotten attributes. On the one hand, there was a requirement to adapt the structure, installations, heating and air-conditioning and protection technologically: in short, to equip the space so that it could deal with the impulse of a new functioning.

See technical file