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Monday, July 29, 2019

Contrasting Dualities – the Catenary and the Arc!

By Ar. Vinita Wagh
Photography: Antonio Bouzas; courtesy the designer
Read Time: 2 mins
"Manuel Bouzas and Santiago del Aguila installation Insolit 2019 indiaartndesign"
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Illustrating by example, designers Manuel Bouzas and Santiago del Aguila conceptualise a striking installation for Insòlit 2019 that expounds the concept of ‘contradiction’ – both literally and metaphysically…

In architecture as in life, there are paradoxes: both, disruptive as well as contributive. Opening the debate on contradictions, the designer’s concept - a striking installation showcasing drape-like red catenaries interlacing the stone arches of Palma de Mallorca’s famous Can Balaguer courtyard rise to juxtapose the heritage structure against transient built forms in keeping with the concept and theme of the 2019 edition of Insòlit, ‘Contradiction’.

"concept and model Manuel Bouzas and Santiago del Aguila installation Insolit 2019 indiaartndesign"
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"axonometric the installation insolit 2019 Manuel Bouzas and Santiago del Aguila indiaartndesign"
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Insòlit is an Ephemeral Installations Festival, a cross-disciplinary event conducted in the courtyards of Palma, aiming to promote the rich architectural heritage of the Balearic Islands through temporary creative interventions. The Can Balaguer house functions as one such venue, inconspicuous and emblematic of a versatile social space, a historic landmark in Palma designed by Flores y Prats that centres around a courtyard framed by stone arches.

"installation Insolit 2019 Manuel Bouzas and Santiago del Aguila indiaartndesign"
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"experiencing the installation Insolit 2019 Manuel Bouzas and Santiago del Aguila indiaartndesign"
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‘The Catenary and the Arc’ draws inspiration from the architecture and beauty of the Can Balaguer courtyard and its stone arches, while responding to the culture, heritage and creativity of the Old Town of Palma. The installation is sensitive to the relationship between the space, object and user. Formed from light steel meshes and covered with acetates, it casts a vivid, warm glow, celebrating and invigorating the space in question.

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"section installation Insolit 2019 Manuel Bouzas and Santiago del Aguila indiaartndesign"
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"halo of light installation Insolit 2019 Manuel Bouzas and Santiago del Aguila indiaartndesign"
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Acknowledging the contrasting permanence of the elements, the installation initiates a dialogue between the immutable past and the fleeting present, playing on the dichotomy of the opposing geometries, the arc and the catenary. While the arc is rooted to the ground and exhibits mass, the catenary gives the impression of weightlessness as it seemingly descends from the sky. The arc resists gravity under pure compression whilst the catenary is harmonious with it under tension. In contrast to the opacity of and shade provided by the arc, the catenary allows light to permeate through, projecting colour on the interior of the courtyard.

Subtly emphasizing on the peculiarities of each, the installation invokes a coherent effect as it stands juxtaposed against the arches.


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