The architect started by questioning the brief of the competition held in 2008 for the Museum of Climate in Lleida, where a container (museum/ building) with a steady temperature all year round (18°C to 24°C) was expected to communicate content (the weather) in a sequence of rooms. The counterproposal to the mayor (public promoter of the project) was to transform the climate itself at the point of the proposal, working with the four natural elements, dissolving the limits of the container.
By downgrading the artificial condition of the construction into something embedded in the environment, they were able to almost double the working area, building a park as part of the museum by optimizing soil movements and site operations. With this concept of change (transforming the container into the content) and the consequent elimination of artificial climate control systems, the construction budget was halved.
But this dissolution of the classic museum box as a container is hardly a dissolution of the physical quality of the architecture. On the contrary, the material reality of the project is extremely direct. The simplest, even the most ordinary, materials are used in such a way that they transform not only the construction’s skin but also its flesh.
Iron bars, brick, and concrete are delicate and powerful elements at the same time. The way the perforated brick allows for a view (and air and temperature) when perpendicular to the wall (ethereal) but becomes a mass as soon as you look along the wall (opaque), and the way the iron bars are gentle and firm—both foliage and fence— makes the building very physical and abstract at the same time. This is very rarely achieved in architecture.