Germane Barnes launches Intersect in Logroño, Spain

Earlier this month, the Spanish city of Logroño hosted the eighth edition of its annual architecture and design festival known as Concentrated. Nestled along the Ebro in the famous wine province of Rioja in northern Spain, the city has hosted 91 pop-up installations and 42 exhibitions and conferences during the seven previous editions of the festival.

This year, Concéntrico presented another batch of selected by the jury urban interventions by an impressive cohort of international designers and artists including, among others, Architecture Partners (Italy), Picture (Denmark), SKULL Studio (Czechia), Architects Rintala Eggertsson (Norway), Constantin Grcic (Germany), BudCud (Poland), Yemail Architecture (Colombia), Matali Crasset (France) and Germane Barnes, from Miami (via Chicago), an architect and educator who is the founding director of a multidisciplinary design practice Studio Barnes.

(© Josema Cutillas)

For Concentric 08Barnes, 2021 Harvard GSD Wheelwright Prize Laureate and 2021-2022 Rome Prize Fellow, designed To cutan ephemeral play pavilion in the heart of Logroño that invited passers-by to interact with the surrounding urban environment like a grand theatre. SMA background, a Chicago-based nonprofit led by architect, publisher, and curator Iker Gil, supported the installation. Gil, originally from Bilbao, was also part of the Concentrico 08 jury.

To cut took its name from the three approximately 30-foot-diameter “land circles” of the playscape converging on a 15-foot-tall wooden superstructure to create an “occupancy area for individuals which refers to different components of ‘a theater”. The location of the installation at the intersection of Gran Via and Daniel Trevijano Street, “at the actual intersection of the main sidewalks”, was intended to “reinforce the idea of ​​the city as a theater to be celebrated”, detailed a the description work.

Dubbed the scene, To cutThe first circular area of ​​was envisioned by Barnes as a kind of open-air arena for theatrical (or not-so-theatrical) modes of expression lit by solar lights fixed under the structure. Spectators could sit and rest on modular seats created by the arc of the circle on the floor. The second area was the garden, which featured five circular baskets filled with plants suspended from the superstructure.

people walk around a large circular blue pavilion in an urban space
(© Josema Cutillas)

Finally, there was the curtain, a crowd pleaser made up of fine threads encircling a segment of the installation. While the curtain had obvious appeal to frolicking young users, the thrill of making a dramatic public entrance – that is, parting and then weaving – a long, suspended door never really gets old.

Concéntrico 08 took place from September 1 to 6. As noted by the festival organizers, the latest edition has broadened its “usual focus to explore new urban practices: places that emerge from constant listening to continue to spark debates that look at the city itself.” .

On the theme of the encounter of people and objects, Barnes is also a star participant of IINTERSECTIONS: where diversity, equity and design meetan upcoming series of talks and workshops held at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Barnes will be on hand the evening of November 10 to lead a discussion and present a screening of his award-winning short film You can always come home. More information about this event and the rest of the series can be found here.

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