ADAPTATION OF THE CENTRAL POST OFFICE FOR MANIFESTA 8
Very little money + Very little of time + Maximum recycling.
For the European Biennium of Contemporary Art, Manifesta8 (launched between October 2010 and January 2011), we were awarded the project to temporarily adapt the old Post Office building in Murcia.
Initially, the foundation requested we design a “neutral-pure-white space”, a difficult solution and somewhat incompatible with the building itself: a building that has formed part of the city’s urban landscape since the beginning of the 20th century and is much valued by the townsfolk, having been abandoned and neglected for the past 30 years. The concept, therefore, was to find a solution to these two diverse visions.
The promoters of the event requested a low cost solution, due to the temporary nature of the exhibition and the economic situation at the time. The time frame for the works was to be just 30 days, throughout the month of August.
Taking this into account, the first thing to do was to clear out and clean the premises with a minimum of making good: to meet the health and safety regulations. This was undergone taking great care to protect the finish and texture of the walls. At the same time we collected together all materials of historical value.
Afterwards, and in collaboration with the promoters, the exhibition areas were defined (with sheets of plaster painted white) and the non-accessible areas were closed off with a triple torsion metal mesh, leaving some of the large rooms in the building as they were previously. Finally, the main area, comprising of the entrance hall, the centre atrium and the surrounding rooms, was visually reinforced by unifying the entire ground floor with a cover of grey epoxy resin.
The problem with lighting and the electrical installation was solved using visible trays, ducting, fluorescent strips and linear lighting: the cheapest products on the market.
During the alterations, we collected together all building materials of any historical value, to be used in the future restoration of the building.
As requested by the regional government of Murcia, the whole of the electrical installation and the safety equipment were designed so that they could be dismantled and re-used in another building.
Architecture and interior design by CLAVEL ARQUITECTOS
Partners in Charge: Manuel Clavel Rojo / Luis Clavel Sainz
Team: Diego Victoria García, David Hernández Conesa
Photography: David Frutos (BISimages)