Rehabilitation of Pedralba Mill

sustainable architecture as a means of functional rehabilitation

An old flour mill in one of the most special streets of the small town of Pedralba, Acequia Street, is the starting point of this beautiful project. 

It all stems from the need to preserve and give life to the building, while generating a new space for the Library, Adult School and Municipal Archives. 

All this was formalized through a public works competition, in which Rubén Muedra’s team did not hesitate to participate. It goes without saying the special illusion that makes an architect to have the opportunity to make a project of these characteristics in his land. 

The Turia River that feeds and gives life to Valencia is the same river that has brought prosperity to Pedralba. The town cannot be separated from the orchard, the irrigation ditch, the mill and its people. The figure of the mill has been a key piece of the economy of the municipality since medieval times. That is why both the enclave and the building itself have a special significance.  

The project is based on the fundamental principle of maximum respect for the history of both the building itself and the municipality. An intervention is proposed that from its relationship with the public road is perfectly read and understood the different actions that have taken place in it. 

The idea is not to deprive the town of its history, and therefore it is proposed to maintain the materiality and size of holes in the main facade; return the marks of the openings that had on the east facade (now completely blinded); and reopen the historic main access hole, this time only as a large hole with light entry.  

The only singular point on the main façade, which aims to update the building to the current context and breaks with the original rhythm, will be the large trapezoidal-shaped opening that will mark the new access and make it accessible. This is understood as a space ceded to the public space. A piece of history with a special sensory quality in which even before accessing the building the user smells, hears and sees the water falling from the irrigation ditch that runs along the street.  

And thanks to it, using the potential and kinetic energy of the waterfall, it moves a pair of turbines that harness that energy to start up the machinery of the mill. 

The rear facade, in contrast, with most of the holes made during the last years in which it even housed a house and with no architectural or historical value, is postulated as a block in which importance is given only to the access and the play of volumes. Marking both the movement in plant of the building and the change of heights on the roof. It allows its reading and continuity with the performance of the facade and access material, also as a polygonal and dark void. 

In the interior there is a scenic game in which lights and shadows become important as they help to focus and understand what part is museum and exhibition of what would be the rest of uses. Neutral and dark tones are used in a generalized way, highlighting as a stage the historical part in which the natural wood is recovered and the original industrial machinery is rehabilitated and put into operation. 

A solution is given to the vertical communication through a very light metal staircase that allows to understand the tour through the different floors as a narrative experience, and explanatory of the operation and grinding process. One more way to tell the story of the mill and make it last over time. 

The sustainable concepts under which the project has been proposed are those that use standards such as Passivhaus or Well. These include the use of high performance windows and doors, excellent thermal and acoustic insulation, absence of thermal bridges, air tightness and high efficiency of the installed equipment. All of this is aimed at the maximum comfort and health of the users. 

Arquitectos | Architects
RUBEN MUEDRA ESTUDIO DE ARQUITECTURA

Promotor | Promoter
Ayuntamiento de Pedralba

Ubicación | Location
46164 Pedralba – Valencia, Spain

Arquitecto a Cargo | Principal Architect
Rubén Muedra

Infografías | Render
Javier Hinojosa

Colaboradores | Collaborators
Inés Fabra, Costanza Canuto, Javier Muedra

Estructura | Structure
Emilio Belda

Arquitecto Técnico | Building Engineer
Javier Muedra

Diseño Interior | Interior Design
Rubén Muedra Estudio de Arquitectura

Construcción | Construction

Superficie Construida | Built Area
1.320,00 m2

Superficie Parcela | Plot Surface
343m2

Año de Proyecto | Project year
2021

Año de Construcción | Construction year
2022 –

Shall we start a new project?