C/ Argenteria 65 / Barcelona
Guixé, December 2002
is a commercial establishment in Barcelona. It occupies the premises where
the mythical concert hall SALA ZELESTE was located for a decade, starting
in the mid 1970s. Even though another business occupied the space after
1986, certain recognizable architectural elements from Zeleste remained.
The concert hall left the area due to a need for more space and problems
with the immediate neighbours, moving into a larger building in Poble
Nou until it finally closed in 2001.
Considering the building has historical value, it will certainly be a
complex and slow process to completely redo the space. The intention is
to move the stairway used for the buildings residents, as it obstructs
the entrance, as well as eliminating the double wall spaces that served
as an acoustic barrier, with the loss of almost half a metre along the
For these reasons the idea was to carry out a provisional installation
which would allow the shop to be opened in just 2 weeks. The concept of
appropriation and the fact of working on the space in terms of installation
and not as a full-fledged interior design have given the codes and protocols
of the project a functional character, allowing the intervention to be
more effective, giving it a uniquely characteristic result. The complete
renovation project is slated to be done later on with greater time and
The Backstage Effect
The installation divides the premises into two spaces, which in spite
of being totally accessible have been conceived and employed in different
ways. There is a central white space used for display and a dark blue
perimeter space here conceived as the backstage. The lighting makes the
perimeter space disappear even though it is physically present.
This dark space surrounding the display area is where the changing rooms
are found, thus parasiting the structures of backlit glass bricks that
were a characteristic feature of Zeleste, conserving their archeology
by not allowing the commercial area to touch upon the walls.
With this layout the practical functions of the commercial space are set
out in a more logical and innovative manner.
The panels separating the public from the private area work frontally
as display elements for the product, while their opposite side, the backstage,
features discreet stickers with images, including press clips from Zeleste,
images of the construction of the installation, and informal representations
of the brand in question.
Upon entering into the more "private backstage area to try
on a garment, the customer comes into subliminal complicity with the brand
and acquires a new emotional status with it as well.
The Magnet Effect
The entrance way is conceived as a diorama and map of the brand. The map
is made up of a large size poster-catalogue and a selection of garments
attached to the wall with adhesive tape as samples in real size, making
the diorama both stage and shop window. This logical-emotional combination
has a complementary function and acts in itself as a mechanism to attract
and invite customers into the interior.
At the end of the space in a separate room, I use a video a minute and
a half long to personally request that visitors sign a petition to have
the temporary installation be accepted as the final, permanent version.