The Fundació Mies van der Rohe and Side Gallery present the intervention No Fear of Glass by the designer Sabine Marcelis in the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion.
No Fear of Glass seeks the contrast between the request made to Mies van der Rohe to "not use too much glass" in the German Pavilion of 1929, with the creative proposal of Sabine Marcelis herself, where glass is the key element, pushing the limits of the material to its end.
Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich used the materials to test their design ideals, Marcelis uses the experimentation of materials and production to create new and surprising applications that dialogue with the materiality and shapes of the Pavilion.
The exhibited pieces seem to be grown and extruded from the architecture itself; two large chaise longues which are pulled up from the ground by extending the travertine floor to form a base are sliced by a singular sheet of curved glass which is seemingly pulled from the walls. The two materials meet to become sculptural yet functional furniture pieces. Eight chrome columns provide the structural support for the roof of the pavilion. Marcelis introduces a ninth mirrored-glass column which functions as a light and is placed in line with the structural columns, blending in seamlessly with the architecture, both in form and materiality.
Not only the solid architectural materials are extruded to become new objects however, also the natural elements which are part of the pavilion’s design. In the water pond outside, a curved glass fountain seems to be bending the water upwards from the ground, and letting it spill over and back down.
“Sabine Marcelis meets Mies Van Der Rohe in one of his most iconic and exemplary spaces. She has looked at the Barcelona Pavilion’s materials – glass, travertine and chrome – with intelligence, to design a series of new pieces that seem to emerge from the architecture itself: two chaise longues, a fountain and two pillar lights. These are not just extrusions of existing elements; they rather act as subtle agitations, interfering gently with the cartesian order of the Pavilion. […]“No Fear of Glass” is not just a solo show, it is a hymn to the infinite liberating possibilities that modernism still has to offer and that Sabine Marcelis has unlocked vividly in front of our own eyes.” - Ippolito Pestellini, partner OMA/AMO
“The Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe with Lilly Reich, embodies the spirit of twentieth-century Modern architecture: built by the Germans in 1929, it is at the same time a powerful masterpiece and a difficult space to confront, but certainly not for a designer of Marcelis’ temper. Her magical mix of audacity, self control and steadiness is infused with an instinctive talent: aware of the challenging task, Sabine Marcelis treated this historical jewel with white gloves, establishing a dialogue by listening to the building itself”. - Maria Cristina Didero, independent curator
Sabine Marcelis, Designer
Sabine Marcelis is a designer living and working in Rotterdam the Netherlands. Raised in New Zealand, she studied industrial design for two years at Victoria University of Wellington, and continued her studies at the Design Academy Eindhoven, where she graduated in 2011. Since graduating, she has been operating Studio Sabine Marcelis, working within the fields of product, installation and spacial design with a strong focus on materiality. Her work is characterised by pure forms which highlight material properties.
Marcelis applies a strong aesthetic point of view to her collaborations with industry specialists. This method of working allows her to intervene in the manufacturing process, using material research and experimentation to achieve new and surprising visual effects for projects both showcased in galleries and commissioned by commercial clients. Since starting her studio, Marcelis’ work has been exhibited at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam and Musee des art Decoratif, Paris.
Fundació Mies van der Rohe
The Fundació Mies van der Rohe was created in 1983 by the Barcelona City Council, with the initial aim of carrying out the reconstruction of the German Pavilion, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition. In addition to attending the conservation and knowledge of the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, the Fundació promotes debate, dissemination and awareness on contemporary architectural and urban planning issues. In accordance with its purposes, the Foundació carries out different activities such as awards, congresses, conferences, exhibitions, workshops and facilities