Source: Carles Enrich Studio
Photography: Adrià Goula
In the south of the municipality of Puig-reig stand the remains of the heritage site of the
castle of Merola, dating from the late thirteenth century. Due to the documented earth
tremors that shook Catalonia in the 1500s, only one of the faces of the defense tower,
originally with a rectangular plant of 5 x 3,8 m and 14,8 m height, is still standing. The
detachment of a part of its coronation in 2016 puts Puig-reig Town Council on alert. The high
risk of collapse, with the subsequent loss of the monument, called for an intervention to
guarantee the preservation of the remains and recover the building for the village and as an
attraction for visitors.
Two basic lines of intervention were adopted to meet these aims: the consolidation of the
surviving remains and the reinforcement of the medieval structure. Reinforcement takes the
form of a timber structure comprising 18 sections of 14-cm square that follow the original
perimeter of the stone wall. Like scaffolding, it structurally stabilizes the pre-existing
construction, recovers the original volume and restores its function in the territory as a
lookout and defense point.
The new structure resolves the functional reinforcement conditions and establishes a
dialogue with the pre-existing stone wall, evidencing the intervention with respect to the
original. The missing foundation is recovered with lime concrete and the two structures are
tied using wooden profiles anchored to the stone canvas at 14 points.
The insertion of a stairway inside the structure provides access to the three original levels of
circulation and facilitates future maintenance of the monument. The ascent to the upper level
of the tower recovers a point of view that had been inaccessible since the fifteenth century.
Finally, the stones found in the archaeological excavation are reused to delimit the
intervention and show the original demolition material.
Recovery of Merola’s Tower. Built work
- Architect: Carles Enrich Studio
- Collaborators: Brufau Cusó (executive supervision), MASAad (structures)
- Client: Servei de Patrimoni Arquitectònic Local (Diputació de Barcelona) and Puig-reig Town Council
- Contractors: Rècop, Tallfusta (timber structure)
- Surface area: 80 sqm
- Photographs: Adrià Goula