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The Shadows of Sant Esteve, installation in Lluèrnia


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A high level of participation by the public accompanies the various installations of this attractive festival which, as in this case, develops the full creative ability of its authors in what could be defined as a tribute to light through shadows.

“Lluèrnia – Festival of Fire and Light” is an event staged on a single night in November in the town of Olot, in Girona. Each year, more than 50 light installations deck out the streets and squares for a brief six-hour period, turning this date into a very special night for the whole region. In the four editions staged of this festival so far, Lluèrnia has become one of the most attractive events in Girona province, on a par with similar festivals such as “Llum BCN” in Barcelona’s Santa Eulalia festivities or the “Temps de Flors” flower festival in Girona.
The characteristics of Lluèrnia, and what makes this festival so attractive, is the high levels of participation of citizens from the entire municipality, not only in managing and organising the festival but also in creating the numerous installations.
Each year, Lluèrnia’s organisers invite different artists, lighting designers and architects to participate with an installation in a specific spot around Olot. For the last edition we were invited to mount an installation in Plaza del Rector Ferrer, facing the façade of the church of Sant Esteve.
Given the topography of this square, the church, which is situated on a higher level, stands on a podium accessed from a central staircase as well as some lateral ramps, generating a short pedestrian walkway raised above the rest of the square. This situation, together with the configuration of the square’s perimeter, transforms this public space into a theatre in which the church façade operates as a stage. Faced with such a particular urban space, we sought to respond with an installation that plays with the light yet makes the most of the public space offered by the church and the adjacent houses. As architects, we wanted to provide a solution that works with the space and explains and displays a particular vision of this public space.
The proposal generates a lightweight pergola that uses light in two different ways: during the day the sunlight makes of this walk a space in which the shadow of the pergola sketches the shape on the floor and the church façade, turning this space into a surprising threshold and rediscovering it for the people of Olot as a very beautiful avenue. At night, meanwhile, the installation illuminated from the inside sparks the interest of the locals, who climb the stairs to enter the pergola. Once there, the lighting we installed projects its own shadows on the pergola, giving it a central role like in a shadow play.

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Localización Location: Olot, Girona. Spain. Autores Authors: Anna & Eugeni Bach | Bach arquitectes. Colaboradores Collaborators: Albert Cabrer, Maria Ibáñez, arquitectos. Especial agradec- imiento Special acknowledgement: Xevi Bayona, Montserrat Planella, Esteve Planella, Joan Carles Roqué. Superficie Area: 90m2. Fecha de la obra Date of the works: noviembre 2015. Fotografía Photography: Eugeni Bach.
arquitectes Anna & Eugeni Bach
Eugeni Bach