Culture

A building in Coderch languishes abandoned for 20 years after the previous extension of El Prat


Edificio de Coderch para la sede del club de golf de El Prat, abandonado desde 2000, cuando Aena compró los terrenos para ampliar el aeropuerto de El Prat.
Coderch building for the headquarters of the El Prat golf club, abandoned since 2000, when Aena bought the land to expand the El Prat airport. Gianluca Battista

The expansion of the El Prat airport threatens one of the buildings of Spanish rationalist architecture: Casa Gomis, built by Antonio Bonet Castellana between 1957 and 1958 in one of the plots of the La Ricarda natural area, just to 200 meters from the third take-off and landing runway. A previous expansion already ended the life of another property characteristic of modern architecture: the building that Jose Antonio Coderch built in 1954 for the headquarters of the Real Club de Golf de El Prat, which remains unused and abandoned since Aena expropriated the land in 2000. In that year the golf course managers received 18 million euros in compensation and, shortly after, they moved to the municipality of Terrassa.

Edificio de Coderch en los antiguos terrenos del campo de golf de El Prat de Llobregat, abandonado desde el 2000.
Coderch building on the old grounds of the El Prat de Llobregat golf course, abandoned since the 2000. Gianluca Battista

Where the golf course was and after felling thousands of pine trees, terminal T1 and the third track, the same one that now the public company intends to expand 500 meters, something that would destroy 47 hectares of the protected area of ​​La Ricarda and leave the Casa Gomis isolated , declared a Site of Cultural Interest in March.

More information

  • The fragile tranquility of Casa Gomis in La Ricarda
  • Icomos asks the Generalitat to avoid “the irreversible impact” on the La Ricarda house if El Prat is expanded

Coderch, in the company of Robert Terradas and Manuel Valls, built, as s Social ede of the golf club, a modern building of 3. 000 square meters of a single plant that is sheltered under the tops of the Pine trees; a landscape that respects and with which it dialogues. In most of the façade they used metal structures and glass, from floor to ceiling, making the exterior and interior merge. The architects crowned the building with a thin flat concrete slab that is extended with cantilevers that shelter the terraces. To give light and ventilate the interior, they built four glass patios and in private areas, such as changing rooms and offices, Coderch raised brick walls or installed his characteristic graduated blinds. In 1963, Alfonso Milà and Federico Correa renovated the building , respecting the original scheme and Francesco Soyo in 1978, before the growth of partners, expanded the changing rooms.

Exterior del edificio construido por Coderch para el golf de El Prat, en una imagen de antes de su cierre en el año 2000.
Exterior of the building built by Coderch for the El Prat golf course, in an image from before its closure in the year 1999. Municipal Archives of Prat de Llobregat.

When the building was inaugurated, from the terrace you could see the golf course and the Mediterranean in the background among the pines. In these 21 years that the land has been owned by Aena, the grass has continued to be cut and taken care of from what little was left of the golf course, but not Nothing has been done in the building, nor has the agency allowed the City Council of El Prat, which has registered it in its heritage catalog since 2004, give it a new use through some kind of agreement, so that the passage of time and the action of the sea have made a dent in its structure, accelerating its degradation. The inaccessible building, “because it is in a restricted area,” according to Aena sources, is barely visible from the road, which runs parallel to the perimeter of the third track and which, curiously, preserves the name of Real Club de Golf.

Fachada acristalada del edificio de Coderch para el club de golf de El Prat, antes de su cierre en el 2000.
Glazed facade of the Coderch building for the El Prat golf club, before its closure in the 2000. Arxiu Municipal del Prat de Llobregat

Among the environmental compensations provided for in the El Prat Airport Master Plan in 1999, developed in the Environmental Impact Statement of 2002, to allow the infrastructure expansion included, in addition to air controls, acoustic impact and protect the hydrography of La Ricarda, the creation of a corridor of some 90 hectares to facilitate the biological interconnection between this lagoon and that of Remolar. Something that would lead to the reorganization of all this space and the creation of infrastructures for environmental dissemination.

Within this corridor there is the Coderch building so it was an opportunity for its recovery and new uses. From Aena they assure that the corridor “is done and operational”, while municipal sources in El Prat maintain that environmental compensation is “a fallacy”, because most have not been carried out as shown, they assure, that in February the Commission The European Union opened an infringement procedure against Spain for neglecting the protection of the natural areas of the Delta del Llobregat.

El edificio de Coderch para el club de gol de El Prat, a finales de los años cincuenta, en pleno uso.
Plan of the Coderch building for the headquarters of the Royal Glof Club of El Prat (1954).

In the City Council of El Prat they are aware of the importance of two of the best Spanish rationalist constructions being located in its municipality and a few meters away. For this reason, they demand that “Aena comply with the environmental compensation promised before the expansion of 2000 ″ and propose that “given the architectural quality of the building, a reuse project is necessary to adapt it to a new use, maintaining its current shape and appearance.”

El edificio de Coderch para el club de gol de El Prat, a finales de los años cincuenta, en pleno uso.
The Coderch building for the El Prat goal club, in the late 1950s, in full use. Architecture Notebooks, 1958

But Aena remembers that it is only a “biological corridor that allows the passage of fauna from one wooded and humid area to the other” and that they do not contemplate “actions in infrastructures”. Also that “a project was started to de-affect the parts of the building with no architectural value carried out outside of Coderch’s initial project” with the intention of carrying out “the restoration of the property” and that “in the process of renaturation of the land it had been planned to integrate the building into the newly created natural space ”. In any case, they maintain that “its location, very close to the track, prevents its use for training or leisure activities, including as a sports facility.”

Exterior del edificio de Coderch para el club de golf de El Prat, en los años sesenta.
Building exterior of Coderch for the El Prat golf club, in the sixties. Arxiu Municipal del Prat de Llobregat.

But in 2012 Aena thought differently. That year he announced that he would recover part of the golf course (nine holes of the 36 original). The following year the project was tendered, which would involve an investment of five million euros with the idea that it would be operational in 2015. In these plans, the Coderch building would once again be the Club House where, after restoring it, a restaurant, commercial premises, meeting and banquet rooms, a gym and rooms would be installed. The golf course and this unique building were the hook for passengers to choose Barcelona airport to make connections and offer a relaxed and quiet place for travelers to rest between flights and even close deals. The exploitation project was awarded by 30 years. But when the deadline closed, no offer had been submitted.

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