TRAIT. AN INSTALLATION FOR THE PRIMAVERA FRANCOFONA, BARCELONA
PLACE AND AIM
Every year, at the French Institute in Barcelona the Primavera Francofona (“French – Speaking” Spring) is organized. For one night, the French – Speaking countries turn the 8 floors, the basement and the main façade of the Institute into a public space. Specific activities to the French culture take place at each floor of the building: starting with theatre, poetry, clasical music concerts, photo exhibitions, movie screenings, chocolate, cheese or wine tastings and ending with a dance (per se) on the building façade.
The space we were allocated to undertake the temporary project was right among those activities: the main staircase. In French, trait obviously stands for feature but also for stroke or drawn line. We proposed a “vertical curtain”, which would connect the events of each floor and would turn the staircase into a scene on which the space users become actors, pointing the beginning and the end of the party.
As a result, the neutral transit space of the rationalist building made in 1975 by José Antonio Coderch de Setemenat, regains its representation role and develops into a vertical interaction and socializing space.
MATERIALITY AND ASSEMBLAGE
The construction material is the honeycomb cardboard used in carpentry for making doors. When the exterior surfaces of these thick panels are taken out, the material changes its rigidity features, while preserving its geometrical structure. It can therefore be spread, undulated, folded, rolled, allowing the control of light and sound intensity and providing a variable transparency between floors.
The diagrams explain the positioning and the amount of material used to generate the shape for each floor. We connected the structural elements with a nylon thread structure on which we fixed the cardboard modules. The material has a 3x2m surface at first, but after the transformation we get a standard 1,5 x 2 m module, which can be adapted when assembled. The positioning of the modules resulted following the perspective points and the activities on each floor. The light spots and the nylon threat net are used as secondary elements in the perception of the project, to value the resulted shape and manipulate the visual and tactile features of the surface.