Flores & Prats Architects are honored to announce the release of ESCALA 1:5, on their design for Sala Beckett Theatre and International Drama Centre in Barcelona. A documentary series in 5 episodes of 10 minutes each, produced by 15-L. Films and directed by Patricia Tamayo and Albert Badia. After a premiere at the Girona cinema in Barcelona, which took place on 14 December last year in the presence of more than 200 enthusiastic people, the series will be available on demand on The Architecture Player’s Vimeo Channel at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/134519, starting 13 February 2018.
Starring architects Ricardo Flores and Eva Prats, along with Toni Casares, the director of Sala Beckett, Sergi Belbel, playwright and former director of the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, artists Soraya Smithson and Antoni Miralda, and designer Curro Claret. The series retraces the journey behind the architectural renovation of the space and the bond that ties the building to its neighborhood.
Roofs and walls, Doors and windows, Pavements, Stairs and furniture: each episode inquires one aspect of the patient work of adaptive reuse of the existing building to become the new Sala Beckett, with interviews and exclusive contents. By not erasing the leftovers of the old workers’ club, but, rather, by transforming them into protagonists, Flores & Prats were able to preserve “the deepest roots of living memory of a working-class neighborhood like Poblenou”, observed Juan José Lahuerta in “Casabella” magazine. “In tune with the spirit of Beckett, detritus and residuals become an indispensable requirement of the work.”
Sala Beckett has received flattering comments in some of the world’s most prestigious architecture magazines. M.J. Well in “Architecture Today” described it as “a building that can be again a part of its community”. Praises came from Douglas Murphy in “ICON” who applauded “the passion for the act of building and a constant engagement with the role of history in public space” of Flores & Prats. Sala Beckett was also included in the “Architecture” category of the Beazley Designs of the Year award, along with other internationally renowned projects such as the Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice by OMA and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. by Adjaye Associates.
Sala Beckett Theatre and International Drama Centre in Barcelona
Sala Beckett is a cultural space designed by Flores & Prats in Barcelona. Architects Ricardo Flores and Eva Prats restored the old building of the Pau i Justicia cooperative, adapting it for new theatrical uses. The space is characterized by extraordinary vivacity and a surprising relationship with history which tends to redefine the theme of architectural restoration.
The new Sala Beckett, opened in November 2016 in Poblenou, in the Sant Martí district, is dedicated to theatre, experimentation and training. This place for meeting and creativity found a space in the headquarters of the old Peace and Justice cooperative (Pau i Justicia). The design by architects Ricardo Flores and Eva Prats reflects the dense memories profoundly rooted in the culture of the historical industrial district, which had already undergone significant changes for the 1992 Olympics and has now become vibrant due to the presence of numerous artists and creative talents.
“The ruinous state in which we found the building was of interest, not because we wanted to restore it, but rather to take the ruin forward and make it participate, with its unfinished character of superimposed periods, in a new reality that would continue to be updated on this foundation. (…) The challenge of the project is therefore to adapt the building to its new use without banishing its ghosts.” said architects Ricardo Flores and Eva Prats. The design by Flores & Prats stems from the spatial and decorative qualities of the existing building, a part of the identity assumed by the city of Barcelona at a time when the workers’ associations emerged along with their surprising capacity to create space for entertainment. Each significant element has been carefully drawn and collected, from the frames to the doors, the polychrome tiles, rose windows, the stratifications present in the masonry fabric and the plasterwork. The design process included an in-depth study of the environmental characteristics, identified and developed through numerous drawings and detailed study models.
“The new Sala Beckett is a space where the audience member enters and breathes, understands, feels that they are not customers for an industrial product, but part of a dialogue, a person who makes sense of what is presented on stage.” said Toni Casares, playwright and director of Sala Beckett. The building constructed in the 1920s was in ruins, however it had a high number of features that Ricardo Flores and Eva Prats have chosen not only to leave in place, thereby leaving substantial traces of the original building intact. They also wanted to project into the future, turning all the signs and stratifications of time and the uses of the building into a device through which to give further meaning to the drama-related research conducted by Sala Beckett.
After being observed by architecture critics in the past months, the Sala Beckett project has recently been included in the first issue of “Archives”, a monographic magazine on architecture, photography, design and contemporary art directed by Carlos Quintans and Juan Rodriguez.
Flores & Prats Architects
Flores & Prats is an architecture office from Barcelona, dedicated to confront theory and academic practice with design and construction activity.
After their experience at Enric Miralles’ office, Ricardo Flores and Eva Prats have developed a career where research has been always linked to the responsibility to make and to build. The office has worked on rehabilitation of old structures for new occupations, as well as on neighbors’ participation in the design process of urban public spaces, and on social housing and its capacity to create community. But they have also experienced using film to document architecture, or with menus of edible architecture for their exhibitions in Barcelona and Copenhagen as a way to bring their work closer to a broader public.
The work of Flores & Prats is widely awarded, published and exhibited. They have been part of the Wallpaper Directory of Emerging Offices in 2007, obtained the Grand Award for the Best
Work in Architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts in London 2009 for the rehabilitation project Mills Museum in Palma de Mallorca and the International Award Dedalo Minosse of Vicenza 2011 for the New Campus for Microsoft in Milan. Their work on the rehabilitation of the Cultural Centre Casal Balaguer, exhibited at the Biennale di Architettura di Venezia in 2014 and in 2016, was nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award, shortlisted for the FAD Award of Architecture, and has recently received the City of Palma Architecture Award.
Sala Beckett – Obrador Internacional de Dramaturgia (Poblenou, Barcelona), a project they started in 2011 and completed in 2016, awarded with the City of Barcelona Architecture Prize, the Living – Spaces Simon Architecture Prize, and is shortlisted at the Beazley Design of the Year, the ENOR Awards, the FAD Architecture Prize and nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2017.
Ricardo and Eva are both professors at the School of Architecture of Barcelona, and have been invited professors to several universities around the world.
15-L. Films is an independent production company established in 2009 and based in Barcelona, passionate for fresh documentaries with international impact. Their productions have been selected for a number of international film festivals.
Since 2013, 15-L. Films opens a line of investigation on cross media projects, new platforms and branded documentary, with a special interest on architecture as a way of contemplating the ways in which spaces can have repercussions on everything surrounding them. Their architecture films, “Meeting at the Building”, “Hello Ms. Hock”, “Hic Sunt Leones”, “The Invisible Intervention”, among others, have been selected in several international festivals and have received different awards and recognitions.
One of their last productions, “The travel Agent” (2015) – a feature documentary co-produced with Progetto Cataclisma (Italy), directed by Niccolò Bruna and shot in Havana, Cuba, distributed worldwide by Pragda and Feelsales with theatrical release – won the honorable mention as Best National documentary at MiradasDocs and Premio UniCredit Pavilion Giovani at Visioni dal Mondo – Immagini dalla Realtà, Festival Internazionale del Documentario.
In 2014 they partnered up with MÜNCHHAUSEN PRODUCTIONS and founded the Spanish branch of the company. The production service company with bases in Tallinn, Riga and Barcelona, is aimed to international productions. At present, they are working on several feature-length documentaries, brand campaigns and cross media projects of international scope.
Patrícia Tamayo and Albert Badia
Patrícia Tamayo works actively in the study and dissemination of audiovisual culture. She has been coordinator at the Distribution Company Màgic Pack, specialized in the dissemination of films that stimulate aesthetic sensibility and emotional education in children. She has collaborated with ICEC (Catalan Institute of Cultural Companies) for the implementation of the ArtAccés application in Catalan Government in order to improve accessibility to the world of cinema for people with visual and auditory difficulties. She regularly participates in specialized publications in cinema and pedagogy and collaborates with the research group Contemporary Thinking of the University of Barcelona.
Albert Badia is a graduate of ESCAC, specialized in Direction of Photography. He is currently enrolled in the Philosophy Degree school at UNED in Barcelona. He works in cinema and television as part of the camera team in projects such as “Una Carta para Evita” by Agustí Villaronga or “Gran Nord” for TVC. He has worked on all types of projects as director of photography. With the production company Jo Mateix for the XTLC (Local Television Network of Catalonia), he has worked as Director of Photography for two documentary series: “Tu Mateix” (winner of the INPUT) and “13 Ways to stay alone”. He worked with director Guillermo A. Chaia on the short film “El Coito Te Nubla” (Escándalo Films) and on a series of music videos for directors such as Jeffrey Frigula and Iker Insausti. “La Muerte en La Alcarria” is his first feature film (Visions du Reel, In-Edit, L’Alternativa).
Albert and Patricia worked together as directors in the medium length-film documentary “Mirades” for Escola Mestral and in the documentary web series ESCALA 1:5, produced by 15-L. Films.