From the first stone laid on 20 May 1882, it took almost six years to complete work on this grandiose neo-Gothic building designed by the Catalan architect Joan Martorell. Built with sandstone from Comillas, works such as this palace commissioned by the Marquis of Comillas, Gaudí’s Caprice, the Comillas Kiosk or the Pontifical University, all of which led important Catalan modernist architects and artists of the time to leave their mark on this town.
The work focuses on the north façade, which is structured in two lateral protruding bodies and a central cantilevered body, on which it was necessary to carry out an intense and at the same time very careful cleaning in order to remove the large organic patina that had grown on both the plain walls as well as on arches, arcades, vegetal capitals and sculptural elements, in order to not causing damage to the volumetry and the precision of the decorations. On the first floor of both lateral bodies there are galleries where the most characteristic Gothic features of the building can be seen, while in the central body there is a tribune-balcony that protects the space of the atrium leading to the palace. Some of these elements have lost detail with the passage of time and it has been necessary to recover volumes with stone and specific restoration mortars based on hydraulic lime and natural sandstone powder from Comillas. In the same way, all the grouting of the decorative pieces and ashlars has been carried out again with lime mortar and siliceous aggregate. Finally, other elements such as the wooden carpentry and metal fittings have been stripped and their patina treatments have been renewed with natural oils and paints to recover their original state.
Façade of the palace before the intervention.
Sculpture cleaning process.
Facade rosette after cleaning.
Ridge cleaning process.
The privileged location of the palace, facing the sea, not only provides it with marvellous views, but also exposes it to a great deal of erosion due to the marine environment to which it is subjected.
The most striking consequence of this exposure, especially on the more detailed decorative elements, is the alveolisation caused by the direct action of the wind and the salt spray. In order to prevent further wear and tear on the façade, cleaning, consolidation and protection with biocide and consolidant are carried out to stop this progress and also to protect the façade in the future.