The Barcelona architect Carme Pinós is the subject of the ICO Foundation’s exhibition ‘Building for Life,’ and the figure ‘8-80’ appears on the cover of the accompanying book. While the title is generic, the numerical formulation refers specifically to Pinós’s trajectory. It denotes the division of her career into two parts: first alongside Enric Miralles, 1983-1991, then on her own, with the tenacity for which she was rewarded with three decades of works like the Cube 2 tower in Guadalajara (Mexico) and the CaixaForum of Zaragoza. ‘8-80’ also stands for all her projects, built and not: eight with Miralles and eighty solo. No previous publication on Pinós – Actar (1998), Monacelli Press (2004), Gustavo Gili (2015) – has offered such an omni-comprehensive view of her oeuvre.
The line-up follows an essay by Luis Fernández-Galiano, curator of the show, and an interview conducted by Izaskun Chinchilla. Each project is presented with models, photos, floor plans, and elevations, besides a brief text in which the architect helps us contextualize and understand the commission. The restive, unconventional, energetic, passionate character of Pinós and her architecture is revealed. So are the lines of her work and the way she links up her projects. And, too, a series of constants, such as dialogue between volumes, the expression of structure and its forces, respect for place, or the search for connective zones. Not to mention her desire to define spaces without enclosing them, to create architecture of the kind that you enter and already feel like you’re exiting.