Museums and exhibition spaces


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Roca Barcelona Gallery

Carlos Ferrater, Borja Ferrater y Lucía Ferrater, arquitectos

Description Technical file

The construction of a glass prism whose bluish hues recall the presence of a singular urban iceberg conceals inside it a sort of space of virtual characteristics that meets the business strategy supporting it.

The building results from an elaborate communications strategy, a different way of spreading the company’s values, history and challenges, and a transmission channel to attract the interest of the citizens towards the values, product, projects and concerns of the sanitaryware producer.

The commission contemplates a complex programme mixing and combining the institutional headquarters, a museum of the brand and an events platform of a social and business nature, and consequently the architectural project has been based on two essential ideas: its external shape and appearance, and the experience of the space in its interior. Owing to its urban context, the building soaks up and is dominated by the adjacent volumetries and, in a successful counterpoint, is distinguished by its lesser scale and the purity of its shapes.

The principal objective of the project, resulting from its own urban environment, has been the possibility of conceiving a façade that, when observed in detailed fashion, would leave no-one indifferent and would elicit curiosity, renouncing right from the start the possibility of creating a ‘skin’ for the building that might perhaps offer an eye-catching effect to the outside world but that would not have an apparent relationship or consequence with the interior. Finally, after weighing up different possibilities, a solution was chosen based on the application of a single material, a succession of multiple glass panes arranged in perpendicular to the façade axis.

Thus, on the basis of trials and prototypes, new effects were checked such as diffraction, reflection and refraction of the light, obtaining as a result the distortion, translation and superposition of the image through the façade. It has been the light, both natural daylight and artificial night-time light, that has finally become the protagonist of the intervention, transforming the appearance of the building into a solid element in the daytime and a liquid element at night, both rough and smooth and one in which it is on occasion difficult to recognise if its character is transparent, translucent or opaque. Thus, from the outside the façade offers an ambiguous vision of the interior and it becomes necessary to enter the interior to really discover what is there. Once inside, when looking outwards towards the city, one can see a series of notably eye-catching visual effects. Just as the building was conceived to look towards the outside, a unique world, space and ambience was sought for the interior.

Once inside and through the use of light, audiovisuals, materials and elements on display, a highly differentiated interior space is generated, conceived as a personal and sensorial experience in which the user interacts with the building through presence detectors, directional loudspeakers, changes in the light, projections, projected personages that interact with the visitors and plasma screens that display moving objects. A lightly reflecting, experimental floor made from ceramic, a stainless steel false ceiling and walls made from foam tetrahedrons encompass the three basic materials found in the interior, transforming the physical space into a kind of virtual space.

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Situación: Barcelona. Autor: Borja Ferrater, Carlos Ferrater y Lucía Ferrater. Constructor: Empty. Promotor: Roca Sanitario. Fotografía: Aleix Bagué.
Carlos Ferrater Lambarri
Lucía Ferrater
Aleix Bagué