The warehouse nr. 2 of Valencia´s port, built in 1911 and designed by José María Fuster, is a building of particular signifying qualities. During its hundred years of existence, and due to a spatial configuration characterized by its lightness, permeability, and horizontality, it has been host of numerous activities, most of them related to the storing and exporting of commercial goods until its transformation into a public building in the early nineties. Since then, the warehouse has simultaneously been emptied out and filled with content.
Freed from logistic functions and apparently immune to adaptive reuse, it houses nowadays a myriad of sport and leisure activities proposed by an always changing landscape of users whose interests the building negotiates with ease. Unfortunately, the buzzing that results from the public appropriation of the space seems to be mimicked by a rapid wear of its architecture, subject to an accelerated process of deterioration that reveals itself in the corrosion of the cast-iron structure and the destabilization of some parts of the building.
Lacking sufficient funds to undertake an integral restoration–approved in 2015-, the public authorities responsible for the warehouse commissioned us in late 2016 an emergency intervention on the structure in order to avoid its closure to the public before the renovation could begin. The budget -42.000 euros- was used to patch up the roof, to temporarily stabilize those parts at risk of collapse, and, also, to encase the interior surface of the building with a translucent polyester fabric designed to limit the impact of pigeons and other birds on the load-bearing elements.
This fabric, relatively irrelevant from a functional perspective, becomes the most instrumental part of the intervention from an architectural perspective, for its abstraction and superficiality add a new meaning to the space enclosed by the warehouse –a meaning that not only reframes the activities that take place inside but, above all, has increased the presence of the building in the space of media. As active in this space as the users that gather in the warehouse on a daily basis, the images of the intervention have decisively contributed to a public debate on the necessary restoration of this horizontal void of the city, finally set to start in the second half of 2018.