La Seca is the name that received the Royal Factory of Currency, Mint, of the Corona d’Aragó in Barcelona, from 1441 to 1849.
The first implementation of the Barcelona’s Mint is the XIV century, located at the corner of the Mosca Street and La Seca Street.
The first expansion of the factory is during the first half of the XVII century, and it’s during this period that La Seca 2C, now restored, it becames part of the factory.
A second expansion in the XVII century, when the mills for the manufacture of currency appear, occupied others buildings in Flassaders Street, as the building which now houses the Joan Brossa Espai Escènic, already restored.
In the first half of the XIX century the factory reduced the surface only in the Flassaders street, la Seca 2 and the first native implementation.
When in the late XIX century finally stops producing currency, the buildings were again segregated and occupied as several purposes.
La Seca 2 is a square building with gabled roof and structure of bearing walls of stone masonry from XVII century, central pillars of solid brick, probably modified on XIX century and interior loft added on XX century.
Initially the task was to solve the existing damages and provide conditions for a possible cultural use. During the work process the use was defined as a documentation center. However this will not be the end, it will become a Joan Brossa Center together with the Espai Escènic Brossa.
In any case, the adjustments of the program have not changed the fundamentals of the proposal that, based on technical reports, offered the pathology’s resolution, interior conditioning and provide natural light with enough versatility to adapt to any use, always maintaining the structures and volumes as a memory of the historical past.
Despite the importance of the activity as a Mint in Barcelona, the interior has not keep obvious traces about his industrial past. Only the paving slabs are indicative of the location of heavy machinery for the currency’s manufacture.
Neither the chimney, visible symbol of the industrial past, is not part of this property. The interest of the building is on the volume of the construction and the developed activity. The intervention begins with the archaeological excavation of all the interior surface. And indeed, we could confirm and document the existing buildings and facilities in the basement as a factory: deposits, water pipes, chimney, ovens, mills and supports coin machines ... All these data allowed elaborate studies of manufacturing currency in Barcelona. The traces of the main elements have remained visible in the final floor.
The project resolves the constructive and structural pathology and the natural lighting with a single action.
A deck’s cut at the north end of the building, where the structure’s damage required a replacement, creates a new patio with a glass interior façade and provides natural light inside by reflection of sunlight on the wall.
This longitudinal cut allows direct visual relationship with Espai Brossa, also part of the old factory of Currency la Seca, and marks the beginning of possible additions and future relations between the two buildings.
This new space also allows exterior location for the facilities without affecting the roof, maintaining its maximum unity.
A part of existing mezzanine is preserved and contains all interior facilities, as a thick functional horizontal layer, allowing to leave the rest of the interior as a double big space.