Guillem Carabí, author of a book about architect Josep M. Jujol's renovation of Casa Bofarull

02/06/16
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Guillem Carabí, a lecturer in Composition and member of the History, Architecture and Design Research Group at UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, has published a book entitled La transformació com a procediment (Transformation as a Procedure). The publication explores architect J. M. Jujol's renovation of Casa Bofarull (1913-1933).

In the words of professor Carabí: "Writing about Jujol's architecture involves reflecting on architecture at the turn of the 20th century and questioning architecture in the 21st century. It means writing about visual explorations that have lost none of their relevance and enjoying a style of architecture that is amiable, honest and deeply connected to the region and land, yet also audacious, elusive and playful; a style that affectionately unsettles anyone who attempts to straitjacket it with ever confusing and dubious historical categories.

Architect Josep M. Jujol's work in Casa Bofarull may be defined —as he himself stated in the site documentation he gave to the owners in 1914— as a renovation: 'Casa pairal de Bofarull als Pallaresos. Obres de reforma de 1913 a 1914. V dibuixos' (The Bofarull Ancestral House in Els Pallaresos: Renovation Work 1913-1914: 5 Sketches). The architect was well aware of the term's meaning —modifying something with the aim of improving it— and used it unabashedly, approaching the project with interpretative courage and a by no means conservationist attitude. New shapes, new combinations of materials, new geometries and new codes that were inserted into old materials, old organisations and old ways of understanding the concept of a house. An open dialogue between old and new which is perhaps the first stereotype we need to eliminate when talking about his architecture."

The book, published by DUX, was possible thanks to a grant from the Tarragona Regional Council and collaboration from the Tarragona branch of the Catalan Architects Association.

The linguistic revision was carried out with support from the Catalan Unit of the Institute for Multilingualism at UIC Barcelona and a 2015 Interlingua Grant from the Government of Catalonia, which promotes the use of languages at university. Other collaborators included the Jujol Archives and the owners of the house, Maria Mercè Segú and Anna Manent, who provided images.