1. HISTORY | INTRODUCTION
THE GRAND CASINO AND VILLARREAL
The building of the Grand Casino of Villarreal began its construction in 1910, providing the emerging city of Villarreal with a social center of great importance where the high society of the time met. A reference point around which important events took place for the city. Important trade deals were signed that have made the city’s industry prosper. The Font de Mora family was one of the main founding participants of this civic center.
But the work of the Grand Casino for the city did not end in the meetings that took place in its opening year but has been a functional building to this day and always at the service of citizens.
Its rehabilitation, in order to protect, conserve, recover and value this heritage good entails much more than the direct benefit of the performance on it, but it is an excellent opportunity to host a center of activity dynamization around it. The intervention aims to restore the integrity of the building from time to time and over the years has been fragmented through partial reforms.
THE GREAT CASINO THEATER
You cannot understand the whole building if we forget the Grand Casino theater, currently, TAGOBA theater. This is one part of the Grand Casino. The theater of the Great Casino was already in operation in 1920, when the opera «El Dragón de Fuego» musicalized by the vilarrealense (adjective of place) José Goterris Sanmiguel premiered.
During the 1940s and 1950s, various popular performances were performed within it and in recent years of operation, it was used as a venue for events and rehearsal of the municipal orchestra.
The name TA-GO-BA comes from the Rondalla (Musical band that plays Popular Spanish songs) TA-GO-BA Levantina which in turn is named after the three artists of Villarreal: Francisco Tàrrega Eixea, José Goterris Sanmiguel and Joaquín Barrachina Aparici. La Rondalla used the theater for several years.
We can find different examples of theater such as the TAGOBA theater linked to the social centers of the early twentieth century. Theaters with two slices and a flat plate, adaptation of Italian horseshoe theaters adapted for the needs of the population.
Theater El Siglo, Carlet
Casino, Quart de Poblet
Theater Serrano, Gandia
Its recovery is a sign of the heritage value of not only the municipality but the entire Valencian Community and its history.
INTERVENTION IN THE PRESS
The economic recovery of this asset of so much value to the municipality has been closely monitored by the press that has shown all the transparency of the process and its ups and downs. Starting with the time of acquisition and until the completion of the works, different interviews and briefing notes have been issued that collected the advances. This informative news can be consulted in the newspaper archive and will in the future be an example of transparency to the whole process.
2. INTERVENTION PROCESS | PREVIOUS DATA COLLECTION
An intervention in heritage is a unique fact. Each building has different conditions and needs, and the problem has to be addressed from a point of view that encompasses both the present and all the layers of history.
Rehabilitation has been carried out on the part of the heritage, understanding the building and taking it to the new century, adding to its life without omitting its past. To make it grow and improve. In this line of intervention, an extensive phase of the study was carried out that allowed understanding all the spaces, as they were, as they have been and the modifications they have undergone. Their construction techniques were also studied in-depth, very different from the current ones and their pathologies. The building was showing off its needs.
Any conscious decision on the building has been substantiated on this decision. This is how each of the different intervention actions has been built.
EL GRAND CASINO AND THE TAGOBA THEATER. 21st CENTURY EQUIPMENT
The Grand Casino and TAGOBA theater have been and will continue to be a building for all vilarrealenses, a public building built by villagers for villagers.
Its rehabilitation was intended to emphasize this link with citizens and the new uses have been maintained for public use. Municipal offices, event room, exhibition hall, theater, public uses for Villarreal. It was necessary to ensure that all the neighbors could make use and therefore ensure universal accessibility to each and every point of the building. It is therefore created a vertical communication core located under a skylight and with an elevator between stockings. The entire surface of the last floor is also modified by eliminating the multiple level differences that originally existed.
Sustainability is also a point for a building adapted to the demands of the 21st century. All facilities have been renovated by installing energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and lighting systems.
3. INTERVENTION PROCESS | CARPENTRY AND LOCKSMITHING
REPLACEMENT EXTERIOR CARPENTRY. IMPROVING ENERGY EFFICIENCY
All carpentry except those located at the ground floor entrance had several modifications over time and damage due to water inlet.
Therefore, they have been updated, respecting the design of the historical carpentry, and respecting the current demands. Wooden carpentry has been installed with a solid section and double glazing with a chamber. The new carpentry has a great energy improvement compared to the old ones which represents an improvement of the overall energy efficiency of the building.
The ground floor doors and windows have been completely restored removing inappropriate elements that had been added over the years and recovering the original coloration. Wood mobila pine grafts have been made to repair fractions that had been lost or damaged.
ADEQUACY OF BALCONIES
With the modifications made on the top floor to eliminate the differences in dimensions and achieve universal accessibility throughout the building, the old balconies, which had deteriorated, had been left at a lower height.
To maintain the functional balconies, they have been disassembled, repaired, and relocated to the new level of the plant. When performing the disassembly, these have been waterproofed to avoid future pathologies.
Throughout the building, we find several original locksmithing samples in several conservation states that have been fully recovered. On the railing of the imperial staircase, the detritus caused by the over the years has been removed.
During the execution of the works, the railing of the first slice of the theater was found, which was located inside a wall in the same location. This has been recovered and, like that of the second slice, has been restored by removing rust and other damage and given a protective paint. The decoration parts that have disappeared as a sign of the passage of time to them have not been replaced.
For the first time since the inauguration of the building all locksmiths are functional and are available to the entire population of the municipality.
4. INTERVENTION PROCESS | COVER AND STRUCTURE
THE NEW COVER. TECHNOLOGY AND TRADITION
Much of the pathologies of the Grand Casino have been produced by the action of water for several years. This one was coming through the deck.
The new roof is part of the traditional roofing solution and incorporates current building elements. On the ceramic tile, is placed a sandwich panel with waterproofing and Arabic shingles. This ensures waterproofing and improved energy efficiency.
Deck areas that lack ceramic boards have been rebuilt using traditional techniques to use the same solution.
THE SKYLIGHTS: LIGHTINPUTS
The main light entrance of the TAGOBA theater is produced through a large skylight located above the patio stalls. This new skylight allows the correct ventilation of the space and is positioned with the same layout as the one previously existing.
A second skylight opens over the new metal staircase that illuminates it and fills this space with light.
THE FRAMEWORK TILE
The building sits on a complex structure of solid tile factory walls and wood or metal nerve slabs with ceramic vault following the traditional system. The use of metal depending on the length of the construction time is a sign of the importance of the building and the care they took during the execution.
In general, the structural system is in good condition. In the theater part of the slab of the first slice had a high deterioration due to the action of moisture and it has been necessary to demolish and rebuild it.
The new structural elements used have been built in metal, creating a distinction between historical and newly built elements.
5. INTERVENTION PROCESS | FACADE AND PROCEDURE FINISHES
The interior finishes have been chosen in such a way that they are compatible with the historical construction. The newly built elements introduced into the building have been built with current materials thus creating a temporary barrier and a dialogue between the present and the past. Existing and important heritage elements have been recovered.
The utensils are coated with breathable mortar with a pigmentation chosen for each space, reducing maintenance. Breathability will prevent future moisture problems.
Ceramics are used in the pavements of spaces for public use as a sign of the linkage with this material.
The entrance of the Grand Casino welcomes us with a manufactured pavement in the municipality and a false roof of off-hook plates. This entrance hall shows us the dialogue between the existing ceramic tile pillars and the false roof of off-hook plates.
The lighting of this plant is made using large luminaires emulating an internal courtyard.
On the first floor, we find the ballroom, the most emblematic point, and where the rehabilitation work has been centered. The wood mobila pine floor and false ceiling have been recovered with an original plaster coffering, which has been repaired and painted.
The roof has been completely disassembled and restored according to current energy demands and solving all the water entry problems that the building had.
All the coatings of the theater have been restored both of utensils, as of pavements and ceiling due to its bad state of conservation and the constant inlet of water over the years.
These new finishes have been suitable to improve the acoustics of the stage box. For this reason, a carpet of low maintenance and high durability has been used.
The recovery of the railings of the slices and the casting columns corresponds to the passage of time.
In areas with less acoustic demand the tile has been recovered, shows the material of the formation of the walls.
6. INTERVENTION PROCESS | SCALE CORE
A NEW SCALE. POINT OF UNION IN HISTORY
The location of the new scale has been chosen in such a way that it connects the surfaces of the two uses, so it is necessary to place them to the points where they are located. It is also the strongest intervention the building will suffer when it is housed in a new structure.
With these conditions, it is natural to place them. The point chosen is one of the points of union between the Grand Casino and the TAGOBA theater and where the accesses between them were historically located. It is also located where the old plants showed a greater need for intervention and worse conservation. The old courtyard is covered with a skylight that illuminates the entire core with the system thought of by the ancients.
The new metal structure dialogues and lightens in the spaces establishing a connection between their spaces and between the different points of history. A current element that connects all floors and all points of the building’s history.
The updated yellow scale and plastered historical walls dialogue intimately and show the aspects of the project and its willingness to continue and continue building history.
THE VERTICAL CORE. IMPROVING ACCESSIBILITY
The Grand Casino and TAGOBA theater building needed an update to its accessibility to adapt it to new uses and the new way of working. This new vertical core becomes the choir of the building and the connection point between the Grand Casino and the theater. Introducing a scale core allows you to incorporate a new accessibility element. At no point in its history has the building had a unique vertical core that allows its plants to be transited directly.
It has also allowed the incorporation of an elevator in the center of this making all points accessible.
7. SCENIC BOX | SPACE EVOLUTION
RECOVERING A LOST SPACE
Over time the scenic box had undergone major modifications compared to its original space, which was intended to be recovered during the intervention. This was modified at various points and in others in bad weather and it has been necessary to understand the reasons for the space to understand how it was organized.
On the one hand, the visual relationships between the two slices and the stage had been modified. Establishing a partition with windows in the first slice that denied part of the views and closing access to the stage completely to the second floor. On the other hand, there were several elements in a poor state of conservation, such as the stage and the scene mouth that has been essential to reconstruct.
The intervention tries to solve these problems and recover the entire scenic box. The false ceiling on the upper slice and the partition separating the first slice have been dismantled. It has also been necessary to demolish and rebuild part of the first slice to ensure its structural stability. These performances have allowed us to enjoy the scenic box that we can use today.
The scenario has been rebuilt adapting it to current needs but maintaining the previous system and geometry. A scenario with a traditional wooden fabric that recovers the previous geometry ensuring the safety of users.
During the works, it was necessary to dismantle the old sections, due to their deterioration. Currently, the scenario counts on a service platform that supplements this function.
8. IMPERIAl SCALE | SPACE EVOLUTION
THE SCALE OF A CASINO
The arches on the ground floor of the Grand Casino are the anteroom of one of the most emblematic and noble points of the building. The imperial scale. This space connects the two floors of the Grand Casino and is the access point to the dance hall. An imperial marble staircase with large dimensions.
Due to its nobility, it is one of the spaces that has best been preserved over time and one of the points where the TAGOBA theater was accessed. After making paint tastings all the utensils and moldings were repaired and the windows that made it up were blinded. Thus, it regained its emblematic value and as a reference point.
THE BALLROOM, EVENT PLACE
The activity of the Grand Casino focused on the dance hall, located on the first floor. A reference room for all vilarrealenses where important commercial alliances have been forged. A room with parquet flooring in wood mobile pine, kitchenware with moldings, and a coffered plaster make up the ideal space.
During the course of the work the neighbors who, seeing the performances in the room, have approached and asked what was being done in the room. Everyone wanted to be involved in the rehabilitation of this point, everyone appreciates it.
Like in the staircase the utensils have been repaired after painting tastings and the same color as the staircase has been used, following the original compositive criteria. The coffered one-off had occasional breaks that have been repaired and repainted. To recover the wooden pavement some of the most damaged pieces have had to be replaced by the water inlet, for which historical wood mobile pine has been used. The rest of the pavement has been repaired and its integrity has been recovered.
In the photographs you can see different samples of paintings and finishes that have been tested and tested, to see what recovered the most historical value.
9. GROUND FLOOR | THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCESS
AN ACCESS TO THE TAGOBA TEATER
Historically, the TAGOBA theater was accessed by a small door located at number 4 Insa Street. An anonymous door that was easily confused with anyone else and did not denote the wonder behind it.
The only indication we found was the TAGOBA Fable commemorative plaque. With the intervention, new exclusive access has been created for the theater through the facade wall. This new opening allows you to access the theater directly and be able to make it functional without relying on the Grand Casino. To create this opening, it has been necessary to generate a portico of large-format metal beams that support the building by opening the facade.
The Grand Casino maintains its original access with the restored doors and removing them from inappropriate elements. Each of the uses thus has its own access for the first time in history and can operate independently and coordinately. Thus, balancing its functions.
10. AND NOW, WHAT…? | PHASE 2. PROPOSALS
Privacy of dressing rooms. It is necessary to set up curtains that guarantee the privacy of the actors to allow their independence while preparing the functions.
Dressing room furniture. Install all necessary furniture to dressing rooms such as mirrors, chairs. Essential lighting for makeup, clothing storage, etc.
The technical endowment of the stage. Incorporate all the necessary facilities into the stage assembly.
Stage accessibility. A mobile lift platform attached to the stage is placed.
Restoration of the scene mouth veneer. With the recovery of the second box seat a sheet metal with polychrome and the symbols of the «rondallers» (people singing popular Spanish songs) that give the theater its name was discovered. This sheet metal is located in the mouth of the scene and has different decorations and a serious degradation due to the passage of time.
Fly system, curtain…
Bar with catering service. Incorporate a bar that turns the space into that of a café-theater.
Box grader 2. On the wooden structure currently located at the second box of the theater incorporates the elements necessary to form a stand and increase the capacity of spectators of the theater.
Darkening of the skylight and windows. Incorporate lighting control mechanisms
Furniture of the spectators. Install the necessary furniture consisting of a set of stackable chairs, low and high tables, and stools.
EXHIBITIONS AND MEETINGS
Laying pavement. Completion of the second floor with a ceramic pavement.
Air conditioning, lighting, and telecommunications facilities. Equipped with all the necessary facilities for the proper functioning of the room.
Furniture for exhibitions. Provision of furniture for the realization of temporary exhibitions.
Furniture for meeting room and office. Enable an area such as a meeting room and office.
Furniture Ground Floor. It will house the public service offices of Villarreal town hall. The office and waiting room furniture necessary for the correct use of this space will be installed.
Furniture and adequacy of the first-floor facilities. Adequacy of the old ballroom as an event room for civil ceremonies, receptions, etc.
Intervention Second Floor. Install the necessary furniture composed of a set of stackable chairs, low and high tables, and stools.
Access signage. Place indicative signage at the access of the theater.