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Adaptation  ✔✔

Thank you all.  The final presentations showed an astonishing level of sympathy and understanding of the the people who live in Barcelona.  Students with the greatest specificity were able to take their city idea / abstract concept / specific site intervention to the greatest level of engagement with the audience. 

Congratulations on a wonderful month that I will not forget and hopeful you will take with you the experience and lessons for many years to come as you engage in the public life within and outside of formal urban design as we define it.

We can thank Jason for these great photos of the review and from Tibidabo.

I am thankful to Valentina Asinari di San Marzano for hosting this event at her1256  home Oli 4 in the Borne neighborhood.

Bona tarde amics

 {I hope you are feeling better Henry.}

Regarding the presentation tomorrow: While trying to structure your presentation as followings, also realize that pushing 3-4 diagrams/images with time, place, and materiality/image, will communicate more concisely for your portfolio and push forth your unique message/hand, verses 40 unedited photos for the powerpoint.

The structure:

1. Locate us in the City; Zoom-in to the neighborhood and highlight 3-5 similar spaces (you should all have this issue)

2. Abstract idea: verb. What is the operation? Abstract it from architecture, urbanism, or Barcelona

3. Place: Analyze the one space using plan, diagrams of plan, perspectives of people and light, materials, semiotics (signs) as per our drawing exercised begun in Granada. In order to “place” your place, some comparison with similar or dissimilar spaces either in Barcelona or beyond, will help expose the difference that makes a difference.

Again, for the sake of the presentation tomorrow evening, structure your argument clearly BUT then explore your language in a fun and engaging experiment of abstract to communicate your ideas, and your ideas only (don’t allow people to NOT get it.) This is the time to take chances. You will be most satisfied challenging yourself and with a small refinement after tomorrow, you will have a great documentation of the experience here via this specific investigation.

Think…think deeper…then draw in 30 second bursts. Look at what you did. Highlight. DONE!

Do another one. One more. Perhaps them combine these diagrams and DIFFERENTIATE to achieve the 3rd degree of diagramming.

(title it in two works, a noun and a verb)

Digital-analog-hybrid….its all good.

Have fun and work hard.

Best Philip

I am busy baking, setting up the master powerpoint, and interviewing dj’s.

PS link to Tibidabo for Wednesday click here


We will meet at 9:15am at Mateo Arquitectura, tomorrow, Monday, June 14th.  Theaddress is as following below.  Please try to be on time as we are being provided with a tour of the office.

I recommend using the FGC to Av Tibidabo L7 from Provença FGC station.  There will be an inclined walk to follow so you should leave time for this.  We will then proceed to 22@ and the Diagonal development as per the itinerary for week 5, click here.

Click here for google location of office.

Thank you

Teodor Roviralta 39, Barcelona

T + 34 932 186 358 / F + 34 932 185 292



Banyols Arabes

 Museu Caja Granada, by Alberto Campo Baeza


1992 marked the beginning of a new chapter for Barcelona, namely in the development of the waterfront and the first large opportunity since Franco’s death to engage the new opportunity of globalization with the 1992 Summer Olympic games.

The city used the opportunity to match funds to develope it’s since industrialized  waterfront which offered no official use for public amenity.

However, it is essential to realize Oriol Bohigas’s involvement as city planning head prior to the Olympics and its strategy called “El Lapiz de Oro” or The Golden Pencil, to offer small-scale interventions throughout the gothic and other parts of the city, to improve and offer a renaissance to an artistically advanced Barcelona that was neglected / suppressed for many years since the Civil War.

We will look at the scale of interventions.  As seen in Bohigas’s apartment block at Calle Osi in Sarria, though the greater scheme offers large-scale public gathering spaces as well as infrastructure movement improvements such as periodically submerging the coastal highway Ronda Litoral, these large-scale moves truly only set up what hopes to be a network of human scale spaces. 

Current criticism of the Olympic Village perhaps fails to realize the utter lack of heritage of materiality or structure after the zonal demolition prior to the olympic work, and also points to the subsequent strategies in the nearby 22@ mixed-use zone that follows, that looks to maintain a network of historic and crafted structures to provide a weaving of new and old and a connective heritage for that district.

We will specifically look at public, medium to small-sized spaces, around the primary olympic housing blocks along the Avenidad de Icaria (evaluating the privatization of the interior blocks) and then look at more successful planning of the Ferrater public patios located with the olympic planning, two blocks behind this.

privatized inner eixample patios


publicly accessible eixample patios


The continuation of the extraordinary exploration and utilization of materiality is evident in such works as Miralles Pinos’s sculpture/public space at Icaria, Frank Gehry’s first use of CATIA for the sunshade fish for a fabric like woven metal over balloon framed steel, Elias Torres’s organic use of brick in wall and paving materials, and Alvaro Siza’s banding of materials for his meteorological center.