Institut Ramon LLull


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RCR Arquitectes’ dream of La Vila comes to the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale

Visual Arts.  Venice,  24/05/2018

This Thursday saw the inauguration at the Venice Architecture Biennale of RCR. Dream and Nature Catalonia in Venice, a project about RCR Arquitectes – winners of the 2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize – curated by journalist Pati Núñez, architect Estel Ortega and RCR Arquitectes. This project will represent Catalonia at the Venice Architecture Biennale within Eventi Collaterali until 25th November. This is the fourth time that the Institut Ramon Llull has promoted the presence of Catalonia at one of the most important events in world architecture, the Venice Biennale.

The project reveals an unknown side to Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta: their most intimate world. All three architects have created a space in which to investigate and rethink humanity’s relationship with the world that can be found in La Vila, in the Bianya valley (Girona), and their project for the Venice Biennale revolves around this.

At the presentation of the project to the press, the director of the institute Ramon Llull, Manuel Forcano, pointed out the unusual fact that what is exhibited “is not a finished project, but a work in progress, an idea under construction, ideas to work on, and I like this because it gives it an air of volatility, something open.” Forcano described the Catalan pavilion as a “poem” for its “introspection, intimacy and depth”.

According to RCR Arquitectes, the aim is “for those who visit the space in the Biennale to feel an immense desire to get to know La Vila and perceive the force of nature, a force that can transform you. We would like going inside The Dream to become a very sensory experience.”

Co-curator Pati Núñez added, “Our idea is to experiment with new formats applied to the diffusion of architecture. There are no models or plans in the exhibition. The dream in the title shows the most intimate side of Rafael, Carme and Ramon, because their way of understanding the world is the basis of their architecture.” Moreover, co-curator Estel Ortega states: “the museography is intentional, it is part of the project and does not run in a straight line. The idea is to arouse the feeling of finding oneself in a dream. It could be said that it looks like a cave of lights and liquid movement, an immaterial space that allows each and everyone to construct their own experience, as occurs in dreams.”

RCR. Dream and Nature opened earlier today with a discussion between Eva Franch (director of the Architectural Association School in London) and Pedro Gadanho (director of the MAT in Lisbon) entitled Creating Knowledge: New Ways of Communicating ART and ARCHITECTURE that could be followed live from the COAC via streaming. This conversation is part of NEW FORMATS: DREAM AND NATURE, the parallel programme to the exhibition curated by Pati Núñez, organized jointly by the Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC) and the Institut Ramon Llull, and sponsored by Simon.

The project

After entering a secret, disconcerting place, and arriving in the dream, you have to get through the first stage: the Threshold. This aims to transmit the feeling of gradually entering a dematerialized space in which visitors do not know where they are, as if they had fallen into a light sleep. It is a halfway moment, very dynamic, in which the content refers to the earlier work of RCR Arquitectes and constitutes a presentation and a summary of their careers.

Then comes the Dream: it represents a deeper sleep, a cave of lights and movement, with a fragmented and almost mysterious spatial concept, in which material exclusive to the project for La Vila is presented. La Vila as an end and as a means, as an unfinished construction and life project. And this same interpretation of the intimate world of RCR, of its force and sensuality, is taken to extremes so that visitors can move as they wish around the space and have the possibility of constructing their own experience. As in dreams.

This whole profound philosophical concept is defined as a geography of dreams, and is represented through magnifying glasses that distort reality, that reflect the world and at the same time fragment it, bringing it closer and moving it farther away, in a game that confuses, surprises, envelops and, ultimately, makes visitors reflect. This is RCR’s intention, to take the experience of La Vila to Venice, a utopia under construction, to leave a lasting impression on everyone.

About the parallel programme

The parallel programme NEW FORMATS: DREAM AND NATURE sets out to show other views of RCR’s world with people and practices that act as a filter and enable us to get closer to different points of view, and which at the same time involve the largest possible number of people.

This programme consists of two projects: a series of discussions and a universities programme. Taking part in the latter are eight schools from all over Catalonia that have sent proposals in answer to the question posed by the curators: “What do we learn from nature?” Five ideas from each participating school have been chosen, which can be seen on a screen in the exhibition. The schools taking part in this programme 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 Rovira i Virgili University.

The discussions will conclude tomorrow afternoon. At 4 pm it will be Architecture Criticism, with Glenn Murcutt (founder of the Australian Architecture Association), Juhani Pallasmaa (a Finnish architect) and William J. R. Curtis (an architectural historian), and at 5.30 pm it is time for the closing speech RCR, Dream and Nature, given by William J. R. Curtis and RCR Arquitectes. Both can be followed live via streaming from the headquarters of the Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC) in Barcelona.

Commercial sponsorship and institutional collaboration

The main sponsor of the exhibition is the curved glass company Cricursa. The project’s lighting has been sponsored by Lamp. In the institutional area there is the strategic collaboration of the COAC, the sponsorship of the Costa Brava Girona Tourism Board in collaboration with Olot City Council (Olot Cultura)

You can download images of the project here and on the webpage


Promoted by the Institut Ramon Llull in the framework of Eventi Collaterali

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.

Generalitat de CatalunyaGovern Illes BalearsAjuntament de Barcelona

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