Catalonia: The Latest Architecture and News
Exploring the streets of foreign cities is profoundly engaging. Whether it's meeting new cultures, observing new architectures, or trying new food, travelers usually go for the typical sightseeing activities. However, some have quite a unique take on tourism and choose to think outside the box - or in this case, above it.
Hungarian photographer Márton Mogyorósy chose to explore the Catalonian capital from above, capturing aerial shots of the city. Drone photography has helped us see cities from a unique perspective, and with Barcelona’s dynamic urban fabric, the coastal city’s buildings and beaches have turned into vibrant geometric artwork.
The winners of the 2017 Pritzker Prize, RCR Arquitectes, has been selected to lead the proposal and design of the Catalan pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale. The news was announced yesterday by Santi Vila, Minister of Culture of the Generalitat of Catalonia, during the opening of this year’s Venice Biennale of Art.
Standing on a rise overlooking the Spanish Mediterranean coast, there is an odd structure which could easily be mistaken for an vast pile of forgotten blocks. Kafka’s Castle, built in 1968, was one of the earlier projects completed by Ricardo Bofill, a Spanish Postmodern architect known for apartment buildings as monumental as they were thought-provoking. While his later work indulged in Postmodern historicism, the modular and mathematically-derived Kafka’s Castle was an unabashed break from any local or global tradition – as much the case now as it was in the 1960s.
Japanese practice Nikken Sekkei, in collaboration with Joan Pascual-Ramon Ausió Arquitectes, has been chosen to design the new Camp Nou stadium for FC Barcelona, according to Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia. The winning team was chosen over three other finalists: HKS + COX + Batell i Roig Arquitectes; BIG + IDOM + BAAS Arquitectes; POPULOUS + Mias Arquitectes + RCR Arquitectes.
The new design intends to compliment the recently unveiled New Palau Blaugrana, FC Barcelona's main basketball arena that will be designed by HOK and TAC Arquitectes. All this is happening alongside the Espai Barça remodel that is expected to begin in 2017 and complete by 2021.
The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, more commonly known simply as the Sagrada Família, has been under construction in Barcelona since 1882, but now completion of the church is finally in sight. As this video from the Basilica’s YouTube page illustrates, the six final towers are set to be completed by 2026, timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the death of Antoni Gaudí, the Catalan architect who devoted much of his life to the design and construction of the building. These six towers, representing the Virgin Mary, the four evangelists, and Jesus Christ, will be the last and tallest of 18 spires on the church, and will make the Sagrada Família the tallest church building in the world.
Through a competition limited to some of the most prestigious universities, The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) have been chosen to work with the Harbin Institute of Technology of China (HIT) to create a new school of design, architecture and urbanism in Shenzhen. The new centre will be built on HIT's campus and house up to 1,200 post-graduate and doctoral students, with facilities for research, education and production. Read more about this collaboration after the break.
Text description provided by the architects. Created for Barcelona's BCN RE.SET festival organized this year by the Fundació Enric Miralles as part of the city's Tricentenari BCN celebrations, this installation by Yael Reisner and Peter Cook responds to the theme of 'democracy'. The design, titled "Take My Hand" takes inspiration from a number of factors - notably the location of the site outside Barcelona's Civil Registration building, and the idea that the protection of human rights and civil liberties is one of the fundamental tenets of democracy.
The installation is therefore designed as a space to be used in marriage ceremonies and a celebration of human rights through civil weddings. Reisner explains that "the option of a civil marriage in many countries opened new possibilities for interfaith marriages, non-religious marriages, and same sex marriages."
More on the installation after the break
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.
The result is BCN RE.SET, organized by Benedetta Tagliabue of the Fundació Enric Miralles and stage director Àlex Ollé, which invited guest architects from countries all over the world to colloborate with local universities and create installations symbolizing 6 political and ideological concepts: identity, freedom, Europe, diversity, democracy and memory. These installations will be in place until September 11th. Read on after the break for descriptions of all 6 installations.
Catalonia is returning for the second time to the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale with the Collateral Event Arquitectures Empeltades / Grafting Architecture. Referencing the botanical process of grafting, the proposal seeks to elucidate the changes taking place in contemporary Catalan architecture by highlighting processes in which “living traditions” are being updated as new.
More on "Grafting Architecture" after the break...
MATAERIAL (shown in the video above) is "the result of the collaborative research between Petr Novikov, Saša Jokić from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and Joris Laarman Studio. IAAC tutors representing the Open Thesis Fabrication Program provided their advice and professional expertise."
Most architecture programs focus on traditional degrees, ranging from practice-based Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees to the more theoretical Doctorate. But, until recently, there has been a void in postgraduate training that actually teaches fresh graduates and experienced professionals new technological skills. The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (or IAAC) has taken an important step towards filling this gap with two programs: the Open Thesis Fabrication (OTF) program and the Fab Academy.
Architects: OAB - Office of Architecture in Barcelona Location: Castellbell i el Vilar, Spain Design Team: Carlos Ferrater, Nuria Ayala Technical Architect: Alexandre Pararols Project Year: 2010 Photographs: Alejo Bague
This year’s Venice Biennale will kick off on August 29th and run through November 25th and for the first time, the Institut Ramon Llull will be presenting an exhibition dedicated to Catalan and Balearic architecture entitled “Vogadors”, featuring nine projects from nine different architects that epitomize the contemporary and avant-garde works from the regions. The exhibition is inspired by the Mediterranean Sea, which is the main geographical feature of the regions, and by the words of Jorge Oteiza, “He who forges ahead creating something new does so like an oarsman, moving forward but back-paddling, looking behind him, towards the past, towards what exists, so as to be able to reinvent its underpinnings.”
Follow us after the break to see the projects to be featured at the exhibit.