From Create By Secret Agent’s head designer, Julian Faelli
We have started to see a string of interesting architecture and design projects come out of Spain in the recent months. This trend is in spite of the countries economic woes, with Spain now battling a youth unemployment rate of 56.5%.
The struggling economy has pushed young architects and designers to make the best of a bad situation. With a rich architectural history exemplified in the work of Santiago Calatrava and Enric Miralles’s expressive buildings, there is fertile ground and a bold point of departure for today’s architects.
Niu Architectura is one such firm, their recent Calvià Running Track is an exercise in restrained yet exciting design. Simple materials used well – it is exciting to see such thorough it’s use of transparency and volume. The dramatic cantilevers and sunken spaces make this humble sports pavilion a real gem.
The Girder House by CSLS Arquitectes is a whimsical and light approach to residential accommodation. A bright, white fitout provides a brilliant backdrop for life within the building. The small footprint is negotiated with a hidden kitchen and foldaway bed. It’s a approach that works well with the warm spanish climate, a climate not dissimilar to ours in Australia.
Johnston street has always been the traditional home of Spanish culture in Melbourne, and I wonder if it’s any coincidence AJAR has recently opened a furniture store on Johnston – primarily importing the Spanish Arlex brand. Designed and produced in Barcelona the quality is on par with the established Italian brands. At a competitive price point due to the depressed Euro, AJAR look like they are onto a winner.
Project Images © José Hevia