The chosen space by Arnau estudi d’arquitectura for a new tourist office in Olot, Girona, Spain are the storage rooms and chambers of the old kitchen of an old hospital building: it is a barrel vault hallway with arc-boutants, situated between a pedestrian street and a courtyard with porches that has a great historic and architectural value. The choice of this space gives the project a reason to regain the courtyard as a through-passage place. The architects opened two new entrances to the courtyard, from which the office can be accessed. One of the entrances, situated on the corner, goes under the majestic stairs of the hospital, built in 1729, and leads us to the XVI century porch. This entrance, with its marked visual presence in the surroundings, connects the courtyard and the tourist office with the market square.
From the self-service information points at the entrance customers get to the rest area or the gift shop going through the audiovisual installation strategically located just before the heart of the office – personalised customer service desks. The main materials chosen for the refurbishment are the ones that already existed there: volcanic clay taken from the subsoil and used in three textures of the pavement, the complex structural system of vaults and arches of the ceiling and the volcanic rock of the wall and pillars. These materials are complemented with the steel and oak of the furniture and with the bulrush and wicker of the chairs and lamps, made by a local craftsman and specially designed for the project.
Info © Arnau estudi d’arquitectura
Images © Marc Torra