From gasworks to La Fàbrica del Sol

La Fàbrica del Sol is located in a unique urban environment that has seen | evidence of evolution in the generation of energy sources for the last 150 years. A fireplace and a bridge crane factory complex of the former Land and Maritime Machinist Barceloneta recall the use of coal. The former gasometer of Catalana de Gas evokes the arrival of the processing industry in Catalonia manufactured gas. Finally, the factory of the current Sun, with its photovoltaic solar panels located on the roof and the dividing wall of the building, witness the look of the city towards the source of cleaner energy | net and renewable of all: the sun's energy.

The building's history begins with the arrival of the processing industry manufactured gas, introduida in Catalonia with the construction and commissioning, the year 1842, the gasworks of Barceloneta, which prompted the partners who earlier January 1843 formed the "Catalan Society for gas lighting". The factory was eight coal furnaces and three gasometers for the manufacture and distribution of gas to the rest of the city.

Increased demand from the locals forced to expand facilities, with construction, 1906 and 1907, a water tower and a pavilion office. First the water tank, a tower with a square base formed by an octagonal trunk and a circular conical roof, made of brick and decorated with ceramic crisp clearly modernist aesthetic reservoir was built.

1907, the same architect who had construit the tower, Josep Domenech i Estapà, built the new headquarters of the Catalana de Gas, giving a modernist imprint. The building consisted of a ground floor and a first floor roof. The building was able to correctly combine the smooth utensils with exposed brick, a material commonly used in industrial architecture of the time, and was used to highlight the contours of the openings | openings, the corner or ledge. In the 70s, when the piped gas was introduced, the factory closed and moved offices to the headquarters of Portal del Angel. From that moment the flag is to be used only as a medical center for company employees.

The old building of the Catalana de Gas has therefore been witness | testify, along with the structure of one of the old gasometers and water tower, the existence of the first gasworks in the city. The other facilities were demolished in 1989, during the reform process of Barcelona before the 1992 Olympics.

1995, the so-called gas factory, was acquired by the City of Barcelona and launched a careful rehabilitation. In the remodeling, carried out by | for one workshop in the city school, they took into account basic criteria of sustainable construction: recover, rehabilitate and reuse everything that was possible, use recycled materials, remodeling items that have not served , take advantage of the natural ventilation system, integrated installations of photovoltaic, solar thermal and biomass, and incorporate a system of collection, treatment and reuse of rainwater, among others.

These rehabilitation works, led by architect Antoni Solanas, have made it possible for the exhibition offer factory Sun account both the content of the various interior and exterior spaces, as the continent itself, ie, the structure, the facade and interiors, and internal management and supply activities.

The building is currently included in the catalog of Architectural Heritage Historic-Artistic City and also a equipment environmental education regarding citizenship, hosts the network Barcelona + Sostenible.