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Ensamble Studio

Ca'n Terra: Architecture of the Earth – Virtual Exhibition

July 18–October 31, 2020

Ca’n Terra transforms an abandoned quarry in Menorca to make imaginative architectures about reading space, recycling landscape, and quarrying light.  The architects propose “a trip to the interior being of matter, and recognize the freedom with which it gives us spaces to live.”

This interactive virtual exhibition immerses viewers in three areas of the architects’ creative process from observation to materialization: Discovering (The Scan), Carving (The Action), and Living (The Atmosphere).  Initially, 3D laser scans “drew” the quarry’s interior in the darkness to precisely record its existing structure. Next, varied interventions, especially carving light, and then adding bare necessities, made the space habitable while preserving the “essential layers of time.”  Living in Ca’n Terra invites us to think about the essence of habitation and the direct relations between human actions and nature.

In the online virtual tour, we interact with these processes through on-site scans, maps, and spherical images. As we glide from room to room, virtual reality allows us to seamlessly explore by using hyperlinks to original-state images, construction images and videos, 3D scan “drawings”, texts, ambient/living videos with audio, time-lapses and high-res images of the present. It is through experiencing Ca’n Terra’s spaces that we immerse ourselves in an Architecture of the Earth, understand its properties and values, and reassess what comfort means.

We are pleased to present this experimental exhibition for audiences to contemplate nature and our futures beyond using the land as source for endless exploitation.

WATCH – Opening Celebration

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Ensamble Studio is a cross-functional team founded in 2000 and led by architects Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa. Balancing imagination and reality, art and science, their work innovates typologies, technologies and methodologies to address issues as diverse as the construction of the landscape or the prefabrication of the house. From their early works –Hemeroscopium House in Madrid or The Truffle in Galicia– to their most recent – Structures of Landscape in Montana or Ca’n Terra in Menorca–, every project makes space for experimentation aiming to advance their

Antón and Débora are committed to sharing ideas and cultivating synergies between professional and academic worlds through teaching, lecturing and researching: she is Ventulett Chair in Architectural Design at Georgia Tech and he is a Professor at MIT, where they co-founded the POPlab (Prototypes of Prefabrication Laboratory ) in 2012. Their work is extensively published in both printed and digital media, exhibited worldwide -Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum NYC 2019-20, Harvard GSD 2018, Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017, Venice Architecture Biennale 2010 and 2016, GA International Exhibitions 2016-2010 in Tokyo, MOMA NY 2015, amongst others- and awarded with international prizes. Their efforts to make theory and practice meet in their work has been recognized with the 2019 RIBA Charles Jencks Award.

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