Situated on the distant side of the forested hillcrest that overlooks Barcelona, the Arranz-Bravo Studio by Garcés – de Seta – Bonet Arquitectes is a tranquil, daylight-filled, introverted chamber of monolithic concrete set amongst trees on a sloping site. While it is intended as a space in which to make art, it actually creates, at the same time, a sort of environment that could also be seen to be highly suited for viewing art, thereby raising questions about the typological line that separates the two.
Numerous examples have taught us that art should be viewed under natural light, in simple spaces resembling the white cube, spaces that are silent and therefore conducive to contemplation, or to what Walter Benjamin called an attentive or concentrated gaze. In that regard, this pavilion-like building resembles a small art museum more than it does a messy artist’s studio. The building’s highly sculptural quality, achieved by means of the monolithic concrete materiality, as well as by the geometry of an asymmetrical roof opening carved out of a subtly distorted pyramidal roof by means of a single, angular cut, is also more typical of museums than artists’ studios.