Restoration of the Pablo Picasso friezes in Barcelona

In Barcelona (Spain), the restoration of the Pablo Picasso friezes, an emblematic and distinctive element of the Official Architect’s Association of Catalonia’s headquarters (COAC), has begun, with the aim of repairing the damage suffered over time and thus maintaining its heritage value.

In 1960, Pablo Picasso designed the sgraffito of the interior and exterior friezes of the COAC headquarters, designed for the architect Xavier Busquets. The artist depicted elements of Catalan popular culture on large concrete surfaces, which the Norwegian artist Carl Nesjar engraved using the sandblasting technique.

Technical experts, including professors from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.Barcelona Tech and participants in the SMART Project (Joan Ramon Rosell and Montserrat Bosch, Barcelona School of Building Construction. EPSEB) are in charge of rehabilitating the concrete friezes, both on the outside and inside. Apart from the dirt accumulated over the years due to use and pollution, there is a corrosion problem in the interior metal structure that has caused surface cracks. The aim of the intervention is to clean its surface, restore the damaged areas and stop the corrosion process of the metal structure. The restoration of the friezes is being carried out as part of the renovation work on the Barcelona building, which will transform the headquarters into the new Open Architecture Centre, more accessible to the public.

Author: Montserrat Bosch (UPC)