A walk through the ceramic Madrid in five projects

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A walk through the ceramic Madrid in five projects

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Madrid in an unusual way. Spend four days visiting places and projects where the ceramic material is the protagonist in a singular way.

Do not be scared, I also include in my travels, enjoy traditional places where you can enjoy a well-shot cane, discover special products stores run by people with a lot of desire and a special approach to the world of design or meet with friends who always surprise me with tapas and places that I had never seen ... although sometimes I also.

Anyway, let's go back to the important thing, the ceramic Madrid. In this case, five projects they focused my attention, the College of Architects of Madrid, Platea, El Huerto de Lucas, the San Antón market and the Only you hotel.

The first to tell me his story was the new headquarters of the College of Architects of Madrid "LASEDE" how it has been baptized. I agreed to him on Pharmacy Street and I think it was a good choice.

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As you get closer, you see how the reduced Skyline of the street is covered in ceramic lattices, the reflection of the sun on its enameled walls tells you something is happening. You stop and through a tiny corridor you enter a hidden inner garden.

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Escorted by the facades of three buildings where glass, steel and enameled ceramic lattices focus all the attention, this space becomes a small break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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Of course, my attention is focused on the impressive line of lattices that covers part of the facade of the building for municipal facilities and the entire lower part of the volume that makes up the Bosco de Lobos restaurant.

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I am struck by the effect of water that these pieces make, it seems that throughout the day they are always in motion. The reflection of the enamel and the tonal variation of whites to pinkish tones are responsible for generating this effect.

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After contemplating the project in a general way, I approach and analyze it more in detail. We are facing a piece of 20x20x10 cm, enameled in white tones and with a typical shape and unalterable in time. It is supported by the steel structure seen from the building and I guess by a series of interspersed rods, through the joints between pieces.

The holes made in its four corners and the recess in all its perimeter, are the hallmarks of this type of pieces.

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I enjoy shooting detailed photos of the pieces and seeing through them how a family grimaces and greets every time I shoot the camera. Who has not done something similar when you appear as a guest artist in the background of a photo huh!

My next destination, the new Platea center, defined by themselves as, "A unique space for gastronomic leisure ... a meeting point where every detail makes sense" and I'm going to focus on the latter ... although I also enjoy its gastronomic part.

If I had to define the ceramic performance in this space, would define it as unnoticed but with a personality capable of impregnating all the space and surprising when you really look at the details.

You enter Platea and all the senses are focused on contemplating the transformation of a theater into a gastronomic and leisure center. The food stalls, areas for tapas, restaurants, the central majestic space and the scenario positioned at half height, occupy our full attention.

But all this grandeur, exquisiteness, quality and mix of experiences, has a common element that makes them unite in the same sense, if friends yes, I am talking about my beloved pottery in its purest state.

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All the spaces have some ceramic detail, in some places more, in others less, but there is always a ceramic reference that accompanies the essence of each activity. And all with a common denominator, handmade finish.

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If you enter the market area and you do not pay attention to the food, you will discover that all its walls, columns and dispensers are coated with 7.5 x 15 cm pieces enamelled in black and white, occasionally splashed with ceramic tiles of 15 × 15 cm in white and gray colors.

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In addition, the distributors of this area, their access to the different floors and the entrance to the central area of ​​Platea follow the same protocol but changing the black and white colors by browns in certain access areas.

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The feeling is like if you were walking through an old London subway station but instead of accessing different outdoor spaces access to different culinary activities.

But where you really check that everything is covered with ceramic details, is when you enter the central area of ​​the theater. A sea of ​​stimuli invades your senses, lights, the hustle and bustle of people, projections, smells, tastes, music, and above all, the spaciousness of the space, focus all your attention, at first ... you want to savor the sensations that you experience something for the first time because you know it will never be the same again.

Well then When you are already immersed in the environment and are aware of the small details, it is when you discover ceramics.

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The first one, and the most obvious, is that of the curved wall facing the stage. A ceramic coating developed by hand, enameled in green and with linear reliefs, converts this whole area into a sea of ​​reflections and changes of tone. Spectacular effect that accompanies the play of lights generated by the live performances performed in Platea.

Once you lower your head and stop observing the amplitude of space and its effects, focus your attention on the posts around the central space. Everyone gives you the opportunity to accompany your rest with a tapa, a beer or a glass of wine and they all have ceramic details.

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For example, A bites presents its products to us through two compositions in 10 × 20 and 7.5 × 15 in blue tones, playing with the scale to increase the depth effect.

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Or the space that was on the side below the stage, where the world of ham dresses up and accompanies its exquisiteness with glazed hexagonal tiles in golden tones and pieces of 7.5 × 15 cm enameled in bright black.

In short, a whole series of ceramic performances that forced us to sit in one of the bars, ask for a tapa and a beer and with the background sound of the group that performed that night, finish the first part of the trip to the ceramic Madrid.

So, those who are in Madrid and you have not noticed those ceramic details, Take a break and enjoy them with a good tapa, a cane and good company.

I, for my part, will die of envy and I will continue thinking about the other three projects and how to share them with you so that you can continue enjoying ceramic Madrid.

About the Author: Miguel Bartolomé

I like ceramics ... as a material, as a product, as part of architecture and as part of my life ... (I was born, I grew up and I work in the place where the ceramics that reaches a large part of the world is designed and manufactured). More of 14 years collaborating with architects and interior designers in the design and development of ceramic products, 4 years of Professor of Ceramic Design and Graphic Expression at the University of Castellón and treat the technical information from the point of view of a Industrial designer, have generated a quantity of information that through this blog can reach a creative audience that will know how to take advantage of and squeeze the ceramic material in their projects.

You can follow me on my Blog, in my account Twitter, on Google+, on my Facebook Facebook page or consult my professional profile on LinkedIn.

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