Globos de Barcelona
Globos de Barcelona (Balloons of Barcelona) is inspired by the joy and playfullness that Barcelona is known for. As a temporary structure in one of the most visited places in the world the goal was to provide an object that both functionally and easthetically entices people to play.
The concept is a rational, linear development of ideas that culminates into an unusual almost alien presence that at the same time feels very much at home within the microclimate of Moll de les Drassanes.
The programme is split into its constituents which are each assigned a floor area in the form of a circle. The circles are grouped together based on their programmatic relationships, and then inflated into domes resulting in a highly efficient volume to facade ratio and a favorable shape for construction.
The volumes are realised by stacking prefabricated, lacquered, laminated wooden elements that are polished to a highly reflective finish. The stacking in combination with the curvature of the facade results in an unusual reflective quality, not unlike the funmirrors at a carnaval, that at a distance sparkles attractively and closeby entices children to play with their reflections. Painted under the reflective layer is an intricate qeometric pattern that is reminiscent of the mosaic and the patterned structures that can be found all over the city.
Inside, this same structural principle creates caves with an unusual relief and plasticity. In these caves the information center, exposition space, cafe, restaurant and sanitary functions are housed. The exposition space and cafe present as closed volumes that can only be accessed from the information and restaurant area. This is done so that entry can be controlled, in case of the exposition space to prevent access at night, and in case of the cafe to monitor traffic and reduce noise pollution at night.
The cafe and restaurant serve a double function as a nightclub, since the square is located in the middle of the touristic and nightlife area of Barcelona it would be a waste if it could only be used during the day, meaning that for half its temporary life it is inaccessible. The clubbing experience of dancing in a modern cave makes for an amazing unique selling point, and the glossy walls intensify the play of light and allow for artists te create unusual shows.
With this design, Barcelona would gain a structure as remarkable and playfull as Frank gehry’s fish, but with a much more functional and enjoyable characteristic.