our last stop before heading back to barcelona was the espai cafe in the center of olot. this is a wonderful space miquel has made. at first you wonder if a space hard and brutal can work in olot, yet it is here, and with the work of rcr, that it seems that the people are open to new ideas. also this space works wonderfully with the light, and the rows of seating with the back just high enough to create the feeling of privacy for each table, yet still being open. thank you miquel for a wonderful day. Read More
our 4th stop was an exhibition space that miquel has in olot. here he had examples of his furniture. miquel works with amazing local craftsmen who use very high technology along with years of experience to produce hand made furniture. even though the furniture is always in iron, with different treatments, there is a warm feel to the pieces, a naturalness that opposite to their minimal forms. Read More
the third space we visited was actually to stop for lunch. cafe/restaurant les escoles, was before a school building for the area of beguda. miquel has treated the space simply, and the movable furniture works perfectly here to create a space that can be easily transformed depending on the function of the day. the contrast to the minimal interior and the simple yet spectacular countryside outside was beautiful. this is a restaurant for the industrial zone. and only open during working hours. if you are visiting the area during the week, stop and eat. the food was great . Read More
our second stop was miquel’s own home. he told us about many restrictions given to home builders in the area, of size etc. from the street we could see a raise metal box, as we walked down the space under opened up into his studio. from the staircase we ascended into the main part of the house, yet remaining outside. a simple box, had been cut twice to separate the two bedrooms on either side, leaving the space feeling either completely open and free or easily closed. from what is a small home, the feeling of space was amazing. the other beautiful detail was the mesh veranda top that could close to encapsulate the whole building, yet still let in the air and light. . Read More
on friday i joined 2 friends of mine, paula and xavi, to spend the day with architect miquel subiràs, and visit some of his work around the hostalric and olot area of catalunya. our first stop was his lastest work the renovation of a building in the center of hostalric. with a magnificent view, this building has been turned into a center for gastronomy for catalunya, domus sent soví. on the ground floor the space is divided between a showcase for the best catalan produce, from cheese to wine to oils. with a center of learning, and an area for workshops and courses. on the lower floor there is and area for classes while the top floor is a wonderful bar and restaurant. the center is not yet fully functional, but can still be visited. with little intervention of the existing structure, forms and shapes have been added to the interior to create dark spaces and a sleek design in which to learn and sample the food. one new piece of his furniture was also the tables on wheels, that held the two chairs inside.
i have been a few times to the olot area of catalunya, just over an hour from barcelona, and each time i discover new things. if you head up there, pop into the tourist information centre and pick up an architectural guide by rcr arquitectes. this will show you where to see most of their work. this time we started in ripoll to see the espai de la lira, a space between two buildings, connecting a bridge to a street, and a space to use below. then to olot, famous for its volcanos and volcanic soil. in olot we saw the cafe by miquel subiràs, then the offices of rcr. from there we travelled just outside the town to see the parque de piedra tosca, and then to the nearby athletic stadium and pavilions . last year i also saw the bathing pavilion and les cols. if you are feeling extravagant , i recommend that you spend a night in the guest rooms of les cols. all photos : andrew trotter
i first came across the work of studio MSB miquel subiràs in the street of openhouse, in the gallery of design il lacions. xavi, the gallery owner and now friend, is the distributor of the work of miquel. all the furniture is made from blackened steel, huge tables of six meters long can be made with a surface of only millimeters thick steel, that give an impression of floating. miquel also works as an architect, and has worked with the famous group RCR, and all his pieces can be made to order through il lacions, or new pieces designed for you. Read More