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"Magos de lo natural (Magicians of Nature)," RCR Arquitectes, AV Monograph (CONTRIBUTOR)

Monograph Summary:

"This volume – which collects material featured in two AV monographs of 2009 and 2015 –, is therefore not so much a documentary record as an invitation to travel. The popularity that comes with the Pritzker Prize will turn Olot into an architectural pilgrimage destination, increasing the steady flow of visitors that already come to this volcanic region in search of the architectural epiphany sparked by the sensory contact with these works, embedded in their landscape and rooted in their site with the stripped violence of extreme abstraction. The texts that accompany here RCR’s complete oeuvre are in fact travel notebooks, sketches on the experience of encountering the physical reality of the constructions. In this spirit, my introductory article covers the biographical itinerary of the Olot trio illuminating it with the memories of visits or the impressions of staying in different works; the text of Richard Ingersoll explains the sensations awakened during his time as ‘voluntary prisoner’ of these architectures; in his piece, Carlos Jiménez reminisces meeting the authors in a faraway jury before making the direct acquaintance of works that blend nature and art; the essay by William Curtis links the material experience of the Soulages Museum with the dark canvasses of the painter; and the text by Josep Maria Montaner proposes joining the architects on their trip from their home region to other European geographies. Though the Pritzker will give their work great visibility, the RCR members had already received multiple recognitions. The exhibition on architecture in Spain organized by the MoMA in 2006 – the first one devoted to a country after ‘Brazil Builds’ in 1943 – featured the Horizonte House, and the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale that received the Golden Lion in 2016 included their Barberí Space: between these two major events, the Olot architects have seen their work displayed on many occasions and reproduced in countless publications. Mentioning only those examples closest to us, their participation in the show ‘Spain mon amour’ in the Venice Biennale of 2012, the exhibition at the Museo ICO in 2016, or the halfdozen covers of AV/Arquitectura Viva are a few milestones that pay homage to this land architecture that is also an admirable architecture of the land." Read More

Carlos Jimenez