Architects Anna and Eugeni Bach are updating the Barcelona Pavilion as we speak, the establishment is being reinterpreted today into a minimal state, all walls will be covered with white panels, the Pavilion will be, temporarily, in its purest unoriginal instance  of expression. 

The jewel of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe will be transformed in just one week through the use of stark white on the building`s legendary marble surfaces, the Spanish architects are using white vinyl screens in the transformation.

The mixture of marble, glass and steel will therefore be influenced as white interferes, the intervention ought to bring the iconic building closer to a full-scale model of itself as the protagonists are further relating:

“This simple act turns the pavilion into a 1:1 scale mock-up, a representation of itself that opens the door to multiple interpretations about aspects like the value of the original, the role of the white surface as an image of modernity, and the importance of materiality in the perception of space ” 

The project is part of a series of installations that animate the pavilion temporarily periodically, the series is entitled Mies Missing Materiality and it uses the reconstructed structure of the pavilion that Mies van der Rohe exhibited for the Barcelona Expo in 1929.

Back in 2009 the pools of the pavilion were filled with coffee and mil by the Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei, in 2013, Andrés Jaque invited junk from the basement to animate the setting.

Today`s project changes the building radically though as it manipulates the perception of a legendary establishment, it changes the way the architect intended to be seen.

Anna and Eugeni Bach aim to raise questions about the significance of the materiality in the building`s historic character by removing the essence, the materiality itself.

“To provide the pavilion in Barcelona with that homogenising whiteness means to endow it with one of the defining features of modern historiography,” they said. “Yet at the same time, it also involves stripping the pavilion of its materiality and its unique characteristics – specifically the one that erected it as an icon of the modern movement.”

“The installation turns this paradox into an experience. It helps visitors to consider these ideas and many more through their own experience in a pavilion that will lose all trace of its materiality for a few days to assume all its representative potential.”

In six days, on 16 November 2017 the project will be completed, the duo Anna and Eugeni Bach and fellow architects such as Carlos Quintáns and María Langarita will then hold a debate on the transformation.

11 days the white will mark Mies van der Rohe`s work, on 27 November 2017 the building will be restored to its original state.

How do you see the installation ? Would love to hear your feedback !

Photography is by Adrià Goula.

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