Outing Mies’ Basement: Designs to Recompose the Barcelona Pavilion’s Societies


Architectural practices are meant to engage socially through transformation of the social – whether by bringing in non-existing possibilities or reexamining old ones. Yet the field of architecture has often struggled with conceptualising the role of architectural practices within the processes by which associations rearticulate, particularly when dealing with the so-called masterpieces of modern architecture, whose exceptionality is often described as the outcome of their capacity to transcend the mundane. Among these masterpieces stands the Barcelona Pavilion, the 1986 reconstruction of the German National Pavilion, which was designed for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, major figures of the twentieth-century German architectural avant garde.

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