Rehabilitation of the Burned building of Calafou-Colònia Marsal (in construction)

  • start  January 2021
  • promoter   Calafou SCCL
  • place   Cabrera d'Anoia, Catalunya

access to housing, calculation of structures, rehabilitation and reform

Ca la Fou is an industrial center located in the municipality of Cabrera d’Anoia, made up of different constructions that have been added over time. It was formerly known as Colònia Marsal, created in 1902 by the industrialist from Manlleu Jacint Rifà, dedicating himself to cotton spinning and becoming the only industrial colony in the Anoia river basin. The colony consists of 28 hectares and 4 main factories or warehouses and a building of 27 houses for the workers.

After years of partial abandonment of several warehouses due to the decrease in industrial activity in 2004, it suffered a serious fire that completely destroyed the roof of the main building. From that moment on, the colony could be considered abandoned and an accelerated process of deterioration began.

In 2011, the current Calafou project was set up in the Colony with the aim of generating productive, technological and housing alternatives that are sustainable and respectful of the environment, promote social transformation and community learning through the beginning of the collective purchase of the industrial colony and its rehabilitation.

Calafou is a self-organized project that includes spaces for industrial, artisanal and creative activities, common infrastructures for meetings and various activities, and other more intimate spaces for community life. The formula used for access to housing is the purchase of the transfer of the right of use by the cooperative and, for productive spaces, rent at social prices with services and resources shared between all people and projects involved.

It wants to develop a community based on a network of cooperatives, individual projects and housing within a collectivized space. It seeks to share ideas, goods and resources to foster synergies both within and beyond the colony. A place for social, technological and political innovation based on self-responsibility and cooperation, sharing and interacting with other transformative projects. A project where economies are at the service of people, allowing their needs, in terms of access to resources and tools, not to be an obstacle to the realization of their creative potential.

In recent years, a large number of spaces have been rehabilitated, both housing and workshops located in the oldest buildings and the old paper mill. However, the ship burned in 2004 had not been rehabilitated due to the large scale and extent of the damage caused by the 2004 fire and the more than 6 years of subsequent abandonment.

After diagnosing the state of the structure of the existing slab of the burned ship, Voltes has developed the project for the rehabilitation of part of the ship, covering it with wooden trusses built in the colony itself and acting on the structure of the slab to stop the oxidation of the current beams and beams. In addition, the project incorporates the demolition of the burned ship for the creation of a meeting space, a square that aims to become a meeting point and a center for activities that take place periodically. . This sponge will also improve the entry of natural light and sunlight into the spaces that are now hidden, improving the conditions of health and comfort.

Calafou cooperative has turned to rehabilitation, generating a group within the cooperative that actively participates in the works under professional supervision. In this aspect, it collaborates with the builder Martin Sánchez, who coordinates the actions of this group and with his experience provides the necessary training for the correct performance of the tasks in a safe way.

We are proud to be able to participate in this project with the companions of Calafou who have learned to love the industrial environment of the Martial colony, have made it their home, and who have managed to reactivate the colony as a space of life and production. of the social economy, understanding heritage as a living being.

Photographs were taken by arbe .

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