Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hello, Barbarella

Plexiglas exterior
My story on selgascano's latest building in Cartagena, Spain is featured in the April issue of The Architectural Review (not on open web until next month but visible to subscribers here).
"In newspaper photos of Spain's Queen Sofía inaugurating the Batel Auditorium and Congress Centre in Cartagena, Spain last March, the moiré patterns thrown off by the thin piping of her suit play a nice riff against the backlit translucent plastic walls and lime-white rubber floors of the building, designed by José Selgas and Lucia Cano of the selgascano studio in Madrid. In fact, everyone looked terrific strolling up and down the long entry ramp to the concert hall."

"....unlike many of their predecessors, selgascano take realism and solemnity out of low-cost tech –its overtones of deprivation or asceticism– and approach it instead as a liberating opportunity for playful invention."

Plane Sailing
The Architectural Review
No. 1382, April 2012, pages 30 - 39

More night views

Security at the opening

The building can be a knock-out under daylight too:

The Plexiglas in the light of day:

A shower of multicolored rebar arches over the service entrance, where men in black suits and things in their ears hover during the inauguration:

View of the entry ramp from the auditorium entry:

Far better of course are the photos by Iwan Baan featured in the Review. Selgas told me that Baan took over 3,500 shots of the building. His secret: a handheld digital camera. I can't resist including a few of below, all © Iwan Baan:

The Ambigú. © Iwan Baan

Main auditorium. © Iwan Baan
Access to balcony seating. © Iwan Baan

This was my "Barbarella" moment -- or was it "Blow-Up"?
Featuring the Eero Aarnio bubble chair.  © Iwan Baan

Other views of the city
While in Cartagena, I spent an inordinate amount of time looking into the light:

Towards the waterfront

Approach to the waterfront

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