Project area

The project is about the creation of a temporary pavilion located inside Port Vell (Barcelona). Port Vell is Barcelona’s waterfront and part of Barcelona’s port. It underwent a renewal program in 1992 which converted it from a non-area into one of the focal points of the city. Thanks to all this and thanks to the location of “Maremàgnum”, “IMAX”, and the “Rambla de Mar” Port Vell now is a tourists-must-see.


The temporary pavilion is meant to be used both by citizens and tourists. The requirements were an exhibition area, a cafeteria or/and a restaurant, an info point and public toilets. We came to the conclusion to add an open air theatre which can be used for cultural shows and representations.

The project: analysis and proposition

Our project started from the analysis of the area: its development is mostly flat, whit not so many high elements. The main element is the sea. There are two buildings, one located on the opposite side of the plaza and the other slightly behind our project area.

Based on this analysis we chose to start from a platform which has been elevated and decomposed. Decomposing it permitted the formation of numerous islands, which create many itineraries and recall the idea of the sea. Some portions of the platform were recomposed and raised to an higher share, creating the roofings and the open air terrace. Finally, in order to respect the genius-loci, that is the peculiar style of Barcelona’s buildings, an in order to harmonize our pavilion with the environment, which is mainly composed by the sinuous movement of the waves, we chose to install a second roofing composed by bent pipes and sails. It is not literally a proper roofing, it constitutes more of a solar shading. The sails were deeply influenced by the presence of the boats anchored in the port.

We loved the idea of a pavilion extending sea-elements on the earth.

The project: space organization

The exhibition area is not unique but it is distributed between the islands, this way the paths created by the presence of the islands become a real exhibition “gallery”. The other services form 3 different blocks, these constitute the only volumes in our project. (in fact all the island are flat, even if placed on a higher share from the plaza level).

The location of the 3 blocks is based on their purpose: the info point was placed on the corner of the project area, facing the plaza and the Rambla de Mar, allowing the maximum visibility. The cafeteria was placed nearer to the sea, that in order to create a peculiar atmosphere. Its roofing is an open air terrace which can be used both by customers and spectators of the theatre. The terrace is meant to be an observation point from which one can see all the plaza, Rambla de Mar, the Rambla and the port.

Finally public toilets were placed in the outer corner of the project area, this allows it to be easily reachable and prevent it to be in a central area.

Regarding the distribution we chose to create an axis, parallel to the sea which permit to distribute the flows. Moreover there are lots of paths surrounding the islands and creating a free circulation flow around the artworks. All the platform are at +60cm from the plaza level, they can be reached using stairs or, in case of handicapped visitors, by ramps. Being at a different share from the plaza, the islands become free benches for citizens and tourists.

The project: materials

Regarding the materials we chose to assign a different one to each axis. We assigned glass to the axis perpendicular to the sea and parallel to the plaza, this allows a complete transparency for the bystanders in the plaza. We decided that parallel to the sea walls would be opaque, so that we could create peculiar views, focused on different targets preventing the eye from wandering and losing focus in the vastness of the sea. Finally all the platform, islands and roofing, that is all the elements on the z axis, are built in wood.

We deliberately chose different materials from the one constituting the plaza to highline the temporary aspect of the pavilion which is hosted there and it is not meant to “take roots”.