Arquitectura Viva
Thursday, October 01, 2020

Arquitectura Viva 84


De la trama al tótem: urbanidad y espectáculo
V-VI 2002

Barcelona 2004. After captivating the world with the urban interventions surrounding the Olympic Games of 92, Barcelona decided to celebrate another event to keep boosting its development. The program of the Universal Forum of Cultures 2004 will be staged on the last strecht of the coast which had not yet been incorporated to the city, and this strip by the water along with the extension of Diagonal Avenue to the sea form the core of an ambitious project where the concurrence of private developers and 'star' architects draws a new and polemic frame of debate concerning the future of the Catalan capital.


Oriol Bohigas
City and Event
A New Urbanistic Phase
Montaner y Muxí
The Barcelona Models
From Acupuncture to Prosthesis
The Forum as Project
Coastal Interventions

Cover Story  

Singular Buildings. Herzog & de Meuron, Mateo, Tusquets, Clotet & Paricio, Massip and MVRDV propose large independent works, laid out as in a still life portrait on the Forum esplanade and its surroundings.


Forum Building
Congress Center
Hotels and Equipments
Biodiversity Pavilion

Public Landscapes. Forgas; Lay, Muro, Páez & Azulay; Balcells; Ruiz-Geli; Lapeña & Torres; FOA; Beth Galí; Casas & Torres; BCQ; Ferré & Domingo; Ábalos & Herreros; and Bru design new artificial and green topographies.   Aquatic Zoo
Esplanade, Park and Beach
Northeast Park and Campus
Experimental Housing. A plan by Jorner, Llop & Pastor, and housing by Fargas & Rovira; TAU+aSZ; Mercadé & Fernández; Coll & Leclerc; BOPBAA; Gili; Llobet & Serra; FFPV; Actar; Salvadó, Aymerich & Rieradevall; and Valor.
  La Mina Neighborhood
Renovation Plan
Llul-Taulat Area
11 Residential Projects
Views and Reviews  

Choral Commentaries. The role of architecture after 9/11 is reflected by six installations commissioned by the CCA of Montreal; and the Swiss identities are summarized in a spectacular expo with four aquatic set-ups.

  Art / Culture 

Juan Antonio Ramírez
In Montreal, from Zero
Adela García-Herrera
Expo 02: Swiss Postcards

From Surrealism to Melodrama. Broad and canonical, the exhibit at the Pompidou blurrs the transgressive line of surrealism; multitudinous and multimedia, the Artium opening explores the expressive paths of unrestraint.   Juan Antonio Ramírez
Tamed Surrealism
Javier San Martín
Art and Melodrama
Green and Ephemeral. Landscape architecture and the design of nonpermanent structures are no longer marginal disciplines; recent titles on both subjects offer contemporary views with historical perspectives.
  Focho’s Cartoon
Alberto Campo Baeza
Various Authors
Recent Projects 

Japan in Collective Key. The celebration of the World Cup in Japan and South Korea speeded up the completion of the terminal of Yokohama, a center of communications between the championship venues, among which the shell with sliding field of Sapporo stadium, and the mechanical eye of Oita stadium. Ulf Meyer, Vicente Díaz Faixat and Jin Taira comment on these works.

  Technique / Style 

Zaera y Moussavi
Yokohama Terminal
Hiroshi Hara
Sapporo Stadium
Kisho Kurokawa
Oita Stadium

To close, the most popular sport serves to inspire in one of its greatest admirers a reflection on the risks and the rules. Peter Eisenman analyzes the game strategies used by the national teams of Italy and Spain to face the World Cup, and transforms them into metaphors of the architectural panoramas of each country, respectively withered and flourishing in the authors's opinion.   Products
Milán'02, Roofs, Domotics
English Summary
Barcelona 2004
Peter Eisenman
Soccer and Architecture
Luis Fernández-Galiano

Barcelona 2004

The city is no longer designed: it is programmed. Like a theater season or an anniversary celebration, urban development is orchestrated around spectacles that thematize effort, facilitate the allocation of funds and make investment visible. The olympic Barcelona, which obtained so many material and symbolic benefits from the organization of the Games in 1992, shortly afterwards boosted another process of growth where the Diagonal Avenue meets the sea, and once again gave this initiative date and name: 2004, a year which will see the celebration of a polychrome Fórum de las Culturas as congressional flagship of this urban enterprise.


Under the plural and politically orthodox motto of the cultures, this new fragment of Barcelona replaces the rational, monotonous and civilized lines of the grid with an emotional and polyhedric collage of objects in a conversation piece, thereby offering an excellent physical representation of the dislocated social body of the turn-of-the-century city. In this transit from pattern to totem, the tribal city becomes trivial event, and transformed into a touristic brand it is offered in the market of logos as a desirable destination: it would appear that only market city planning is able to fully comply with the demanding requirements of city marketing.

Those who yearn for the clean grids of the past criticize this discontinuous urbanism for its docile acceptance of spatial privatization, for its narcissitic replacement of flows with icons and for its vigorous capacity to produce segregation and inequality under the friendly mask of singularity and difference: in contrast with other empires of the past, the present one extends its universal control through the exaltation of the particular, shaping contemporary generic cities as patchworks of specific identities, weaved together by the red and narcotic thread of simulacra that make compatible postmodern irony and hypermodern fiction.

If the global city is the expression of a global power, it is also a representation of the market as a map of collective desires, and therefore of a model submitted to the choral referendum of a population which votes for security and spectacle through mortgages and rents. After all, the disjointed and individualistic city of the stars is preferable to the homogeneous and egalitarian city of despotism, and the space of junk of thematic urbanism is infinitely more tolerable than the landscape of ruins of systematic urbicide. They may call it Barcelona Inc, ©Barcelona or McBarcelona; but no one will doubt between generic Barcelona and ethnic Balkans.

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