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Molí del Mig by URH

HISTORY & REFURBISHMENT OF THE MOLÍ DEL MIG

HISTORY OF THE MOLÍ DEL MIG

The origins of the Molí del Mig date back to the beginning of the 15th century. At that time, Queen Violant de Bar, widow of Joan I, authorised the Pons family, who managed the royal estate in Torroella, to use water from the river Ter to build several mills, one of which was called Molí del Mig (Catalan for ‘Halfway Mill’). The Pons family was related to the lords of Sarriera and maintained the property until around 1870. It later passed into private hands and became a farmhouse.

The water from the Ter reached the Ullà sluicegate, and from there passed through the Molí canal, feeding the 3 mills in Torroella: the Molí de Dalt, the Molí del Mig and the Molí de Baix. The water accumulated in the pond, and then entered the trench, causing the impeller to turn. This in turn was connected to the shaft driving the rotation of the two millstones, located on the upper floor, where the grain that would become flour was spread out.

The old Molí del Mig building has three phases: the first took shape between the 15th and 16th centuries, with a door bearing the coat of arms of the Sarriera family and the structures of the mill itself; the second phase dates from around 1780, when the rectangular body was built in the southwest, slanted and advanced with respect to the previous building. The sundial on the façade also belongs to this stage; the third phase occurred between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and consisted of renovation of the upper section (especially the tower), as well as several outbuildings annexed to the eastern and western section, most of which no longer exist.

The mill remained uninhabited until the latter half of the 20th century. It was subsequently used as an agricultural warehouse until 1999, when it was acquired by the Pellissa-Vaqué family with the intention of refurbishing it and converting it into a hotel.

REFURBISHMENT OF THE MOLÍ DEL MIG TO CONVERT IT INTO A HOTEL

The ancient building, in very poor condition, was reinforced between 2000 and 2003. All cultural elements and features of interest were preserved, and those attached outbuildings deemed of no cultural or architectural interest were removed.

In the old mill (the 15th-16th century section), now converted into a Museum Hall, the trench is still visible and the functioning and history of the mill are explained by means of information panels. The entrance to the hotel is above the old mill pond, which has also been recovered. The door, which was once the main entrance and now connects to the garden, bears the coat of arms of the lords of Sarriera.

The rectangular section, which was added later in the 17th-18th century period and once used as a stable for livestock, has now been converted into a Spa, and the stone vault and the small raised windows have been preserved. On the outside, the ancient sundial dating from 1783 has also been restored and what was left of the previous one has been maintained.

Between 2003 and 2006, the year in which the hotel was inaugurated, the old mill was extended and all the attached and current rooms were built (the restaurant, the multi-purpose room, exterior suites, etc.). At the architectural level, the concept focused on emphasising the contrasts between the old and the new, seeking clarity in the architectural language and prioritising its integration with the landscape. All of this is achieved through volumes, colours and a willingness to follow the straight lines of the landscape.

In the words of its late architect, Josep María Deulofeu: “When it came to proposing and selecting solutions, our preferred objective was to obstruct as little as possible in order to integrate the building and adapt it to the site”. That same architect also said: “The enlargement of the mill has been proposed in such a way that the complex offers a reading of an integrated and connected whole, seeking solutions to ensure that it continues to be at the forefront of the complex, with all its potential and historical value.”

In 2006, this refurbishment and extension of the Molí del Mig was a finalist in the Girona Regional Architecture Awards, awarded by the Girona Demarcation of the College of Architects of Catalonia.