Heritage

Town Hall


  • MALGRAT-AJUNTAMENT-216

La Casa de la Vila

HistOrY

On 15 August 1913 the Town Hall building was opened, according to the plans drafted by the Barcelona architect Antoni de Falguera. This new building replaced the old Casa de la Vila, situated in Carrer de Passada, next to the vicarage, which was a two-storey building with little light and ventilation that, according to the report by the municipal architect Juli Maria Fossas, was insufficient for a town with 4,000 inhabitants. In the plenary session on 12 November 1908, Councilman Lluís Martí signalled the need for a new town hall. They then decided to create a commission and chose Antoni de Falguera i Sivilla, a Domenech i Montaner student, to complete the project on 9 March 1909.

To execute the works the Town Council had a site, known as Can Xirau, that they had previously purchased where Carrer del Carme and Carrer Bellaire meet. That plot, apart from the Town Hall building, was supposed to be destined to the new butcher stalls too. Economic problems halted the project, which was resumed in 1911 and ended in 1913.

During 1952 and 1953 the first renovations were performed with the installation of central heating in the offices and in 1991, the interior of the building was remodelled with the construction of the new main entrance stairs.

ARCHITECTURE

Art Nouveau building with a Catalan roof, fully remodelled and currently assigned to administrative services. Note the use of ceramic mosaic and wrought iron, typical of the style. The building, however, is slightly contained and balanced, which reminds us of the Catalan Noucentisme movement of the early 20th century. The original plans are not preserved, but some say that the original idea was to build a separate building with four walls, which would stand out from other nearby buildings and would also include the offices of the municipal court that use to be located opposite the church square along with the prison.

The 19.50 m façade is divided into three sections. In the centre, the main balcony stands out, sheltered by a canopy, under which there was a stone shield with the symbol of the town –a castle tower with a lion rampant– and where now you can see the existing shield. On top of that central section, a pierced gable stands, covered with green mosaic. Flanking it, there are two symmetrical blocks with two windows on either side, finished off with skylights framed with semicircular arches and green ceramics. At the top of the façade, there used to be sgraffito plant decorations, and at the bottom, a plinth course made with stone from Girona that is still standing. Note the metallic spiral staircase that connects all the floors built during the last refurbishment.