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Mathieson Costa Brava 01
Mathieson Architects
201/105 Reservoir Street
Surry Hills
NSW 2010 Australia
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Barcelona Pavilion
While in Spain for our Costa Brava project, we took a detour to the Barcelona Pavilion, bringing with us our photographer to highlight points of modernist intrigue. Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich in 1929, the Barcelona Pavilion (previously known as the German Pavilion) stands as an iconic piece of modernist architecture at the foot of the National Art Museum of Catalonia and Montjuic Hill in Barcelona.
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The building is a source of inspiration and one which we often return to both in our travels and through images. The pure form echoes simplicity. An ode to honest materials in a controlled methodology; calm yet uplifting. Barcelona Pavilion is an exercise in restraint. Ornamentation and excessive detail are omitted. Warmth, texture and tactility are invited through vibrant green marble, red onyx and travertine. Detail without excess. Materiality and craftsmanship. And now approaching 100 years, it reveals the longevity of modernist design, distilled to essence.

Quiet, calm, reflective, Barcelona Pavilion provides a sanctuary. An internal courtyard and reflective pool navigate the transition between the private vs public realm. Indoor and outdoor spaces flow harmoniously and the threshold between inside and outside is blurred. Architecturally this is achieved by the stone clad blade walls slipping out from the floating roof form. The low orientation and flat roof accentuate the moments of openness to the clear sky in the internal courtyard. A refuge from the busy city beyond. “It's something that we aspire to in our work; when you enter the architecture, to find a calming yet uplifting space,” says our director, Phillip Mathieson.
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Photography by Romello Pereira