The Bar Virgen Del Carmen in Santa Pola, Spain, dates all the way back to 1860. What started as a repair to the filtration system quickly turned into a full building rehabilitation by Estudio Arn Arquitectos.

When work began it was discovered that, over the decades, layers and layers of repairs, additions, modifications and removals had altered the building so completely as to be unrecognizable from the original condition. The external walls were covered by layers of mortar and different colors of paint. The interior brick walls were layered over with tiles, hiding the original brick masonry. Two levels of false ceilings blocked the original wooden beams of the ceiling from view.

Extensive cleaning was undertaken. Each layer of paint and mortar had to be carefully excavated, removing years from the building until the original masonry was visible. The original roof tiles were recovered and treated for waterproofing. Both false ceilings were knocked out, which provided enough room for a second floor right underneath the open wooden beams. The new second story is kept separate from the original structure, respecting the original architecture.