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18 Feb 2020

Carles Enrich Studio's timber scaffolding reactivates 13th-century lookout tower
BY Stu Robarts

Merola’s Tower was constructed as a lookout point in the 13th century

Merola’s Tower was constructed as a lookout point in the 13th century
photo: Carles Enrich Studio

Carles Enrich Studio have created a timber frame for the ruin of a 13th-century tower in Catalonia, Spain, that not only helps to support it, but that also provides a means for visitors to explore the heritage structure.

Located in the municipality of Puig-reig, Merola’s Tower was constructed as a lookout point, but is said to have been largely destroyed as a result of earth tremors in the area during the 1500s.

With only one of its faces still standing, the remainder of the tower was at a high risk of collapse, so Puig-reig Town Council and the local architectural heritage service sought to ensure it was protected, bringing Carles Enrich Studio on board.

The firm's aims were to support and preserve the structure, but also to activate it as an attraction for visitors.

The solution to achieve both was to construct an accompanying timber frame for the tower that acts like scaffolding to provide structural support while allowing visitors to experience the heritage tower up close.

The footprint of the frame mirrors where that of the collapsed portion of Merola’s stood, giving a sense of how it once looked, while an internal staircase makes it possible to view the remaining portion right the way up to the top.

What's more, a platform at the top means that the tower renews its original use as a lookout point, with visitors able to take in views of the surrounding area.



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