Pavilion Castell D’emporda by Concrete Architectural Associates

July 14, 2011

Concrete Architectural Associates have designed the Castell D’emporda pavilion in La Bisbal, Girona, Spain.


A terrace covering to accommodate 200 people.

Short story
Castell d’emproda was build in 1301 on a hill nearby the small city of La Bisbal close to Girona (Spain). The castle has been owned for centuries by the Margarit family. In 1973 Salvador Dali wanted to buy the castell for his wife, but the owner refused a payment in artworks. Since 1999 Castell d’emporda has been transformed into a boutique hotel. Next to the hotel’s restaurant there is a large terrace with great views over the surrounding landscape. Concrete had been asked to create a covering for this terrace with the possibility to create an enclosed space with full wind and rain protection.  It was a client request to create a covering that works in harmony with the ancient and listed building. We added one question for ourselves: we wanted to maintain the terrace feeling while be seated under the covering.

In basics a terrace is an outdoor space where one can enjoy the wheater. If necessary there is only a parasol for sun and rain protection, but there is no obstruction between the visitor and the view. A glass roof or wintergarden would to much become a building, create a feeling being inside a structure and would also appear as an extension of the building, damaging the ancient character.

The solution was to create abstract parasols. 12 Circles in divers diameters are placed randomly on the terrace. Where the circles touch they melt together, where not, the open spaces between circles are filled in with glass. With the circular parasol shape, the feeling of being in an outdoor environment on a terrace, remains. The same shape makes sure the covering appears as a separate almost temporary element, leaving the ancient building untouched.

The top and edge of the parasols are made in rusted steel, seeking harmony with the ancient building and the natural environment. The white painted steel columns and ceiling create an open and light outdoor atmosphere under the parasols. Transparant sliding curtains can be hung easily in colder periods but always stay open. When the mistralwinds suddenly appears the whole covering can be closed in a couple of minutes.
Round and square marble tables and two white leather lounge couches create different seating facilities. Under one parasol a circular outdoor bar is placed. The restaurant now has his own name: Margarit

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