Children of Vulcan

Richard Ingersoll 

They did not gag or blind-fold me, but for two days I was a guest of a group of architectural extremists, in the lost horizon of Olot. This small city rests amid the remains of a few extinct volcanoes at the foot of the Pyrenees between Catalonia and France, an hour and a half north of Barcelona, a half hour west of Girona. Although my hosts call themselves RCR Arquitectes, I eventually realized they could well be the leaders of a secret society that should probably be called ‘the Children of Vulcan’. Their mission seems to reduce the built world into stark forms like minimalist sculpture inserted into the landscape, using only the prime materials of local stone, rusted steel, and sheer glass. In their efforts to purify architecture, they have invited the inhabitants of their works to live in a different way, inspired by the rule of a Spartan existence...

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