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Ricardo Bofill’s “Time Space Existence” exhibition on La Fabrica for the 2014 Venice Biennale
Posted: Friday, June 06, 2014 |

"Time Space Existence" tells the story behind La Fabrica, the well-known headquarters of Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura that is located in a repurposed cement factory in Barcelona. As one of the many Collateral Events at the 2014 Venice Biennale, the exhibition opens to the public at The Palazzo Bembo starting June 7 through Nov. 23, 2014.

By reimagining La Fabrica in new locations -- particularly in Venice -- the exhibition serves as a case study that goes beyond the structure's physical presence and explores its timelessness throughout the last century.

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Interior rendering of the exhibition. Courtesy Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura 2014.

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Interior rendering of the exhibition. Courtesy Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura 2014.

"The exhibition presents an architectural narrative based on La Fabrica—the firm’s well-known headquarters in a former cement factory in Barcelona. The exhibition extends the space far beyond its physical existence in Spain, to consider how it can also exist in other places, most specifically in Venice."

Construction process. Photo: Serena Vergano.

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Construction process. Photo: Serena Vergano.

"Drawing upon past, present, and future similarities between Barcelona and Venice, the exhibition will reimagine La Fabrica as the Venice-based starting point of a communal/individual journey and thought process that transcends physical and mental frames."

Facade View of La Fabrica Taller de Arquitectura Ricardo Bofill -  Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona, Spain, 1975. Photo: Lluis Carbonell.

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Facade View of La Fabrica Taller de Arquitectura Ricardo Bofill - Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona, Spain, 1975. Photo: Lluis Carbonell.

"Visitors will enter the exhibition through an anteroom—a reinterpretation of a traditional Venetian room. Inside, a sequence of images narrates the physical transformation of La Fabrica from a polluted cement factory into a design office and residence, inundated with lush gardens. Visitors are invited by a sound to then enter a rotunda where they are surrounded by imagery that maps the transformative design process and principles of RBTA, moving from what Ricardo Bofill refers to as, “death to life.”

Using 3-D mapping and sound, the visitor is inundated by an abstract sensorial experience that narrates the progression of RBTA’s design process throughout the past 50 years, looking into the future. The overall experience will communicate RBTA’s narrative of TIME SPACE EXISTENCE."

Archive photo of the original factory. Courtesy Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura

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Archive photo of the original factory. Courtesy Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura

"TIME SPACE EXISTENCE IS THE STORY: Ricardo Bofill, Chairman of RBTA, believes that La Fabrica, even before it was purposed 150 years ago as a cement factory, was closely connected to its future more than a century later as an architecture office.

He explains, 'The creation and subsequent narration of this journey details a sequential notion of time constructed with and informed by human and social thought. The exhibition will show how narrative programming reflects diversity in architecture, not just through stylistic differentiation but also through stories of origins, as well as present and future influence.'"

Main facade view. Photo: Isaho Suzuki

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Main facade view. Photo: Isaho Suzuki

"Furthering the concept of the narrative, RBTA’s exhibition will define the plot, the key characters, the pivotal turning points, the climax, and an epilogue. Bofill, an acknowledged architectural master, will use the space inside Palazzo Bembo to narrate the transformation of factory’s decaying no-man’s land to a new community, from a dead-use space to a progressive design hub. The structure will represent the evolving manifestation of a specific history."     

La Fabrica Taller de Arquitectura Ricardo Bofill -  Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona, Spain, 1975. Photo: Lluis Carbonell.

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La Fabrica Taller de Arquitectura Ricardo Bofill - Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona, Spain, 1975. Photo: Lluis Carbonell.

"As a cement factory, La Fabrica bred death and decay; organically though, through the eyes of a visionary architect, it rose from the ashes to thrive in ways once thought unimaginable. Today, it emerges from lush gardens overflowing with eucalyptus, palms, olive trees and cypresses."

Rendering of the exhibition. Courtesy Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura 2014.

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Rendering of the exhibition. Courtesy Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura 2014.

"The use of a narrative for an architecture project incorporates memories, stories, and social perceptions to create a psychological as well as a tangible space. Space-time design vectors enhance the narrative’s vocabulary to create new forms of culture. To accommodate future use and necessity, architects must draw on the past and present."

Rendering of the exhibition. Courtesy Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura 2014.

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Rendering of the exhibition. Courtesy Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura 2014.

"Architects are not fortune-tellers, but instead they create fables in the hope that they will manifest an accurate reality. The narrative takes into consideration issues that are dealt with by architects daily, and over periods as long as an era. These issues include environmental problems caused by traffic congestion, pollution, insufficient infrastructure, and the depletion of national resources.

Using an architectural narrative, architects propose a range of solutions to problems for which there is no singular remedy, customized case-by-case to a location’s particular time, place, and DNA."

All images courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura.



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