Sticks & Stones

Anna & Eugeni Bach

Concéntrico 06 intervention

In the middle of the Calado de San Gregorio a strange device has appeared. It is, at first sight, a wooden wall that blocks the passage and occupies the entire barrel-vaulted section of the space.

It is clearly an external element; it is made of plywood, and some wooden supports tell us that it is somewhat unstable, and probably temporary. It seems light and removable, both because of its shape and construction and because of the material it is made of, although on the other hand it is in the same shape as the space it occupies, which is instead stony, heavy and stable.

Close up, one discovers that the wooden wall allows a passage through. It has been moved to one side to be able to cross to the other side. There is a curtain that has to be moved aside to be able to enter and suddenly, the space from which it comes changes completely… the ashlars, the stone, the vault… the fretwork becomes something else; a light, festive, ephemeral and tectonic space.

Through this new space you can pass to the other side, and when you leave you can see that the fretwork remains where it is, immutable and stony, although in your mind you have already retained the altered environment that you have crossed.

After this experience, both spaces, the stony and the textile, the heavy and the light, the vaulted and the catenary, the severe and the festive, the stereotomic and the tectonic, overlap and allow us to understand the fretwork both from its reason of being and from its opposite.

As in Lewis Mumford’s famous book on the history of American architecture, once space has been apprehended, in essence, everything can be summarised in what it is made up of: sticks and stones.

Conversation with Anna & Eugeni Bach
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Anna & Eugeni Bach

Anna & Eugeni Bach is the team formed by the architects Anna Bach (Nummi-Pusula, Finland, 1973) and Eugeni Bach (Barcelona, 1974). With a broad vision of the field offered by architecture, their interests cover four main activities: Professional, through projects of different scales, both public and private, carried out in the Anna & Eugeni Bach / Bach Arquitectes studio; Teaching, as professors at the ETSAB UPC, the ETSALS URL, EINA UAB, and through conferences and workshops in several European universities; Research, as doctoral students at the university and through projects and installations that work on the perception of space; and Cultural, by being active on the boards of different associations that promote the values of architecture towards society, curating exhibitions and conference cycles, as well as co-editing the magazine fanzine of the Aproximacions collective.

His work has been exhibited at the Spanish Pavilion of the Venice Biennale 2016 (Golden Lion), at Export, ICO Museum, Madrid, 2015; “Las afinidades electivas”, a monographic exhibition about his studio at the College of Architects of Barcelona, 2015 and Girona, 2014; BAND, Wyzsza Szkola Techniczna, Katowice, Poland, 2014; Galery Architektury, Brno and Kabinet Architektury, Ostrava, Czech Republic, 2014; “Aproximacions”, COAC Barcelona, 2012; “Architecture Catalane 2004-2009 Portrait d’époque” at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris 2009; Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2000; Bo01 Parasite – The City of Small Things Copenhagen, Rotterdam, Oslo, London 1999, HiCat Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona, 1999, or at Eme3 Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona, 1999; and his works have been published in many national and international magazines such as Domus, MARK Magazine, Arquitectura Viva, Interni, A10 or Quaderns, among others.

Among his awards are the FAD Prize and FAD Prize for Opinion in ephemeral interventions 2019, the Selection and Finalists in the XIV Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urban Planning 2018 and in the XIII Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urban Planning 2016, the Nomination for the Mies van der Rohe Awards 2015, Nominated for the Iakov Chernikhov International Prize for Young Architects 2015, the International FAD Award 2014, FAD Awards for Opinion in Interior Design and International 2014, Finalists FAD Awards 2013, Finalists Arquia-Próxima 2010, FAD Award for Opinion 2008, Finalists in the X Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism 2009, Selected in the VII Ibero-American Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism 2009 or the AJAC Young Architects Award 2004, among others.