written by:
photos by:
January 26, 2011

When the plane's wheels touched ground this morning at 7am, it was still dark in Barcelona. We, a motley crew of design-website editors, had just spent a long eight hours flying over the Atlantic with—horrors!—no wifi. Even though the sun was just rising as we sped away from the airport, we resisted the siren song of hotel beds and Internet clicking, and immediately embarked upon a rousing tour of Catalan architecture, art and design.

Our first stop was <a href="http://www20.gencat.cat/portal/site/PalauRobert?newLang=en_GB">Palau Robert</a>, a landmark Neo-classical mansion owned by the Government of Catalonia. On view was Delta Awards: 50 Years with Design 1960-2010, a showcase highli
Our first stop was Palau Robert, a landmark Neo-classical mansion owned by the Government of Catalonia. On view was Delta Awards: 50 Years with Design 1960-2010, a showcase highlighting excellence in the design and production of industrial objects in Spain. Left: Sketches by Alberto Lievore of his Rothko chair, which won a Delta award in 1981.
Photo by 
1 / 23
The exhibition was arranged in chronological order, with whole rooms dedicated to certain decades. An orange timeline ran the length of the show. Our group was lucky to be guided by Viviana Narotsky, president of the Industrial Design Assotiation-Promotio
The exhibition was arranged in chronological order, with whole rooms dedicated to certain decades. An orange timeline ran the length of the show. Our group was lucky to be guided by Viviana Narotsky, president of the Industrial Design Assotiation-Promotion of Arts and Design (ADI-FAD) and co-curator of the show.
Photo by 
2 / 23
In addition to the actual silver pieces, the molds for architect Oscar Tusquets' award-winning Oronda tea service were on view. Created for Alessi, the set won the Delta in 1983.
In addition to the actual silver pieces, the molds for architect Oscar Tusquets' award-winning Oronda tea service were on view. Created for Alessi, the set won the Delta in 1983.
Photo by 
3 / 23
Jose Antonio Coderch's suspension lamp, a frequently knocked-off piece, won the prize in 1957.
Jose Antonio Coderch's suspension lamp, a frequently knocked-off piece, won the prize in 1957.
Photo by 
4 / 23
I had no idea that Barcelona–based designer  <a href="http://www.dwell.com/slideshows/little-field-of-flowers.html">Nani Marquina</a> is the daughter of Rafael Marquina, who created this simple and beautiful oil decanter set in 1961. This is why it pays t
I had no idea that Barcelona–based designer Nani Marquina is the daughter of Rafael Marquina, who created this simple and beautiful oil decanter set in 1961. This is why it pays to walk around with an exhibition's curator!
Photo by 
5 / 23
<a href=http://www.emilianadesign.com/">Emiliana Design Studio</a> created this glass vitrine, and won the Delta, in 2005.
Emiliana Design Studio created this glass vitrine, and won the Delta, in 2005.
Photo by 
6 / 23
After the show, it was time for lunch. We headed to <a href="http://mercatsantacaterina.net/">Mercat de Santa Caterina</a>, one of Barcelona's oldest markets. It was redesigned by the late architect Enric Miralles and his wife, fellow architect Benedetta
After the show, it was time for lunch. We headed to Mercat de Santa Caterina, one of Barcelona's oldest markets. It was redesigned by the late architect Enric Miralles and his wife, fellow architect Benedetta Tagliabue, in 1997.
Photo by 
7 / 23
The interior of the restaurant at Mercat de Santa Caterina showcases the building's soaring roof line, massive beams, abundant natural light and near-floor-to-ceiling wood shelving.
The interior of the restaurant at Mercat de Santa Caterina showcases the building's soaring roof line, massive beams, abundant natural light and near-floor-to-ceiling wood shelving.
Photo by 
8 / 23
One of my favorite touches inside the restaurant—a wall of flowering herbs and other greenery.
One of my favorite touches inside the restaurant—a wall of flowering herbs and other greenery.
Photo by 
9 / 23
After lunch we marched a scant few steps to the residence of architect Benedetta Tagliabue, who along with her husband coaxed the building—which dates back hundreds of years—from a state of ruin into a magnificent and singular home. Her parrot serves as n
After lunch we marched a scant few steps to the residence of architect Benedetta Tagliabue, who along with her husband coaxed the building—which dates back hundreds of years—from a state of ruin into a magnificent and singular home. Her parrot serves as noisy watchman, surveying the entrance to the house. I caught this shot when he was in mid-lunge (I really thought he was going to peck my eyes out).
Photo by 
10 / 23
The very welcoming Benedetta Tagliabue, inside her double-height living room. The space is filled with books, objet d'arte, colorful and comfortable furniture, silk Fortuny lamps, and really, all manner of wonderful things. I hope to feature her residence
The very welcoming Benedetta Tagliabue, inside her double-height living room. The space is filled with books, objet d'arte, colorful and comfortable furniture, silk Fortuny lamps, and really, all manner of wonderful things. I hope to feature her residence in some length at a later date, so I'll only be including a few shots of her home.
Photo by 
11 / 23
By this time, after an amazing meal of fresh seafood and other Catalan delicacies, my sleep-deprived brain was begging for a nap. This cozy hammock space, underneath a graceful glass canopy, was beckoning to me. I resisted, but barely.
By this time, after an amazing meal of fresh seafood and other Catalan delicacies, my sleep-deprived brain was begging for a nap. This cozy hammock space, underneath a graceful glass canopy, was beckoning to me. I resisted, but barely.
Photo by 
12 / 23
I loved the utter simplicity and rustic charm of Tagliabue's outdoor "kitchen".
I loved the utter simplicity and rustic charm of Tagliabue's outdoor "kitchen".
Photo by 
13 / 23
After parting ways with Benedetta, we ventured into Barcelona's Gothic quarter to look for some wholesale fabrics and other finds. Along the way we passed this building, which had a delightful engraved-concrete facade that reminded me of <a href="http://w
After parting ways with Benedetta, we ventured into Barcelona's Gothic quarter to look for some wholesale fabrics and other finds. Along the way we passed this building, which had a delightful engraved-concrete facade that reminded me of this story. I didn't get a chance to find out any details on the building, but I plan to get more information tomorrow. Once I know more, I'll update this caption.
Photo by 
14 / 23
Next we headed to <a href="http://www.fundacionad.com/">Fundación Alorda Derksen</a>, an impressive and compact gallery dedicated to 21st century art. Owned by Manuel Alorda and his wife, Hanneke Derksen, the gallery is just above the family's outdoor fur
Next we headed to Fundación Alorda Derksen, an impressive and compact gallery dedicated to 21st century art. Owned by Manuel Alorda and his wife, Hanneke Derksen, the gallery is just above the family's outdoor furniture showroom, Kettal and is open to the public three days a week. Shown here is Damien Hirst's 2007 work, Oxiolinic Acid.
Photo by 
15 / 23
A Cesar Vallejo, 2007, by Barcelona sculptor Jaume Piensa.
A Cesar Vallejo, 2007, by Barcelona sculptor Jaume Piensa.
Photo by 
16 / 23
The Bob armchair, designed by Hella Jongerius for Kettal, recently won Wallpaper's 2011 "armchair of the year" award.
The Bob armchair, designed by Hella Jongerius for Kettal, recently won Wallpaper's 2011 "armchair of the year" award.
Photo by 
17 / 23
18 / 23
Another striking work—The Secret Life of Plants, 2001-02, by German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer.
Another striking work—The Secret Life of Plants, 2001-02, by German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer.
Photo by 
19 / 23
This winsome collection of miniatures was handmade by Patricia Urquiola, who used them as a starting point for her 2007 <a href="http://www.kettal.es/kettal/phtml/colecciones2.php?COLID=81&IdiomaWeb=ING&PHPSESSID=accf96d8a6685/">Maia collection for Kettal
This winsome collection of miniatures was handmade by Patricia Urquiola, who used them as a starting point for her 2007 Maia collection for Kettal.
Photo by 
20 / 23
Speaking of the <a href="http://www.kettal.es/kettal/phtml/colecciones2.php?COLID=81&IdiomaWeb=ING&PHPSESSID=accf96d8a6685/">Maia collection</a>, here's the real deal inside the Kettal showroom. It made quite the natural bedfellow for 3/3 Sacrificial Hear
Speaking of the Maia collection, here's the real deal inside the Kettal showroom. It made quite the natural bedfellow for 3/3 Sacrificial Heart, 2008, a huge and mesmerizing electric sculpture by Tim Noble and Sue Webster.
Photo by 
21 / 23
Next we headed to a private tasting room at the wine bar <a href="http://www.monvinic.com/">Monvinic</a>, where architect Alfredo Arribas (at left, showing a drawing that he created with artist Gregori Saavedra) held court. Arribas uncorked several wines
Next we headed to a private tasting room at the wine bar Monvinic, where architect Alfredo Arribas (at left, showing a drawing that he created with artist Gregori Saavedra) held court. Arribas uncorked several wines from his own vineyard, Portal del Priorat.
Photo by 
22 / 23
In addition to the delectable trio of wines we sampled, I loved the graphic style of his wine labels and accompanying literature. I will definitely be on the lookout for his wines upon my return to the States. <br /><br /><br /><br />After a long but abso
In addition to the delectable trio of wines we sampled, I loved the graphic style of his wine labels and accompanying literature. I will definitely be on the lookout for his wines upon my return to the States. After a long but absolutely amazing day touring Barcelona, we headed back to the hotel to rest up. Tomorrow we'll be visiting more architectural landmarks, beginning with Antoni Gaudi's La Perdrera, and dropping in on more architects, designers, artisans and other Barcelona design denizens. Until then.
Photo by 
23 / 23
Our first stop was <a href="http://www20.gencat.cat/portal/site/PalauRobert?newLang=en_GB">Palau Robert</a>, a landmark Neo-classical mansion owned by the Government of Catalonia. On view was Delta Awards: 50 Years with Design 1960-2010, a showcase highli
Our first stop was Palau Robert, a landmark Neo-classical mansion owned by the Government of Catalonia. On view was Delta Awards: 50 Years with Design 1960-2010, a showcase highlighting excellence in the design and production of industrial objects in Spain. Left: Sketches by Alberto Lievore of his Rothko chair, which won a Delta award in 1981.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016
amaroso40040
When a garage damaged by termites had to go, a studio emerges.
June 19, 2016