The architect Ramón Esteve explains the challenge represented by the intervention. “The most complicated task was to design a space that represented a foundation with such a strong identity as that of the Fundació per Amor a l’Art, and to try to convert those values into stone, generating in turn a suitable setting for the day-to-day performance of its functions, activities and aims.”
For her part, the architect Annabelle Selldorf, responsible for the museum design, points out that the developers of the complex, well aware of the consideration required by the space, “were not seeking a designer who would simply give the building a radiant and innovative feeling, but somebody who would embrace the historic character and give it a new aim and a new strength. They could see how the value of art and architecture could contribute to creating a real sense of place that would enhance the Marxalenes neighbourhood, as well as Valencia and Spain,” she explained in the publication issued by the institution to commemorate its first anniversary.
“When I am presented with the opportunity to adapt industrial or historic buildings for a new use, my focus is to reach a deep understanding of the essential qualities and the singularity of the building. Based on this understanding and on the context of a new aim, it is possible to determine which aspects to restore, repair or renovate and where an intervention is necessary,” explained the architect.
“I believe that architecture is brought to life, and completed, by those who use it, and with Bombas Gens it has been very rewarding to see the centre full of people enjoying the art and the wonderful programmes presented. It has served as a catalyst for revitalisation and commitment just as we hoped for during the planning stage, but it has exceeded our expectations,” pointed out Selldorf.