LocationPlaça Nova 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Author ArchitectsUrbanus; Liu Xiaodu, Meng Yan / La Salle: Josep Ferrando + Eugeni Bach + Jaime Font + 25 estudiantes
Project ArchitectBernat Riera
TeamRunze Hu, Zhifei Hao, YanHui Ma, YueYu Luo
Text description provided by the architects. Every year, citizens of Catalonia commemorate the events of September 11th 1714, a key date in the War of the Spanish Succession that has come to symbolize what Voltaire called “the Barcelonans’ extreme love of freedom.” With this year marking the 300th anniversary of these events, Barcelona Cultura enlisted the Fundació Enric Miralles to curate 7 public installations around the city as part of its Tricentenari BCN program.
How can we redefine the idea of Identity in an era of globalization? Instead of an absolute or static image of Identity, the identities of our age are very dynamic, constantly assimilating and reacting with each other. Therefore, we approached the Identity of Catalonia through an alternative lens, a constant back and forth dialogue between Urbanus (outsider) and ETSALS (insider), generating new inspirations and unintended consequences at the end of the design process.
From roman arch to Catalan vault
The Identity pavilion divides the large existing plaza into two, recovering the old 1714 square while generating a new gathering point in the city; a congregation and exchange spot that will host different activities showcasing Catalan Identity.
The space is configured by an abstraction of the traditional Catalan clay vault, highlighting the evolution of the form from the original Roman arch. The use of a cohesive network of small bamboo pieces reduces the need for buttressing and eliminates the necessity of temporary supports. This allows for a large spanning structure with a material thickness of just 10mm, using standard industrially produced bamboo pieces brought from China.
The construction is simplified enough so that anyone may participate in its assembly. In demonstration of this, the completed pavilion was built with the participation of many students. This type of construction system conceptually shares similarities with the “Human Castles”, the famous Catalonian human pyramids, as a form of communal construction in which different individuals team up together for a common final goal.
Once the festival is over, the pavilion will be disassembled. Some pieces will be re-used for other installations and the remaining ones will be recycled and given to different communities as bio fuel for heating in winter.