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Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona

In association with J.LL. Sert, Jackson Associates, J. Anglada y D. Gelabert

Joan Miró promoted the creation, in Barcelona, of a centre that would be an outlet for contemporary art and at the same time house the important collection of works of art that he had donated to the city of his birth. In this initiative he involved his friends, such as Joan Prats and Joaquim Gomis, as promoters, and especially Josep Lluís Sert, to whom he had entrusted his studio in Mallorca and whose buildings that the architect had built for the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence he so admired.

For this reason, he asked him to plan the property that had to house the headquarters of his collection, which had to have exhibition rooms, a library, archive centre and auditorium, and had to be placed on land given by the City Council, on Montjuïc mountain, with privileged views over the city. Sert accepted the challenge and once again asked the team of Anglada, Gelabert and Ribas for their collaboration to develop the project, direct the works and urbanise the area around the building.

Like the Fondation Maeght, in this building contributions from the Modern Movement and from popular Mediterranean architecture coincide, something made very clear in the structure and the white reinforced concrete walls, and also in the paved ground with terracotta tiles. All in all, the most characteristic elements of this work are the double-height skylights, the ribbed ceilings and the route around some inner courtyards that light up the rooms and corridors that connect them. Instead of creating a single environment sub-divided into rooms, as in classical museums, Sert and his collaborators planned a series of isolated spaces distributed on a single floor, which enabled different subjects and authors to be presented independently.

In terms of quality and design, the Fundació Joan Miró building received the 1979 prize of honour from the American Institute of Architects

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