This Camper shop in Barcelona faces the Plaza Catalonia. In this project, Kengo Kuma & Associates renewed the space with vaulted ceramic plates which were used as the formwork of floor slabs. This was a revolutionary method of construction developed in Catalonia; previously, floors had been supported by wooden beams. The ground-breaking concept of this Catalan vault was a great inspiration for Gaudi.
ImagenSubliminal (Miguel de Guzman + Rocio Romero)
The architects were interested in the idea of displaying each item separately, with their own space, bringing more attention to the products. For that, they thought of a niche system composed by tile-like ceramic elements. Both Japan and Spain have a long tradition of using this architectural element, but in very different ways: roof tiles in Japan are glazed and shiny, while those in the Mediterranean leave the material naked, exposing its texture. The project was an opportunity for the architects to explore this difference.
These ceramic elements have an elemental shape. Through their repetition in the space, they create complexity. They become the walls, shelves, the staff counter, and the customers’ benches; there is no other presence in the space besides these very simple ceramic elements. The architects embraced the use of this traditional material and found new ways to craft, shape, and combine its units, creating different architectural elements that help solve the needs of contemporary life.
Courtesy Kengo Kuma & Associates
DATE: 2018 / LOCATION: Barcelona, Spain / AREA: 80 m2 / PROGRAM: Retail / STATUS: Built / AUTHOR: Kengo Kuma & Associates / PARTNERS IN CHARGE: Kengo Kuma, Javier Villar Ruiz / TEAM: Jaime Fernandez Calvache (PM), Nicola Maniero, Ludovica Cirillo, Kimio Suzuki (visualizations) / CLIENT: Camper / CONTRACTOR: Norden GSE, S.L.U. / LIGHTING DESIGNER: Viabizzuno / CERAMIST: Ceramica Cumella / PHOTOS: ImagenSubliminal (Miguel de Guzman + Rocio Romero)