Over the past quarter-century, EMBT has emerged as one of the most influential practices in Spain, remaining as thought-provoking under the sole direction of Benedetta Tagliabue as it was before the tragic death of her inspirational husband and co-founder Enric Miralles. In this installment of his “City of Ideas” column, Vladimir Belogolovsky visits Tagliabue at the firm's studio in Barcelona to talk about the role of experimentation and curiosity in their work.
Vladimir Belogolovsky: Before we start, I would like to compliment you on the space here at your studio. It is absolutely fantastic to feel such creative drive here, and I am particularly fascinated with the very simple light fixtures with cords stapled to walls, each expressing its own character and its distinctive signature. I wonder how consciously all these features are done here. Or is it a true laboratory and tomorrow the studio might look slightly different?
Benedetta Tagliabue: It is sort of conscious, but also many things are here because we are constantly running out of space. Most importantly, we want to work in a kind of space that inspires us. So we are in the old city… We found this abandoned building in the early 90s with many layers of history, which reminds me of Venice where I lived before meeting Enric [Miralles]. Yet, from the beginning, it was clear to us that this was going to be a forward-looking, experimental place. And everyone who comes here can see the type of work we are producing. We particularly champion a hand-made approach – building models, making collages. You see and feel what it is like here!