For a full list of works, please visit www.gimeno-guitart.com
The work shown here is a selection of proposals that can be considered directly related to academic research.
The Cube of Memory
A proposal for the Echo Art Fair 2016 in the city of Buffalo, New York, which took place at OSC Manufacturing & Equipment Services, headquartered in one of Albert Kahn's celebrated industrial spaces in Buffalo, a plant finished in 1923 that first served to assemble Chevrolets for General Motors. Guitart's proposal was titled "The Cube of Memory," and consisted of a large cube assembled with wooden frames, paper, and light, and recreated a reflection around the qualities of permanence and temporality in the memory of our cities. The wood frames stayed still and perfectly aligned,
whereas the translucent paper would be torn and moved by the intense wind, recreating a transient condition that would sometimes unveil the source of light inside the cube: "This light construction reflects the light condition of the memory of the city, that is always in the process of vanishing and disappearing, always in need to be reconstructed, reinterpreted, reconfirmed. The Cube of Memory is built layer over layer, but its depth remains hidden behind the paper layers. These are the same layers that keep the images of the memory. […] Where is the memory of those who made the place great? Only through a hidden empty space that keeps the light of the past presences we can understand the
present that happens on the other side, where we are, from where we observe." The Cube of Memory proposed a critical look to the existing infrastructures of industrial Rust Belt cities, to understand the value of their material legacy as the built frame for their future. In this sense, "The Cube of Memory" advocated for the use of existing industrial infrastructures as the basis for the production of new spaces, investment, and growth would be an appropriate response to the current situation of post-industrial Rust Belt cities. This approach implies an efficient strategy for identity preservation, offering an unparalleled collection of vacant industrial containers in need of new investment and growth.
Church and Parish Center Santa Maria Assumpta. Tarragona, Spain
The new church of Santa Maria Assumpta emerges from the urban fabric of the Bonavista neighborhood in the city of Tarragona as a large stone volume framed by the neutral background of the parish center. The construction of the building articulates two ideas that have been common throughout the history of sacred architecture: 1. The monument: the church as a collective experience must also be vindicated as an urban strategy within the city. 2. The mystery: the church as a place for praying must propose a singular space capable of transmitting transcendental qualities. The volume of the church stands against the parish center, which acts as a neutral L-shaped background containing complementary functions such as: classrooms, offices or residences, among others. The building retains the urban fabric from the east and north, therefore freeing the public corner of the site next to an open plaza. The horizontality of the soft metallic skinned building which hosts the parish center contrasts with the presence of the church as a rocky polyhedric 60 foot-tall mass that resembles a mineral formation. The church overlooks the boulevard and manifests its presence as a monument within the urban fabric of the Bonavista neighborhood and a symbol of its identity. This strategic organization is inspired in San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, designed by Francesco Borromini in 1638.
It allows for the shift of the church to the very corner, liberating this building from servitudes derived from the surroundings. In this way, the church emphasizes its presence in the city by occupying the most visible point of the site. Access to the parish center happens through a private outdoor space defined by the void between the two buildings of the complex. This space is limited by the smaller volumes of the sacristy and the side access to the church, both protruding from the concrete base of the nave. This courtyard organizes access and circulation between the church and the parish center, and introduces light into the interior rooms of the latter. This void becomes a major realm for exchange and relation. The access to the church can take place from the open plaza or from the side private entry. In both cases, the access happens through a sequence of spaces that prepare the visitor for the experience in the sacred interior. The main entry to the nave from the plaza takes the visitor through a large opening within the main facade. Large-scale metal doors give way to a compressed space under the choir that precedes the main space of the church. In a similar way, the side entry is designed as a small flared volume that leads to the foot of the nave. Dramatically high space inside the church is lit from two large hidden clerestory windows that run the whole length of the building. This light above emphasizes the verticality of the space and promotes a sense of weightlessness and
spirituality in contrast to the hardness of the concrete envelope.Light and scale are primary characteristics of the space and vehicles to reach the experience of the sacred. A large gilded wood background closes the spatial perspective. The presbytery hosts the altarpiece and the tabernacle aligns with the main axis. The golden background frames a sculpture of the Virgin Mary, to whom the church is dedicated. The material experience of the new space is sparse and assertive. Very precise openings are practiced in the abstract reinforced concrete envelope of the church. The alabaster material used to close off these openings generates a natural, scenographic, and smooth light inside. It is nonetheless the manipulation of the transverse section that floods the space with light from the two long clerestory windows along the nave. In Bonavista, light, scale, and materiality are the vehicle to the experience of the sacred in a conjunction that identifies structure, form, and space. The emphasis on the sparseness helps achieve a serene and profound place for everyone. This is a style-less architecture that alludes to absolute and universal values and welcomes all who visit the church and parish center in Bonavista.
Follie in Queens, NY
The new Folly recreates a bamboo construction with light fabrics on top that softly move with the wind. We approach the design of the folly from the question of liberating the space and configuring a dynamic response that lets air through, like a fluid form in which mankind has no possible intervention.
The space of the poles is dramatically vertical and static, but the fabrics atop evoke a changing and dynamic landscape that acts as a counterpoint. The ceiling of the folly is therefore conceived as an unpredictable cloud that swings with the wind. The soft sound of the fabrics is spontaneously originated from the integration with
nature, and the resulting folly becomes a primitive but delicate skin that wraps up the place. As Toyo Ito writes, the installation becomes a "system that has no morphological expression itself and, being extremely simple, can emit different meanings".
With Jin Young Song / Dioinno
Garden Métis, Canada
The bamboo poles propose a floating garden that leads to the experience of an unexpected garden whose floating condition becomes defined by the virtual surface that changes over time as the plants grow larger atop the bamboo poles. The visitor enters the garden through the permeable arranging of bamboo poles that modify their perception as the visitor walks towards the center.
The top of the poles conform a virtual surface that descends towards the center of the garden and ascends towards the borders. As a result, the visitor eventually finds him/herself surrounded by a surface configured through the top ends of the standing poles, the borders being slightly taller that an average person. The experience leads to the consciousness of
the self moving around the virtual surface of the lifted greenery in a process of introspection. The bamboo pole floating garden provides with the experience of a garden within a garden and the opportunity to concentrate on the surrounding surface that the pole tops configure around the visitor.
With Jin Young Song / Dioinno
Archaeology Museum. Calvià. Spain
The proposal for the new Calvià Archeological Museum -MAC in Spanish- works as a permeable gate open to the park of Sa Morisca and its surroundings. The new MAC develops a double strategy. On the one hand, the building offers a representative and integrated solution through the use of a non-orthogonal, geometrical grid.
This grid crystallizes in a hexagonal system that occupies the landscape organically,favouring an efficient response to the visual, topographic and border conditions. On the other hand, the building acts as a gate that welcomes visitors and shows them the way into the park and the exploration of the site.
We think that an ideal architecture should feel close to nature, even more in a case like this, where the
surrounding on which the proposal takes place is objectively beautiful. The design for the new Calvà Archaeological Museum MAC filters the access and projects it onto the landscape, therefore establishing a characteristic and respectful dialogue with the pathways along the park and configuring itself as an entry gate inserted in the nature that emerges to offer views of the singular surrounding.