Restoration of the roofs and creation of internal infrastructures for the Convent of the Capuchos
The restoration intervention on the roofs aimed to re-establish the watertightness of the internal space, which, in the first instance, helped slow down the processes and phenomena of alteration and degradation then taking place. Taking advantage of the raising of the roofs, an electrical infrastructure was also installed for hidden lighting inside, as well as a new hydraulic network to support fire-suppression, laid out so as to cover a wider area at the same time as having less visual impact.
The roofs of the Convent of the Capuchos presented various structural problems due to the following factors:
- lack of watertightness in the roofs due to the recurrent breaking of tiles;
- degradation of wood due to rot-causing fungus, termites and woodworm;
- contamination of the roofs by herbaceous plants and accumulation of plant debris;
- natural ageing of the materials.
The causes of these problems were essentially determined by the characteristics and nature of the monument itself, as the proximity between the building and the surrounding vegetation resulted in plant matter frequently dropping onto the roofs, the impact and accumulation of which significantly contributed to their degradation. A detailed study also allowed us to conclude that various parts of the timber structure were lower than they should be.
The comprehensive repair of the roofs, including the replacement of all rotten parts, was thus fundamental. Within this intervention, all the pre-existing construction solutions were maintained, regardless of their age, as long as their stability and safety were not compromised. Where possible, materials were recovered and preserved, with replacement only being considered in the case of elements that did not possess, or had lost, the minimum resistance capacity required. The replacement timbers were as similar as possible to the existing ones.
Taking advantage of the raising of the roofs, an electrical infrastructure was also installed to ensure guide lighting inside the convent space. The spotlights are small in size and recessed in false ceilings made of cork. In spaces where there is no false ceiling, these were installed at points where daylight penetrates naturally, with the corresponding wiring running through the roofs. A network of sprinklers was also installed, with the intention of preventing spread in the case of fire.
This intervention also encompassed the restoration of the Guardian’s Cell, which was closed to visitors due to the lack of structural security. This space was re-paved and the ornamentation, stairs and roof, which is independent from the others, were restored.