The Pierre Gipulo buildings

Architects Felix Mercader and Samuel Banyuls

In 1932, Jean Gobern, mayor of Vinça, decided that as the town hall was in such a poor state, it needed to be replaced. On 21st November 1932, he suggested to his local council that a new site  be purchased for the building of a new Town Hall which would serve not only as the mayor’s offices but also include a court house, a concert hall, a youth club and a post office. Due to a conflict with the management of the Post Office the project was delayed and only completed at the end of Mayor Govern’s mandate. On 15th June 1935, the newly elected mayor, Pierre Gipulo, and his team re-defined the whole project to incorporate not only the Mayor’s offices but also a court of the first instance, the tax collection office, the public Assembly rooms and the Post Office. The cost of this vast enterprise was 424 443,34 francs. Felix Mercader‘s architectural criteria of social and hygienic elements are clearly evident in the functional design of the completed building. The acoustics were carefully respected in the overall construction of the hall so that the performance of plays and the screening of films could be accommodated. As a precaution against an aerial attack, it was decided that a secure strong room should be built in the basement to house essential archival materials and documents. The entire complex was completed in 1937.

During the German occupation Pierre Gipulo was very active in the ”Resistance”. He was arrested in April 1944 and sent to Buchenwald and later to Bergen-Belsen; he died shortly after the camp was liberated on 11th May1945. He was awarded the Cross of the Legion d’Honneur posthumously.