By focusing on the architecture of interiors, Inaki Ábalos, the curator of this year's Spanish Pavilion, highlights the spaces within 12 Spanish buildings. These projects, mostly completed within the past three years, serve as specifically important instances of refurbishment and regeneration of Spain's built heritage. The exhibition is a study not only of the architecture itself, but of the cultural material that gave rise to the specific forms. Through large-scale photographs and sections of each of the presented spaces, Interior seeks "the place where life unfolds, the central theme of architecture." Read on to find the rest of the curator's statement.
From the Official Catalog of 14th International Architecture Exhibition. For the general public, the very idea of modernity evokes a homogenous model, as if human nature itself could be measured --or, even worse, corrected--on the basis of unified spatial patterns; as if the experience of architecture were an objectifiable pattern or were dependent exclusively on learning a universal cultural pattern. "Interior" as research subject links tradition and modernity to extract essential keys showing how to redone typological, constructive, and environmental models, as well as the design techniques of the contemporary project.
Returning to the interior means returning to the generic code of architecture and its richest traditions, in which the collective space and hedonistic culture attached to the interior unfold. Arab architectures, open typologies, the culture of water, ancestral constructions, and basic articulations of the natural environment as habitats and plateaus of urging cultures, caves, and totems--all of these have left traces, forcing mechanical modernity to negotiate a local articulation full of vitalistic deviations.
Focusing the Spanish Pavilion exhibition on the interior also entails assessing the value of its design, particularly in relation to the refurbishment, recovery, and urban regeneration programs that, to a large event, can be classified as interior interventions, not only as far as buildings are concerned, but also encompassing the courtyard blocks in our cities. As a structuring idea, the exhibition is presented through a selection of twelve projects by Spanish offices and in most cases completed over the last three years, but always with a special significance in the fields of refurbishment and regeneration of the built, urban heritage. The idea of recreating the interior will be expressed through a labyrinth made with large, immersive photographic reproductions of the selected buildings, accompanied by other elements such as drawings (sections) and related historical projects that favor their understanding, both spatial and temporal.
There is no architecture without the interior: there is no idea of architecture if there is no reflection on the interior in all orders--spatial, formal, material, and energetic. The interior speaks of space, and space is, by definition, the place where life unfolds, the central theme of architecture.