A careful review of the last one hundred years of built architecture should enable us to learn from those projects that have renewed architecture and endowed it with new horizons. This proposal, which Catalonia presented at the Venice Biennial of Architecture and which, from May 21st, can be seen at Fabra i Coats – Centre d’Art Contemporani, is not an attempt to return to the past. It is, on the contrary, a firm determination to recognize, assess and reformulate the specificity of local architectures in front of the global and franchised examples that have prevailed in recent years, showing instances of know-how that are capable of updating a living tradition while projecting it into the future.
The point of departure of this project, curated by Josep Torrents i Alegre and co-curated by Guillem Carabí Bescós and Jordi Ribas Boldú, is the Bofarull House (1879–1949), one of the most important works of Josep Maria Jujol (1879–1933). The working methods of that architect from Tarragona show us the attitude that we can find already in many projects built in the last century. This attitude is based in an intense dialogue with all those pre-existing conditions (physical or not) that help the developing of a project and that include and mix new elements with the already existing ones, just as cuttings are grafted into a tree.