of the Mataró Cooperative Rehabilitation Project
The Mataró City Hall has added to the celebration
of the Year of Gaudí by approving the rehabilitation of the
industrial plant that Gaudí designed in 1878 for one of the
first and most significant textile cooperatives in Catalonia: the
Cooperativa Obrera Mataronense, or Mataró Worker's Cooperative.
This simple building hides inside "the first
stone of Gaudinism," as Daniel Giralt-Miracle, commissioner of
the Year of Gaudí, defined the unique structure based on the
wooden structures from the Manual of Philibert de l'Orme.
Gaudí's plan included twelve parabolic arches,
constructed with three tic wooden boards fastened with rivets. With
this technique, he produced a cheap structure and a diaphanous surface,
without intermediate pillars, that facilitates the activity carried
out within the edifice.
Because of the opening of the Calle Cooperativa street
in the late nineteenth century, the structure has been cut down on
one of its sides.
The objective of the restoration project, commended
to the architect Manuel Brullet, is to fully rehabilitate the plant
and to improve the development of the surrounding areas, in order
to make the entire complex a multi-purpose municipal facility. A small
construction built for restrooms, also designed by Gaudí and
located about 20 meters from the main building, will also be restored.
Work is expected to begin in April and to last throughout
2002; this could pose some problems for tourists that want to see
the building, but Brullet indicated that guided visits will be held
periodically, and Mr. Giralt-Miracle pointed out that "it will
also be interesting to see the process of building the arches,"
since they will be made using hand-crafted techniques.
The Mataró City Hall also presented advance
information on the activities that will complement this restoration,
such as exhibits, conferences and classical music concerts.
Daniel Giralt-Miracle augured a new future for the
image of Mataró, in which Gaudí's building will become
the symbol of the city.