Located in the historical center of Palma de Mallorca, Flores & Prats Architects with Duch-Pizá converted an historical building into a cultural center open to all the city.
Casal Balaguer is a palace in the historical center of Palma de Mallorca. Late last century, the City Council of Palma decided to turn Casal Balaguer into a cultural center. This project, that Flores & Prats Architects conceived with Duch-Pizá, heralds a new stage of the building, which has now been converted from a family home into a public building open to all the city.
The project is respectful of all pre-existing conditions while at the same time capable of triggering fascinating transformations and possibilities for new uses.
In their restoration project, Flores & Prats Architects and Duch-Pizá took into consideration the need to access areas that were previously closed off, re-activating rooms and designing a circulation through the building to adapt it for its new public use. The new circulation, that allows to hold together structures dating back to different eras, each well identifiable, must be intuitive, making it possible to easily walk through the building despite its complex geometry.
In the new program, the ground floor is the entrance to the new Cultural Center, with the reception, cafeteria, and exhibition gallery spread out over two floors. The piano nobile becomes the house museum, and the attic floor, just underneath the roof, is used as the print workshops of Palma’s Fine Arts Centre and a lecture room.
The use of light is one of the elements that enabled the most significant transformation: the architects added light and circulation routes. Daylight would guide people through the building, clearly marking their passage from one part of the house to another by changes in lighting and by the different measurements and geometries that they pass through. As part of this transformation, Flores & Prats + Duch-Pizá’s work sought to prevent the palace from losing that spatial complexity and mystery, which has defined its extensions until today.