The seafront in Barcelona is incomplete—that is, there are fixed, finished parts, and others yet to be built.
The limits are clear: to the left, with the sea at our backs, the mountain of Montjuïc, crowned by the fort.
At its foot, the industrial port.
To the right, the river Besòs, with a recent complex of high-rise buildings forming the built limit.
The background is beautiful: the coastal ridge, green mountains, undeveloped, happily.
The foreground, the base of the composition, is also interesting: the sea, which is usually calm, protected from the north winds by the Cape of Begur.
Limits, background, foreground, defined and beautiful.
In the middle, the city, a compact, formless mass, with emergences.
Unfinished, happily, yet to be built.
Josep Lluís Mateo
Go to the Barcelona Seafront view. more »
Designing and inhabiting are different and not necessarily compatible activities. We often live in places that are not defined by us. Perhaps that is how it should be.
In this intervention, I’ll be presenting various domestic spaces that are designed and lived in directly. more »
In a small passage, in the city centre.
The neighbours protected themselves from the exterior with thick walls and balconies. We have to work with lightweight elements, so we designed the façade as a succession of layers: more »
Unification of the entrances to the Banc Sabadell tower block on Barcelona’s Diagonal
In one corner of this great space, we lay out the main entrance to the tower block.
At the corner of the floor plan there is a triangle. The space is black but full of life, veined with colour.
One side of the triangle marks the border, the point of control. Another, annexed to it, offers an unusual view, slightly raised above the rest.
A personal guide is not scientific; it’s about sharing information and experiences. My training as an architect was closely related with discovering my city. Buildings under construction (in the far-off fifties), a great mass of stone near where I lived (that was Gaudí’s La Pedrera), forms, masses, constructions that impressed me then and still do, and that perhaps will impress someone experiencing them for the first time.