Author: Rafael Gomez-Moriana

Vinylizing the Barcelona Pavilion

The Barcelona Pavilion is as white as Greek yoghurt right now. All the Roman travertine, ancient green marble, green Alpine marble, the golden onyx and stainless steel surfaces have been covered with white vinyl as part of an installation by local architects Anna and Eugeni Bach titled “Mies Missing Materiality” (hereinafter referred to as “MMM”). The only surfaces that have been left unchanged are all the glass, the pool, and the ceiling, which is white anyway. The red velvet curtains and the black carpet have been removed, as have the famous chairs designed by Lily Reich. The installation is coming down on 27 November, so if you’re an archi-tourist who is thinking of making the pilgrimage to Modernism’s greatest building this week, you might want to hold off. As we know from having read William O’Doherty’s Inside the White Cube, white is itself a colour. The architects could have selected pink, orange, or black vinyl, but no, they chose white, coincidentally (or perhaps not) the de rigeur wall colour of every contemporary art gallery. Indeed, the pavilion right now looks vaguely like Richard Meier’s MACBA contemporary art museum situated not very far away. But it’s the title that is curious, because vinyl is itself a material. For one thing, it’s highly toxic to the environment, and in this case, exactly 3800 m2 of removable vinyl adhesive film was used. Like paper,...

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Diving Deep: Tunateca Balfegó by El Equipo Creativo

Photo: Adrià Goula [Originally published in Frame Magazine #118] In creating Tunateca Balfegó Espai Gastronómic, a restaurant dedicated exclusively to dishes prepared with Atlantic bluefin tuna (atún rojo in Spanish, an allusion to the deep red colour of the raw meat), acclaimed Barcelona studio El Equipo Creativo was tasked with both the interiors and the concept of the somewhat unusual establishment. The project is the brainchild of a family from the small coastal town of L’Ametlla de Mar, in the neighbouring province of Tarragona. Having fished the Mediterranean for five generations, the Balfegós are renowned for supplying top chefs around the world with this highly prized delicacy. Don’t be confused: despite its name, the Atlantic bluefin also populates the waters of the Mediterranean. “We were commissioned to design a gastronomic space that would promote Atlantic bluefin tuna as a quality product and, at the same time, make it known to the general public,” says El Equipo Creativo partner Natali Canas del Pozo. “We worked closely with the Balfegó family from the very beginning, at the conceptual stage, even before a space had been found.” The challenge, she explains, “was to create a showroom or ‘flagship store’ for a brand of tuna – and to do for that brand what has been so successfully done with Iberian ham: make it widely known as a local product of a very high quality.” To achieve...

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