Barcelona and Brussels meet to show their public facilities to reactivate the city
- Under the title ‘_Import WB _Export BCN. Re-activate the city’, Cities Connection Project’s (CCP) new event-exhibition, created in collaboration with Wallonie-Bruxelles Architectures, is opening today at the ULB – La Cambre Horta Faculty of Architecture in Brussels.
- The 40 selected works are built in Barcelona and the Wallonia-Brussels region for the purpose of sharing, reflecting on and discussing the social role that public architecture plays in building a city.
- In spring of 2019, the exhibition will arrive at el Arts Santa Mònica in Barcelona, coinciding with CCP’s fifth anniversary, which was created in the same city in 2013- 2014.
Each year since 2013, Cities Connection Project (CCP) has chosen two European cities and connected them through two leading architectural projects in a double, round-trip event.
A total of 20+20 selected works from each city are exhibited in both venues and the exhibitions are enriched with discussions, lectures and other activities open to the public. For this event, under the title ‘_Import WB _Export BCN. Re-activate the city’, Barcelona will hold a conversation with the Belgian region of Wallonia-Brussels.
According to the curators and founders of CCP, Xavier Bustos and Nicola Regusci, “for this fifth edition, which will connect Barcelona with Wallonia-Brussels, we worked on projects to re-activate the city, understanding architecture as public facilities (cultural, educational, mixed-use, etc.) that serve as elements of social cohesion and are especially important in areas with a certain level of urban degradation. This is an issue that aroused great interest in Brussels due to the great tradition of building social housing and public facilities in residual areas”.
The exhibition ‘_Import WB _Export BCN. Re-activate the city’, which will be open to the public from 19 October to 18 November 2018 at the ULB – La Cambre Horta Faculty of Architecture in Brussels, will show some of the best public facility projects in Barcelona and Wallonia-Brussels. The 40 selected works include examples in Brussels such as the Navez social housing units (2015) by MSA/V+, winners of the latest edition of the EU Mies Award – Special Mention: Emerging Architect, the Brussels Fashion and Design Platform – MAD (2017), the work of V+/Rotor, and the Adeps La Fraineuse sports complex (2015, Spa – Wallonia) by Baukunst. In Barcelona, they include the Vil·la Urània (2017) mixed-use facility by SUMO Arquitectes, the mixed residential and temporary accommodation building (2018) made by Coll-Leclerc and the Guinardó market (2016), the work of BayonaValero/Cantallops-Vicente.
All these projects were carried out in recent years by young architects.
This edition enjoys the involvement of Wallonie-Bruxelles Architectures and the support of the government of Catalonia’s Ministry of Culture and companies from the sector committed to quality architecture.
Furthermore, the exhibition catalogue for ‘_Import WB _Export BCN. Re-activate the city’ will be presented on 18 October. It will incorporate images, floor plans and information about the 40 selected works, as well as a mobile augmented reality app that will expand on the content with short, 30-second videos that you can watch on your smartphone. The catalogue also includes critical texts written by Audrey Contesse, Ferran Grau and curators Xavier Bustos and Nicola Regusci.
“This sample includes a few projects that start from, or incorporate, a pre-existing construction that is usually located in a context with an important historical background. In these cases, the projects show great sensitivity in valuing the pre-existing constructions and great firmness when integrating new architectures”. Ferran Grau
“It is true that for a decade, the architecture of Wallonia-Brussels has emanated a particular spatial quality. It is the result of an alliance between a specific architectural approach focused on the construction process and control and an evolving architectural policy. It is a userfocused approach based on ‘doing with’. Specifically, doing together with the existing context, an often tiny budget and especially the future user”. Audrey Contesse