Port Authority of Malaga

The headquarters of the Port Authority of Malaga occupy a building in the eclectic classicist style, completed in 1935 by architect Manuel Aceña González. The fact that it was over 70 years old and in particular its constant exposure to the aggressiveness of the marine environment, caused the progressive deterioration of the building façades until 2006, when the Port Authority finally decided to begin renovating it.

Malaga

Spain
Malaga
Contractor
Juan Pablo Gómez de la Fuente and Alberto Gómez García. Architects
Project Date
2006

Issues and stakes

Damage to the plaster mortar cement façades showed up in the appearance of cracks, specific mass losses and abundant peeling of the paint finish; and consequently also the replacement or repair of the woodwork, cornices, eaves and carvings. The overall project to rehabilitate the façades involved the renovation of the cement render, by previously removing the existing one by chipping and sandblasting. However, at the time when the work was undertaken, the possibility of replacing this material with lime mortar was considered. The Port Authority assessed the characteristics of the lime mortar and concluded that it had a number of advantages over the one originally planned.

Achievements

Lime mortar allows perspiration of the support, thus preventing any interstitial condensation that releases the plaster and generates stains on the façade. The possibility of applying the colours to the mortar itself precluded the painting that had been planned, avoiding future peeling and reducing future preservation tasks which, in the past, necessitated periodic reviews. In addition, the presence of the colour throughout the thickness of the coating enables any mass losses that may be caused by the aggressiveness of the marine environment to be concealed. Moreover, the higher cost of the lime mortar compared with cement is partly offset by the elimination of the painting initially planned. Finally, from an aesthetic point of view, the lime mortar provides a characteristic surface, smooth but slightly vibrating, which cannot be achieved with other materials, giving the building façade a texture consistent with its geographic location as well as the historical character that it possesses. In short, both technically and aesthetically, lime mortar applied in the building contributed to its recovery as one of the relevant pieces of architectural history built in the city of Malaga.

Texts written by Juan Pablo Gómez de la Fuente García and Alberto Gomez. architects