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Turó de la Rovira: Formwork

DSC01866 copia_OK - retoque_p.jpg

Turó de la Rovira: Formwork, 2019

Flexible expanded polyurethane, pine wood, MDF and photography


Formwork , 2019

Flexible expanded polyurethane, wood and MDF


Turó de la Rovira, 2018

Digital printing 100x70cm


Formwork, 2019

Digital printing on Cyclus paper Print 21x29,7cm

Turó de la Rovira is an urban hill located in Barcelona, ​​which has been excavated and remodeled throughout history, reflecting the history of the city.


In the construction of the Eixample (enlargement) of Barcelona during the first half of the 20th century, the aggregates and building materials used were mainly extracted from the quarries located in the Turó de la Rovira. During the postwar period, a shanties area called Los Cañones was built on the top of the hill —using the remains of anti-aircraft batteries installed during the Civil War—. The first inhabitants of the area went down to the city to collect the rubble of the buildings destroyed by the war, to build their shanties. Thus, the material that decades before had been extracted from the mountain, became once again part of it.


In 1990, Pasqual Maragall (the mayor of Barcelona at that moment), surrounded by photographers and journalists, took the first blow of a hammer to knock down the last shanties in Barcelona —those located in the neighborhood of Los Cañones— as part of the process of embellishing the city's image for the 1992 Olympic Games. Then, the remains of the shanties became part of the substrate of the mountain, becoming one more layer of sediment that coexists today with vegetation and new access roads adapted to tourism.


On the top of the Turó, some of the streets of the old quarter of shanties can still be found, which were built by the neighbors themselves. Most of these streets were stairs, built with concrete using formworks to adapt them to the shape of the Turó rock. This is a simple but fundamental structure, which merges with the mountain, parasitizing it, turning it into urbanism by adapting its relief to the human scale.


Turó de la Rovira: Formwork (2018/2019) consists of a series of sculptural pieces and two photographs, created by repeating that constructive gesture. For its realization, several wooden formwork have been installed directly on the surface of the Turó, in the hole left by the Can Baró quarry —the only flat area in ​​the district, which after the closure of the quarry was used as a football field and, currently, as public parking—. The formwork pieces have been built using these wooden structures. The result is a series of flexible expanded polyurethane pieces that adapt to the shape of the mountain while recording its surface. Along with these pieces there is a photograph of one of the formwork on the surface of the Turó, and a photograph of the stairs of the old neighborhood of Los Cañones.

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