The Fundació Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona City Council and the Catalan Architects’ Association (COAC) have joined forces with Barcelona Building Construmat and ArquinFAD, to launch Architecture Week 2019, a joint initiative that will be taking place at several venues across the city of Barcelona from 9 to 19 May.
During those days, Barcelona will become the centre of a wide range of activities relating to the world of architecture and the city, beyond disciplinary and territorial boundaries. On the hundred-year anniversary of the foundation of the Bauhaus school of design and architecture, this year’s edition will emphasise the legacy of a variety of early 20th century architectural movements to stimulate reflection on the built environments of cities and their value, by disseminating architectural activities, knowledge, experience and discussion.
With participation from public institutions and local residents, an extensive programme of events has been put together, featuring film and architectural activities, talks, tours, competitions and hubs in all the city’s districts.
Barcelona undoubtedly has a heritage of undeniable value in its everyday urban architecture. Architecture is the basis of the physical space where Barcelona’s residents live their lives. Architecture Week therefore aims to strengthen this essential bond between architecture and the public.
This year is the centenary of the BAUHAUS design and architecture school (1919-1933). Founded in 1919 in the Weimar Republic (Germany) by Walter Gropius, one of the basic principles of this school was the idea of overcoming the divide between fine arts and crafts, as had already been attempted in Art Noveau, Arts & Crafts and Modernisme, at the end of the 19th century. The main difference with regard to those movements was that BAUHAUS accepted new industrial production techniques that made it possible to democratise design, moving from the manual work of craftsmen to mass production.
On the occasion of the BAUHAUS centenary, this year’s edition of Architecture Week aims to focus on the legacy of this school and the influence of various avant-garde artistic and design movements which, at the beginning of the 20th century gradually permeated architecture, also in Barcelona.
For this reason, Architecture Week 2019 has selected 10 locations, one in each city district, that illustrate the varying influence of rational language, which abandons ornamentation, seeking geometric simplicity and the standardisation of construction features, using functionalism, social hygiene and spatial efficiency to justify their decisions.
These 10 featured locations form a time line that connects the first productions in the 1930s with houses that are reminiscent of a vessel or prototypes that attempt to solve the problem of workers’ housing. The return of rationalism in the 1950s can be recognised in the Zona Universitària buildings and in industrial constructions such as the SEAT installations. There are also examples that show the consequences of the excessive simplification of functionalism’s ideas, seen in the housing estates of the 1960s.
Anti-tuberculosis Dispensary (1934-38)
Ferran Soldevila Gardens (1934)
Artur Rigol i Riba
SEAT dining rooms (1954-56)
LES CORTS – Zona Universitària
Faculty of Law – Pedro López Iñigo, Guillermo Giraldez Dávila i Xavier Subias Fages (1958)
Escola d’Alts Estudis Mercantils – Javier Carvajal Ferrer i Rafael García de Castro Peña (1954-61)
Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences – Pedro López Íñigo, Guillermo Giráldez Dávila i Xavier Subias Fages (1962-66)
Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineers – Robert Terradas (1959-64)
SARRIÀ – SANT GERVASI
Radio Barcelona Station (1929)
Nicolau Maria Rubió i Tudurí
Casa Francesc Vilaró (1930)
Pavilion of the Republic (1937)
Josep Lluís Sert – Luís Lacasa
Cases Barates in Can Peguera (1930)
Casa Bloc (1932-36)
Housing estates in El Besòs (1959-66)