The objective in this project by studio MAIO was to transform an existing space in Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella into an exhibition gallery.
The scheme arose from intentions to use a limitation – the tight budget – as a cue to reflect on what a contemporary art space is and what it should look like, with only mutable and reversible acts. A further aim was to rethink the exhibition space, avoiding the usual white cube and creating a place with an identity of its own, appropriating features of the site and the memories associated with it, but avoiding treating the existing in a precious way.
After a process of dialoguing with the owners, it was decided that all the construction elements called for by the technical needs and the city’s building codes be manifested explicitly. The columns are maintained as they are, encapsulated. The lighting systems use a language of their own, and the rest of the elements are like ready-mades in dialogue with the preexisting and waiting for new features to appear and new interventions to be carried out.