Copenhagen and Barcelona will be the world capitals of architecture in 2023 and 2026, respectively. Both having arisen next to the water – the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean, respectively – they currently face the climate emergency that prioritises taking care of the planet and its inhabitants.
Spaces traditionally occupied by industrial activities have been the subject of urban regeneration projects since the 1990s, changing not only the local form and functions but also the image and physiognomy of the city itself. These transformed spaces are like a mirror where the image of the city and the urban culture of the present are faithfully reflected. As the geographer Francesc Muñoz says, “they constitute test territories where the urban challenges of the future are manifested. Few spaces in the city are, in this sense, so overexposed to the three main urban risks that currently stand out in the agendas of European cities: on the one hand, the simplification and urban trivialisation caused by hyper-specialisation in consumption and tourist uses; on the other hand, the trends of social exclusion that phenomena such as gentrification clearly illustrate; and finally, the effects of climate change that are already being confirmed in a way that is particularly sensitive to the urban limit in direct contact with bodies of water”.
Since 1988, the network of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award has reported on the ground and highlighted the works of architecture that have the greatest impact on our ways of life. This exhibition shows a selection of an important group of projects from these two cities. Models, photographs, texts and audiovisual materials tell the particular stories of these architectures that build places for social interaction.
The urban transformation that the two cities have undergone in recent years follows an open, iterative and incomplete process; an open, malleable and gradual urban development that recognises the role of architecture, time and space to become more liveable.
4-5-2022 < 26-6-2022, Opening 11-5-2022
DHUB – Disseny Hub Barcelona, Espai B