The Massana School forms part of the long transformation process of the Gardunya Square, situated in the heart of Barcelona’s historical district.

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Project Name: Escola Massana, Art and Design Center
Architect Name: Estudio Carme Pinós

Escola Massana, Art and Design Center By Estudio Carme Pinós - Sheet5
©Estudio Carme Pinós

This project responds to the will of creating a luminous interior made up of open spaces in its 11,000 square meters of usable surface area, while at the same time achieving an exterior that remains harmonious with the urban web in which it stands.

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Escola Massana, Art and Design Center By Estudio Carme Pinós - Sheet6
©Estudio Carme Pinós

The building is split, both in terms of volumetrics as well as in the solution of the facade, in response to the surrounding constructions. With the objective of giving it a more unique and sculptural character and simultaneously diminishing bulkiness, the part of the building that faces the square is decomposed into two rotating volumes that generate different terraces.

Escola Massana, Art and Design Center By Estudio Carme Pinós - Sheet8
©Estudio Carme Pinós

The ceramic piece reminiscent of a brise soleilthat covers the exterior emphasizes its volumetric will while at once protecting the student’s privacy.


Carme Pinós

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Carme Pinós (Barcelona, 1954) graduated in Architecture, Urbanism and Landscape Architecture from the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB) in 1979. From 1982 to 1991 she shared a studio with Enric Miralles and then went on to set up her own firm, Estudio Carme Pinós. Since then, she has worked on numerous projects ranging from urban refurbishments and public works to furniture design. Her sharp approach to design, anchored by a constant focus on experimentation and research, has made her work garner worldwide recognition at the same time that Barcelona architecture has cemented its own identity and reputation throughout Europe and South and North America.

In her most significant works we can find the MPavilion 2018 in Melbourne (Australia); the architectural set composed by Gardunya Square, Massana School of Arts, a housing block and the west façade of the popular La Boqueria Marketin the Historical District of Barcelona (Spain), the Caixaforum Cultural and Exhibition Centre in Zaragoza(Spain), the Departments Building of the Vienna University of Economics and Business(Austria), Catalan Government Headquarters (Spain), the Cube I an Cube II Towers in Guadalajara(Mexico).

In 2016 she was awarded the Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence by the California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, in recognition of her career. She received the 2016 Berkeley-Rupp Architecture Professorship and Prizevaluing her contribution to promoting the advancement of women in the field of architecture and her commitment to the community. In 2015 she was honoured with the Creu de Sant Jordi Medal, one of the highest civil distinctions awarded by the Catalan Government to individuals and organisations for their cultural and social services.

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She received the First Prize at the 2008 Spanish Biennial of Architecture, the National Award for Public Architecture by the Catalan Government in 2008, and the National Architecture

Award by the High Council of Spanish Architects. She was named Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2011 and RIBA International Fellow in 2013for her outstanding contribution to architecture.

Carme Pinós combines work as an architect with teaching, and is actively involved her in the development and delivery of seminars, courses and workshops worldwide. She has been guest professor at several higher education institutions, including the IUAV of Venice, Architecture Schools of Paris, the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, Columbia University in New York, l’Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Accademia di Archittetura di Mendrisio in Switzerland, Universitá di Roma Tre in Italy, among others.

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Her work has been widely exhibited in several galleries, museums and universities. The Centre Pompidouacquired the scale models of the Caixaforum Zaragoza in Spain, the Hotel Pizota in Mexico, and the Maison de l’Algérie of Paris. The model of the Cube I Tower currently belongs to the collection of New York’s MOMA. In 2018, her work was exposed at the Biennale Architecttura di Venezia.

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Rethinking The Future Awards 2022