Mies Made Minimalist: The Barcelona Pavilion Gets a Temporary Facelift


For years, visitors who have frequented Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion have marveled over the structure’s abundance of natural color, but the iconic building has recently undergone a major transformation to strip away the various hues and leave it with a more modern appearance. Over the course of a week, the building’s famous marble wall surfaces were clad in all-white vinyl screens.

Dubbed Mies Missing Materiality, the temporary installation is one of many that have been erected within the renowned steel, glass and marble structure.

The pavilion is touted for its simple design and luxe materials, but the updated monochromatic look is intended to kick the elements of minimalism up a notch while making the building appear more like a full-scale model of itself. Architects Anna and Eugeni Bach also aim to examine the visitor’s response to the appearance of the Barcelona Pavilion without its distinctively modern characteristics.

Of the all-white transformation, the architect duo told Dezeen, “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 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,” they added.

The installation was completed on November 16. During the event, Anna and Eugeni Bach and fellow architects Carlos Quintáns and María Langarita will participate in a debate. The white wall coverings will be removed on November 27.

h/t Curbed

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