Project: Casal Apartment
Designer: Mario Montesinos Marco
Location: Valencia, Spain
Area: 76 square feet
Photo Credits: Luís Beltrán
The theme of party culture and electronic music has had a great influence on my work, a culture deeply rooted in my city, Valencia. The “Disco space”, the subject of my graduation thesis, exemplifies that space that transports the user through a multi-sensory experience, through the creation of dreamlike and theatrical atmospheres, exceeding the limits of the physical. Illusory environments created by light and sound technologies, geometrical shapes and chromatism.
Architectural ideas that emerged in the 60s with Italian radicals, Cedric Price, or Constant. They already predicted a future in which the individual would be freed from the slavery of work by technology. A free, nomadic world, without distinctions between leisure and work, dedicated to creativity and learning. A “generic” world in which everything is possible. We are in a moment of similar characteristics, dealing with great ethical dilemmas that originate technological advances. The release of work seems to be a near reality, automation is an unstoppable fact. The present society becomes a great disco that celebrates diversity, creativity and active culture. I believe that architecture should be able to facilitate fantasies such as digital media, to experience altered spatial states, blurring the boundary between the digital and physical world.
The Casal apartment is located in the historic neighborhood of Ruzafa, next to the Parque Central in Valencia. With five rooms and a bathroom in its original distribution; It becomes a house composed of a collective space with the living room and kitchen, and a private space with two rooms and two bathrooms. The domestic space as a place of leisure and work, public and private space. On the vertical axis, the blue module divides the two scopes. On the horizontal axis, a platform with microcement pavement divides the rooms in each space, in contrast to the original hydraulic tile pavement. The conservation of the gallery, with outdoor space and laundry, allows double circulation.
Under the predictions about the end of human work, no longer treated as futuristic visions, the technified home and ultraconnected to the networks, exemplifies the dissolution of the limits between public and private, work and leisure, rest and action … The home becomes a pleasure machine, a dance floor, a studio, a bar, an office … A place of exhibition and transformation through the creation of theatrical environments and atmospheres that have a profound effect on users, questioning the limits between the real and the digital. The self-referenced space of projection and staging of the collectiveness and individuality. The total liberation of the domestic space.
It has been a great experience to project for a friend, an artist with whom I share similar aesthetic ideas and I felt free for design. Furthermore, we have experienced and enjoyed together the apartment both as a workspace and leisure space, while all the furniture and lighting objects have been produced. Made by local artisans, all pieces have been produced with glass, stone, iron and pvc. Prototypes designed for the Casal apartment a as an extension of the human body itself, not only capable of performing a certain function. I understand objects and design as capable of modifying the environment from their presence.
Disco space will exemplify this more open understanding of the world of design, not limited to the creation of everyday objects, but as an instrument to modify the user through experience. The design of the disco club has a great impact on the user behavior through the insertion of objects that stimulate the imagination or enable the action; Pop universe designs, colorful and playful environments, perforated and reflective surfaces. A type of space that in addition to its function basic, it focuses on the symbolic and the representational, on traditional psychological aspects in the culture.