Our Founding Fathers
The exhibition ‘Las otras Pedreras’ and its catalog, both subtitled ‘Arquitectura y diseño en el mundo a principios del siglo XX’, commemorate the 100 years since the opening of Antoni Gaudí’s La Pedrera building. Along the lines of Pevsner, they relate this emblem to six similar buildings. Four come from European Art Nouveau: Victor Horta’s Maison Horta, Hector Guimard’s Hôtel Mezzara, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art, Josef Hoffmann’s Palais Stoclet. One, Adolf Loos’s Michaelerplatz, is a manifesto of the then new functionalism. And Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House appears as the beginning of a new era. Both the exhibition – curated by Juli Capella and designed by Guri & Casajoana – and the catalog make a clear, orderly presentation of the houses with photos, plans, sketches, models and representative furniture pieces. In the book Capella explains the selection of works by referring to their integral design and their application of construction advances, and mentions the historiography on Gaudí and La Pedrera, in particular Bruno Zevi, the reviver of interest in the Catalan architect.
The catalog essays are written by experts linked to the buildings, in some cases the director of the institution housed within. Exceptions are the text on Michaelerplatz, by Loos himself, spiced up with notes by Josep Quetglas, and the one where Luis Fernández-Galiano shows how the Robie House and La Pedrera belong to systematically different ages.