ESARQ Inaugurates BCN RE.SET Installation in Plaça del Mar

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Thirty students from the ESARQ School of Architecture collaborated in the design and construction of one of the seven temporary installations created as part of the BCN RE.SET project. Barcelona City Council and the Enric Miralles Foundation organized BCN RE.SET, a circuit of temporary outdoor architectural installations under the direction of Benedetta Tagliabue and Àlex Ollé as part of the programme to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the events of 1714. The circuit, which combines several temporary interventions in seven emblematic plazas in Barcelona's Ciutat Vella district, was inaugurated on Tuesday, 10 June 2014, and will remain open to visitors until Thursday, 11 September 2014.

The project aims to be both collaborative and educational, as it stimulates reflection on the concepts of identity, freedom, democracy, memory, diversity, the citadel fortress and Europe. Seven artistic and architectural installations were designed and built by seven teams made up of renowned architects, four Barcelona schools of architecture and design, and two groups of architects.

Since September 2013, the architects Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner of Urban-Think Tank and ETH Zürich have worked as guest lecturers with, among others, the ESARQ School of Architecture and thirty ESARQ students from different academic years, under the guidance of ESARQ lecturers Vicenç Sarrablo, Jaime Batlle, Eva Damià and Marta García-Orte. Together, the team created one of the seven temporary installations known as the Xarranca pavilion (BCN RE.SET – Europe) in Plaça del Mar in Barcelona’s La Barceloneta neighbourhood.

The installation is inspired by the children’s game of xarranca (hopscotch), a sequence of individual moments along a linear structure representing our collective experience within the unifying framework of Europe. The structure and interior walls of the pavilion recall the old fisherman’s houses of a former era in the history of La Barceloneta. The ESARQ students played an active role in the design and construction of the installation throughout a lengthy process involving site analysis, public intervention research and tapping into local knowledge. The commitment to the community was a key part of the process. All the materials were provided by local craftspeople, fishermen and mariners. The stone for the walls that form part of the installation was also sourced in Catalonia, and local social organizations collaborated on building the walls.

The aim of the seven BCN RE.SET installations is to invite people to walk around the city, choose their own itinerary and actively participate. All the installations are based on a theme of specific importance within the context of the programme to commemorate the 300th anniversary, and focus on recycling and sustainability. Accordingly, Santiago Cirugeda, an ESARQ alumnus, will salvage all the materials for reuse in different social projects in Catalonia when the exhibition has finished.

The entire process of creating the installations can be seen in a parallel exhibition, “The Making of BCN RE.SET”, organized by the Enric Miralles Foundation. The parallel exhibition was inaugurated on Tuesday, 10 June 2014, and will be open to visitors until Saturday, 20 December 2014. The exhibition showcases the work of all the schools, groups and collaborators who took part in the creation of the BCN RE.SET project.