Miguel Roldán’s firm reimagined a Barcelona fire station as a museum.
By Richard Nira, Texas A&M University College of Architecture
The transformation of a landmark, picturesque Barcelona fire station into a museum showcasing the city’s firefighting history, earned Roldán + Berengué Architects, a firm co-led by Miguel Roldán, adjunct professor of architecture at Texas A&M, a 2017 Catalunya Construction Award for adaptive reuse of an existing building.
Roldán heads the Barcelona Architecture Center, one of the College of Architecture’s popular study abroad venues.
His firm turned the former fire station, built in 1929 and located in Barcelona’s Poble Sec neighborhood, into an expansive gallery that displays vintage firefighting vehicles, equipment, uniforms and an extensive collection of photographs.
In selecting the project for recognition, jurors called the firehouse an astonishing project that gives the building a new life and serves as an homage to the arduous, heroic task of Barcelona’s firefighters.
One of Roldán + Berengué’s main changes to the building was the addition of a new, three-story nave adjacent to the building’s central atrium that significantly added to the structure’s exhibition space.