Fundación Antoni Tàpies invites you to explore Montaner’s architecture
Location: Fundación Antoni Tàpies, Carrer d’Aragó, 255, 08007 Barcelona
Dates: Sat., Oct 17 and Sat., Nov. 14, 2015
Hours: 11:00 am Prior reservations must be made 10 days in advance of the visit, phone 932 075 862 and email address
Admission cost: 7€

The Fundacion Antoni Tapies offers a guided tour starting at their building, and  looking at the history of two nearby buildings designed by Lluis Domenic i Montaner that maintain a close relationship: Palau Montaner, originally the printing press Montaner I Simon and now headquarters of the delegation of the government of Spain in Catalonia, and the Casa Thomas, comissioned by industrialist Josep Thomas, today Cubiñá, a furniture design store.

Both of these buildings stand as significant heritage of Montaners original and iconic Modernist style,  feasturing decoration with large paintings of glass mosaic, representing the invention of the printing press, in the case of Palau Montaner, and in the case of Casa Thomas, the lobby of the building is richly ornamented with plant motifs, and the stair railing is made out of wrought iron, typical of the time. This visit organized by the Fundacion Antoni Tapies is a unique oportunity to visit the interior of the buildings. Although this first weekend that it is offered we will be in The Netherlands, it is a good visit to keep in mind and plan for in November.

Web Address:
Reporting: Diego Zubizarreta Otero, Roger Williams University Undergraduate Arch. Student




Exhibition on Sustainable Transportation by TMB Barcelona

Location: Espai Mercè Sala, Diagonal Metro Station Vestibule/Lobby (Lines L3 & L5).
Dates: From Aug. 03 until Nov. 27, 2015
Hours: 10:00 am – 10:30 pm, Monday thru Friday
Admission cost: Free

The exhibition opens the debate on contributions to public transportation towards the improvement of the environment. Specifically, Transportes Metropolitanos de Barcelona (TMB) exhibits how it has has contributed to reductions in the consumption of fuels, and in the number of waste and pollution emissions.  from Barcelona consumos of emisiones of Waste and pollutants. The Exhibition “TMB in action, A sustainable Journey” addresses the major challenges of cities when addressing sustainability.

Web Address:

Reporting: Diego Zubizarreta Otero, Roger Williams University Undergraduate Arch. Student





Exhibition on Palladian Design: Comparing Modern Design Outcomes to Century-Old influences
Location: RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, UK
Dates: From Sept. 09, 2015, until Jan. 09, 2016.
Hours: Monday to Sunday 10am – 5pm . Tuesday 10am – 8pm
Admission cost: Free

As we all know from our art and architectural history education, Andrea Palladio has been a hugely influential figure in the field of architecture, construction and design for centuries after his death. This exhibition presented by the RIBA ‘ introduces Andrea Palladio’s design principles and explores how they have been interpreted, copied and re-imagined across time and continents throughout the years. Designed by Caruso St John, this exhibition explores the relationship between modern styles that employ Palladian ideas and adapt them to current uses. It features works by Palladio never previously exhibited and other original drawings from the RIBA Collections by some of the UK’s most celebrated architects, including Colen Campbell, William Kent and Edwin Lutyens.

Web Address:

Reporting: Diego Zubizarreta Otero, Roger Williams University Undergraduate Arch. Student




When in the Netherlands: Check out the Dutch Design Week!

Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands. 100 different locations of events and places to visit.
Time: 17-25 October, 2015
See Program of Events:
Admission cost: Most locations are free, unless stated otherwise in the program on the website.

Is it a fortunate coincidence that our trip to the Netherlands coincided with Dutch Design Week? Probably not! We probably owe it to the careful planning of events of Zana Bosnick and Ivan Blasi, and the BAC in general. Regardless of how this came to be, it would be worth it to venture out to Eindhoven on one of our free afternoons (or on our free day on Friday) during the trip and check out this event, filled with many exhibitions, workshops, seminars and parties at many venues.

The event could not be explained any better than it is on their website: “For 9 whole days, DDW boasts 100 locations, presenting the processes, experiments and ideas, answers and solutions thought up by 2400 designers. Come and be amazed, surprised or astonished. Ask yourself new questions, draw inspiration for your own answers and allow the power of design to convince you”.

Web Address:

Reporting: Diego Zubizarreta Otero, Roger Williams University Undergraduate Arch. Student




The incredible craft of the Spanish Maestros de Obras: Building with Brick and Tile
Date: 10/14/2015
Class: Building Technology
Professor: Pia Wortham

This week, Prof. Pia Wortham gave a very interesting and highly descriptive lecture on building with Masonry, covering not only a number of Spanish architects who mastered the construction techniques with these materials through their projects, but also other architects known to work with the material, such as Louis Kahn. The lecture took special interest in long-spanning roof structures which served large-hall type spaces, such as churches, warehouses and factories. These large building typologies needed tall and wide-spanning roofs, that would also allow plenty of natural light to come in. We looked at numerous examples that employed the Catalan vault or guastavino vault building techniques, such as the Vapor building by Aymerich, Amar I Joven, Casaramona by Puig I Cadafalch, and projects by renowned architects Eladio Dieste and Felix Candela. What I found most interesting about many of these projects, is that they demanded relatively low budgets, and also worked with very basic technologies. In many of these countries, the manual labor was quite simple. Thus, the value of this type of architecture using brick not only comes from the beautiful geometries and play of light and shadow involved, but also in the audacity of the architects to develop clear construction methodologies that would allow non-sophisticated workers to lay out and efficiently execute complex geometries with brick or tile units.

Reporting: Diego Zubizarreta Otero, Roger Williams University Undergraduate Arch. Student





Professor Duran’s Historical Anecdote of the Week: Gaudi’s Death
Date: 10/14/2015
Class: History of Urbanism
Professor: Pamela Duran

This week’s History of Urbanism Seminar centered around important movements in 20th Century Barcelona to expand and modernize the city. Among others, the Linking Plan proposed by Leon Jaussely, the isolated case of Gaudi’s Park Guell, inspired in the Garden City Movement which arrived to Barcelona around 1915, and finally, the GATPAC + LeCorbusier’s Marcia Plan. All these urban investigations and proposals were really interesting and helped further understand the multi-layered system’s which compose the city of Barcelona. During this Seminar we also looked at Post-Civil-War architecture. During the discussion of this topic, the Placa Sant Felip Neri came up, as it was heavily bombarded during the war. When speaking of the Church found by that square, Prof. Duran narrated the anecdote of Gaudi’s death. She explained that this church was where Gaudi would come as a child to pray, every day.

In my opinion, this was the most interesting and curious anecodte of the class, and dispelled any rumors that the class had heard beforehand. For example, it is said that Gaudi was run over by the Tram on Avinguda Diagonal, as he was stepping back from Sagrada Familia to contemplate it as his masterpiece. Prof. Duran explained that, indeed, Gaudi died as a result of an accident with the Tram, but this happened on Gran Vía de las Cortes Calatanes intersection with Carrer Bailén. Coincidentally, Gaudi was making his way from Sagrada Familia, to the Sant Felip Neri church when this happened. Prof. Duran explained that Gaudi had such a beat-down appearance (long beard, dressed with clothes stained from construction works, etc) that he was taken for a homeless. He was transported to Hospital de la Santa Cruz, which was known as a place for homeless people to be taken care of. She explained lastly that Gaudi’s construction crew quickly realized his absence, and set out to look for him in the city for several days. When they finally found him, they asked him if he wanted to get transported to another Hospital, and he answered that if this is how the poor were treated in the verge of their death, he would rather die as a poor man. He passed away the next day, at 73 years old, leaving behind invaluable works of architecture for the whole world to admire, and the single reason because of which many people visit Barcelona today: the Sagrada Familia.

Reporting: Diego Zubizarreta Otero, Roger Williams University Undergraduate Arch. Student




The challenges of a study abroad architecture student: finding a balance between the studio life and the city life.
Date: October 12-14
BAC Students have been hard at work this week, aiming towards developing their project to a good level of completion, and presenting their design ideas on Thursday, October 15, for the second “Formal Review” of the semester. Wednesday in-between seminar classes was no exception to be taking breaks from thinking about the projects or working on them. Several students met with Professor Pia Wortham to receive some feedback on structural design applied to different projects developed for La Escocesa Complex. Prof. Wortham made herself widely available and took great care and attention when looking at the projects, trying to show the students that there could be many possible solutions to the design problems, repeating that it depended on how they were looked at. Structure or not, students kept working late into the night, forming an architectural overnight camp at the BAC, with many receiving the morning of Thursday still sitting at their desks at BAC. Studying abroad in Barcelona implies an intense lifestyle, it may seem, and many students have found that it is challenging to find a balance between in-class and out-of-class learning. We are in a city filled with many exciting things to do and see, and must find a way to learn from it and take advantage of it on two different levels: the academic, and the extra-curricular. Both provide a great amount of learning and growing, important for our formation as future professional architects and as citizens of the globalized world we live in.

Reporting: Diego Zubizarreta Otero, Roger Williams University Undergraduate Arch. Student



Midterm Presentations at BAC: The Good, The Bad and The Sleepy.

Date: Thursday, October 15 – 9:30 am – 1:30 pm

Thursday morning hit some by surprise in coming so quickly, others anticipated it farther ahead, the fact is that Midterm Studio Reviews had everybody a bit on edge, especially because of all of the other things to follow suit closely (e.g. the Amsterdam Trip, now only a few hours away). The environment for crit-day actually turned out to be a lot less uptight and formal. The student’s laid out there presentation boards on their desks, and circulated around the room, looking at the work put out by their classmates. Friendly and curious conversations took place: “How did you deal with this issue on your design?”, “Wow, that’s a really cool section-perspective, what software did you use to model that”, were some of the things heard. To start of the morning, Professor Roldan’s studio sat down and talked about how the student’s perceived what has gone by of the semester so far, and talking about the studio and design culture of the course in general. Prof. Roldan asked some intriguing and thought-provoking questions as always, and asked the students to explain their thoughts and opinions on the quality of the work presented in the sheets. After this, the studio group proceeded to hear presentations from 4 different students. Halfway through the morning, Professor Miralles, an invited critic for the day who currently teaches architecture at UPC Valles and ETSAB (and will also be teaching at BAC next semester), jumped in to participate in the critiques, and gave a few students very interesting and thoughtful feedback. The feedback was welcomed and helpful, but at the end of the day, we knew it was time to rest and start preparing for the Netherlands trip.

Reporting: Diego Zubizarreta Otero, Roger Williams University Undergraduate Arch. Student


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