SEAT is an emblematic exemple of corporative architecture that was made in Barcelona in the decades of 1950 and 1960. The breadth of the programme, that supplied Zona Franca’s floor, the neighbourhood for one part of the employers, and the formation centers, administration, exposition and sale of the vehicles. Talks about the intention of showing a constructive image with care. In this context, the canteen of the company, made by Ortiz-Echague i Echaide is a particular building for being the first one in Spain to use extensively aluminium structure. Coming from the aeronautical industry and in this case used to supply the terrain deficiencies. The result is an unknown piece of architecture with a big interest to “humanize” the hard work environment of the automobile factory, as well as to demonstrate the progress of Spain through a high-tech architecture for its time.
The project becomes on the first brand images, where the modernity of architecture is synomyn of modernity and eficency of the company. The open and diaphanous design talks about an organized industrial production, tided and clean opposing the closed, dark an dirty image of the factories from the beginning of the century. In fact, the result was that in 1957, when in the centenary anniversary of the American Institute of Architects, an international architecture contest was organized by the Reynolds company. The competitors had to use aluminium structures. From the 85 projects presented, coming from 19 different countries, the jury, guided by Mies van der Rohe, selected as the winner the canteen of SEAT.
Tour guided by Paolo Sustersic, Doctor Architect (IUAV and University of Southampton), Professor of History of Design at Elisava (Pompeu Fabra University) and Professor of History of Modern Architecture at ESARQ School of Architecture, (Universidad Internacional de Catalunya). He has organized congresses, exhibitions and other research activities related to architecture and design in collaboration with the COAC, the Docomomo Foundation and ETSAB-UPC. He has participated as a guest speaker in courses and conferences organized by the ETSAB, the Menéndez y Pelayo University, the UAB and he is the director of the History the twentieth century’s furniture course at the Association for the study of furniture. His contributions have been published in numerous books, catalogs, congresses and magazines on architecture and design of the 20th century.