Hard Lines
Where: Palau de la Virreina
La Rambla, 99

Current exhibitions

Francesc Català-Roca, sede de la editorial Gustavo Gili, 1961. © Fons Fotogràfic F. Català-Roca / Arxiu Històric del COAC
Francesc Català-Roca, headquarters of the Gustavo Gili publishing company, 1961. © Fons Fotogràfic F. Català-Roca / Arxiu Històric del COAC

Hard Lines
Buildings, design and urban planning in Barcelona (1949-1974)

03.02.2023 – 02.07.2023

Curator: Valentín Roma
A coproduction with COAC and Centre Obert d’Arquitectura
The exhibition takes place in the former headquarters of the publishing house Gustavo Gili
(Rosselló, 87)

Inauguració: divendres 3 de febrer, 17 h

In 1985, Carles Martí and Xavier Monteys published an article entitled ‘La línea dura’ (The Hard Line), with which they presented the farewell issue of the magazine 2C. This text reviewed the work of a group of architects – Hannes Meyer, Hans Wittwer, Mart Stam, Johannes Duiker and Evan Owen Williams, among others – who, in the 1930s, within the modern movement, prioritised construction problems over aesthetic rationales. Martí and Monteys even coined a new category to refer to these architects and their works, which they called ‘the radical wing of rationalism’.

To paraphrase the title of that article, we could venture to say that, in Barcelona between 1949 and 1975, a set of proposals was developed in the field of architecture, design and urban planning that, seen in perspective, constitute ‘hard lines’ with respect to the hegemonic tendencies of each period. Indeed, it is a kind of tradition that is not always underscored – and is perhaps pending retrieval at some time in the future – that would enable us to understand and improve both the public sphere and the territory of the city.

This exhibition brings together 32 case studies arranged chronologically and reconstructed through documents, texts and images, most of which are being shown for the first time within an expository context. In addition, there are two incidental digressions, one about the history of the Archive of the Architects’ Association of Catalonia (COAC) and the other about the reportages that Francesc Català-Roca made about the headquarters of the publishing house Editorial Gustavo Gili. The latter joins the events to commemorate the centenary of the photographer’s birth.

In coproduction with

  • Centre Obert d'Arquitectura
  • COAC

Inscribed within

  • inscribed within

With the sponsorship of

  • La Vanguardia