Study for the restoration of Palauet Nolla
Dating of the building: 17th and 19th centuries.
Applicant: Xavier Laumain.
Reason for the award :
The Jury appreciated the depth, interest, and care applied to the research before the restoration of the Palacio de Nolla, a monument that, although modest, is full of meaning and historical value, as a witness to the production of Spanish Ceramics during the 19th century.
The crème de la crème of European high society passed through the halls of the Nolla Palace to contemplate one of the highest quality ceramics ever produced, the Nolla mosaic.
The study of the Palauet Nolla had as its principal objective the exhaustive knowledge of the monument in all its aspects: historical, architectural, artistic, social, and industrial. Likewise, it is set out to evaluate its state of conservation, the works necessary to undertake for its recovery, and a proposal of possible uses. All this information would form the core of the Master Plan for the recovery of the building. The first results of this study became apparent even before finalizing research work. The rigorous survey of the decorative and architectural elements – and in particular of the ceramic mosaics – as well as the in-depth study of historical sources, made it possible to reveal the relevant role played by the Palauet Nolla in the histories of Valencia and Spain during the second half of the 19th century. The rediscovery of the set of mosaics that houses the monument was a true revelation, both for its individual character in terms of finish and quality, as well as for the social and industrial significance that emerged from them.
The Palauet Nolla then ceased to be a mere historical building in the Valencian garden, to regain the privileged place that it had had in the past, when the Kings of Spain, the Romanovs, the Hohenzollern, Blasco Ibañez, or General Prim passed through its rooms; all of them interested in the manufacture of what constitutes one of the highest quality ceramics ever produced: the Nolla mosaic. If Mr. Miguel Nolla Bruguet’s factory was an international milestone, whose success placed the small municipality of Meliana on the world map, the Palauet was also the symbol of such a company, as a large part of European high society of the time was housed within its walls, to admire the infinite aesthetic possibilities of such a product. Although the Palauet Nolla was at the time a well-known landmark throughout Europe, the abandonment threatened its final disappearance. A study carried out with the utmost rigor would lay the foundations for its restoration as a symbol of Meliana’s rich artisan legacy.