‘BEAUTIFUL FAILURES’ Site-specific intervention at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion


Fundació Mies van der Rohe, in collaboration with the Master in Ephemeral Architecture and Temporary Spaces by Elisava, presents Beautiful Failures, a site-specific piece at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion.

This intervention, resulting from the academic work of the master’s students and tutored by Stella Rahola Matutes, sculptor and installation artist, and Dr. Roger Paez, Profesor and researcher in Elisava, works on fragility, identfying the two most delicate materials used in the construction of the Pavilion: glass and the travertine.

Glass is the paradigmatic material of the Pavilion, with its constant games of reflection and transparency, while the travertine plinth is one of the most identifiable elements of Mies van der Rohe’s architecture.

From the formal point of view, the resolution of the installation consists of 17 raised travertine slabs that reveal the under-space resulting from a construction system that diverges from the solution of the original Pavilion.

These 17 holes contain defective pieces of glass, originally from artisan workshops in the city of Barcelona. The glass pieces correspond to the collection made by the students of more than 2,000 units discarded by craftsmen’s workshops.

They are made of borosilicate glass of German origin, which cannot be recycled in our country. The rubble and discarded pieces make it possible to establish a link with the Pavilion’s past history, while raising questions of sustainability for the present at the same time. Source and photos Courtesy of Fundació Mies van der Rohe.

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