Competition 'Fear of columns', 4th prize | Barcelona, Spain
The pavilion and the Foundation still play a very important role about all the activities and studies on Mies works and modern and contemporary architecture. All the installations that took place in the atmosphere of the pavilion were always moments of reflection about the potential of architecture and its role in society. We think that this opportunity to recreate the columns could be a moment for designers, architects and simple enthusiasts of all ages, to spread the knowledge of the work of Mies.
The proposal consists of eight elements, with a strong vertical tension, contrasting the horizontality of the pavilion volumes. The temporary installation raises the reflection on the flowing of time. The columns are designed to be modified during time and by the time, perishable, their outer skin consumed to reveal a different soul, hidden inside. It might just be the people, through their own actions and curiosity to unravel this heart. In this way the columns would keep the geometric dialogue with the pavilion, adding new movements and meanings. The columns would be at the same time solemn and interactive, usable and closer to the users. They would become the center of monumentality and also interactivity of the square.
The two identities of the column would be identified by two different forms and two different materials, evolving and blurring one into the other. Externally the columns will appear like a composition of cylindrical drums, such as in classical columns, but made out of paper, a perishable material. Each column drum will be composed by A3 folded sheets, arranged like petals and people could freely tear it off. At medium height there will be sheets with documentation about Mies, modern architecture, and the work of the Foundation; at the bottom, accessible for children, small games or colorable drawings. The higher drums would be accessible via two small wheeled ladders – lying in the position of the two old podiums. A playful reaction to the stasis of the ancient marble cubes. The soul of the column would be made up of four iron 'L' shape sections, anchored at the ground with a metal plate, forming cross-shaped pillars, remembering the ones designed by Mies. The final revelation, that is what remains when the skin of the column will be completely consumed, would therefore be a legacy of the work of the great architect, which still persists today. Once the form falls, still remains its abstraction. The sheets would be taken home by people, and the pillars could be easily re-used, so there will be no waste of materials. The division of the pillar in four profiles allows to accommodate the sheets in blocks of four, held together by a wire passing through them. It also allows to place at the bottom center a LED, which illuminates the installation, with a diffuse light. The space between the profiles allows the passage of light and to see through the columns towards the pavilion, in the background, emphasizing a constantly connection.