The project, which will represent Catalonia in the Biennale Architettura 2018 as Collateral Event and which is curated by journalist Pati Nunez and architect Estel Ortega along with RCR Arquitectes, reveals an unknown side of Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta: their most intimate universe. These three architects have created a space to research and rethink man's relationship to the world, located in the La Vila estate in the Bianya Valley (Girona), and it's in this landscape that their project for 16th International Architecture Exhibition is based.
In the words of RCR Arquitectes: "In Venice we will present our dream, unknown and unpublished up until now. It's a key moment in the development of this project, and it's through architecture that the birth of a utopia under construction that unveils our interior world is being represented." The intention is that "those who visit the space at the Biennale will feel an immense draw to get to know La Vila and to perceive the force of nature, a force that can change you. Our aim is that entering into The Dream becomes a highly sensorial experience."
In the words of Pati Nunez, co-curator of the project: "We're suggesting experimenting with new formats applied to the dissemination of architecture. There are no models or blueprints at the exhibition. The dream in the title refers to the most intimate side of Rafael, Carme and Ramon because their way of understanding the world is what forms the basis their architecture." Estel Ortega the co-curator reaffirms that "the museography is intentional; it's part of the project and its trajectory is not linear. The idea is to provoke the feeling of being inside a dream. You could say it's like a cave of lights and liquid movement, an immaterial space that allows each person to construct their own unique experience, just like in a dream."
To access a secret, ambiguous place, and before getting to the dream, you must first cross over an initial phase: the Threshold. This is to give the visitor the feeling of entering little by little into a dematerialized space where they don't know exactly where they are, as if falling into a light sleep. It's an intermediary space, dynamic, where the content refers to RCR's previous work and it constitutes a presentation and a summary of their trajectory.
Then the Dream arrives: a more profound state of sleep. A cave of lights and movement, with a fragmented and mysterious spatial conception, where material from the La Vila project is presented exclusively. La Vila as destination and means, like an unfinished construction and a life's work. And this interpretation of RCR's intimate world, its strength and sensuality, is taken to the extreme so that the visitor can move as they like through the space and create their own unique experience. Just like in a dream.
All of these profound philosophical concepts are defined as the Geography of Dreams, and they are presented through a series of magnifying glasses that distort reality, that both reflect and fragment the world, that bring you closer and yet further away, in a sort of game that confuses, surprises, envelops, and, lastly, compels the visitor to reflect.
This is RCR's intention, to bring the La Vila experience to Venice - a utopia under construction, so that its mark is imprinted onto everyone.
About the Parallel Program
The objective of the parallel program, NEW FORMATS: DREAM AND NATURE, is to offer other visions of the RCR universe from people and practices that act as filters and that allow us glimpses into other points of view, and which can also involve the largest number of people.
This program has two projects: a series of talks and a university program in which eight schools in Catalonia have sent proposals that respond to a question raised by the curators: What do we learn from Nature? Five proposals from each participating school have been chosen and they will be on display on the exhibition screen. The participating schools are: BAU, Elisava, La Salle (Ramon Llull University), ETSA Barcelona (Polytechnic University of Catalonia), ETSA Vallès (UPC), University of Girona, School of Architecture (International University of Catalonia), and the Rovira Virgili University.
Three talks have been scheduled on May 24th and 25th in Venice: on May 24th, Creating Knowledge. New Ways of Communicating ART and ARCHITECTURE, with Eva Franch (director of the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York and the new director of the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London), and Pedro Gadanho (director of MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) in Lisbon, and moderated by Pati Nunez; on May 25th, Architecture Criticism, with Glenn Murcutt (Founder of the Architecture Foundation Australia, and recipient of the Pritzker Award of Architecture in 2002), Juhani Pallasmaa (Finnish architect, honorable member of the SAFA, AIA and RIBA), and William J.R. Curtis (famous, award-winning architectural historian), and presented by Estel Ortega; and the closing conference, RCR. Dream and Nature, presented by William J.R. Curtis and RCR Architects. The parallel activities will take place at the warehouse adjacent to Cantieri Navali. They will be open to the public and can be streamed live from the Architect’s Association of Catalonia (COAC) headquarters in Barcelona.
Corporate Sponsorship and Institutional Collaborations
The main exhibition sponsor is the curved glass company, Cricursa. The project's lighting is sponsored by the company Lamp. On the institutional side, the strategic collaboration of the COAC (Architect’s Association of Catalonia) has been key, as well as the sponsorship by the Costa Brava Girona Tourist Board and collaboration from the Olot City Council (Olot Culture).
About the Institut Ramon Llull
The Institut Ramon Llull has produced and organized Catalonia's participation as Collateral Event of La Biennale di Venezia since 2009, and has been present at the Biennale Architettura since 2012. The Institut Ramon Llull is a consortium that comprises the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia), Balearic Islands Government and the Barcelona City Council, and its mission is the promotion of Catalan language and culture abroad.