Mario Pasqualotto transforms Barcelona Pavilion into a drawing of light and colour

Big Bang Building Light! by the Barcelona-based artist revealed an ‘alternate vision’ for the architecture of the famous landmark of Spain, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

by Zohra Khan Published on : Mar 03, 2020

Spanish artist Mario Pasqualotto recently transformed Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion with an ephemeral light intervention. The project, titled Big Bang Building Light! was presented by Fundació Mies van der Rohe, an organisation that looks after the conservation and dissemination of knowledge about the celebrated pavilion, which is also known as ‘Mies’ architectural promenade’.

  • The narrow profile of the site beautifully illuminated by the light intervention Big Bang Building Light! | Mario Pasqualotto | STIRworld
    The narrow profile of the site beautifully illuminated by the light intervention Image Credit: Anna Mas
  • Conceptual rendering of the light intervention by Mario Pasqualotto | Big Bang Building Light! | Mario Pasqualotto | STIRworld
    Conceptual rendering of the light intervention by Mario Pasqualotto Image Credit: Marco Sanz
  • Artist Mario Pasqualotto | Big Bang Building Light! | Mario Pasqualotto | STIRworld
    Artist Mario Pasqualotto Image Credit: Anna Mas
Light changes the perception of things. – Mario Pasqualotto

The installation projected strokes of light and colour on the floating planes of the pavilion and emphasised its quintessential architectural details – the travertine pavers, cruciform columns, walls, reflecting ponds, and a low-flat roof. At the sunset, the intervention turned around the narrow profile of the site - its vertical lines and the horizontal horizon - and offered an ‘alternate vision’ of the historic space.

Illuminated travertine pavers, walls and the reflecting pond  | Big Bang Building Light! | Mario Pasqualotto | STIRworld
Lit travertine pavers, walls and the reflecting pond Image Credit: Anna Mas

“Reflecting on this project where light and colour change perception of things, this project invites the viewer to enjoy a new reading and a new vision of the pavilion,” says Barcelona-based Pasqualotto. A combination of blue and white strokes highlights the planar geometry of the site where few details were well illuminated, while some were left untouched.

01 min watch Beautifully-lit circulation spaces within the pavilion | Big Bang Building Light! | Mario Pasqualotto | STIRworld
Beautifully-lit circulation spaces within the pavilion Video Credit: Anna Mas

The artist’s intervention proposed to develop a reflection on the history of contemporary architecture via the medium of the famed Barcelona Pavilion. The space built by Mies and architect Lilly Reich for the 1929 International Exposition, which was disassembled post the closure of the exhibition in 1930, originally displayed architecture’s modern movement to the world and depicted the face of Germany after World War II. For Mies, the project was not just a pavilion of exposition, but an inhabitable sculpture. Given the significance and reputation of the pavilion as a key point of reference in the 20th century architecture, thoughts turned toward its possible reconstruction and a new building came up in 1986.

  • Architectural elements of the pavilion accentuated by the light intervention  | Big Bang Building Light! | Mario Pasqualotto | STIRworld
    Architectural elements of the pavilion accentuated by the light intervention Image Credit: Anna Mas
  • Brightly lit walls and the floating canopy  | Big Bang Building Light! | Mario Pasqualotto | STIRworld
    Brightly lit walls and the floating canopy Image Credit: Anna Mas
The projection of light and colour accentuates the pavilion’s horizontal horizon from the front esplanade and change the perception of its radical plastic beauty. – Fundació Mies van der Rohe

Fernando Ramos, one of the architects responsible for the research, design and supervision of the existing pavilion, says, “The intervention {by Pasqualotto} propose to highlight with lines and points of light the main architectural elements {of Barcelona Pavilion} generating the diaphanous spaces and walls of the pavilion, as well as the process of its accelerated design and construction.”

Inspired by the simplicity of the architecture, the proportions and the absence of ornamentation, Pasqualotto drew with light a new projection of the pavilion over the existing one. “I wanted to show this building like a complete artwork, also as an architectural work as well as like a painting,” he adds.

01 min watch Interiors and the reflecting pond  | Big Bang Building Light! | Mario Pasqualotto | STIRworld
Interiors and the reflecting pond Video Credit: Anna Mas

As one traversed the site to experience the light, successive phases of the space opened up, revealing moments of curiosity and perceiving a tangible effortlessness of the historic architecture.

Big Bang Building Light! was revealed within the framework of the Llum Barcelona Festival and the Santa Eulalia festival. It was on view till February 16, 2020, at the Barcelona Pavilion in Barcelona, Spain.

Comments

Comments Added Successfully!

About Author

Zohra Khan

Zohra Khan

A formal education in architecture combined with an avid interest in architecture journalism and design criticism led Khan to professionally venture into writing and research. She has worked in design communication for more than three years, generating content for mondo*arc india journal. When not writing, she kicks back by dabbling on social media for STIR.

Recommended

LOAD MORE
see more articles
1210,1194,1196,1067,1107

stirworld.com becomes

join the celebration CLICK HERE

Collaborate with us

This site uses cookies to offer you an improved and personalised experience. If you continue to browse, we will assume your consent for the same.
LEARN MORE AGREE