A trip through the history of the Pavilion

The lives of the Pavilion. Intermittent account of an essential space.

The Mies van der Rohe Foundation presents the exhibition The lives of the Pavilion. Intermittent account of an essential space as part of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the reconstruction of the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion. It will take place from September 6 to October 6 2016 in front of the Pavilion and can be complemented with the entrance and visit of the Pavilion, where two documentaries produced for the occasion will be shown: A day at the Pavilion and The reconstruction.

photo © Pepo Segura

The exhibition offers an itinerary through the life of one of the key works of 20th-century architecture and one of Barcelona’s most jealously concealed treasures.

photo © Pepo Segura

Built as the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition and also known as the Barcelona Pavilion, it was reconstructed in 1986 on the initiative of the then Mayor of Barcelona, Pasqual Maragall, and architect Oriol Bohigas and supervised by architects Ignasi de Solà-Morales, Fernando Ramos, Cristian Cirici and Isabel Bachs.

This work by the brilliant architect is recognised internationally as a manifesto of modern-movement architecture and its reconstruction has helped convert the city into a research and debate centre on the role of architecture in society.

photo © Pepo Segura

The exhibition allows visitors to approach the Pavilion frontally from the Font Màgica on Montjuïc as its history is unveiled. In 1929 visitors to the International Exposition gathered at the Font Màgica, approached the German Pavilion on its site behind the eight Ionic columns, walked through the spaces of the Pavilion’s new architectural idiom built from stone, steel, glass, water and light and continued on their itinerary to the Poble Espanyol. 

The narrative of the exhibition is divided into three main sections corresponding to the Pavilion of 1929, the period between 1930 and 1986 and from the reconstruction to the present:

The German Pavilion. The origins of a new order.
The absent Pavilion. Imagined architecture.
The Barcelona Pavilion. The recovered space.

On their itinerary visitors will pass through the eight columns that preceded the Pavilion in 1929 and have been reinterpreted through an international competition won by architect Luis Martínez Santa-María and built in collaboration with architect Roger Sauquet. 

The exhibition is complemented with a visit to the Pavilion, where two documentaries produced for the occasion will be screened. A day at the Pavilion shows some of the most unknown aspects of this space such as maintenance and the organisation of events open to different audiences; The reconstruction brings together Oriol Bohigas, Fernando Ramos, Cristian Cirici, Isabel Bachs and Jordi Marquès, who share their memories of and points of view on the reconstruction of the Pavilion.

The exhibition is intended to provide visitors with the opportunity to become familiar with the Pavilion, its history and the mark it has made on the city and its citizens. To this end, open-house seminars will be held on September 24 and 25 together with guided visits and encounters with the educational, institutional and professional sectors.

The exhibition retraces the history of the Pavilion and the city and brings us closer to its living history.

Exhibition: The lives of the Pavilion. Intermittent account of an essential space
Place: Mies van der Rohe Pavilion. Avgda. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 7
Admission:  Free entrance to the exhibition on the esplanade 
Entrance to the Pavilion when the two documentaries are screened: special overall price during the exhibition: 4€
Opening times: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00 
Open house: September 24 and 25 

source: press release

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