Healthy architecture, open spaces, social distancing, antibacterial surfaces and textiles and proper ventilation have been some of the most frequently heard terms over the last year, in the midst of a pandemic that has led to a profound reflection on aspects that were quite often antonyms, now capable of coexisting in harmony and generating spaces geared towards co-existence and well-being. Bringing together natural and built, exterior and interior, public and private, rational and emotional, uncertainty and certainty, which did not go amiss at the 40th edition of Arco Madrid.
A year and a half after it was last held, the International Contemporary Art Fair once again brought together galleries, collectors, professionals and the general public in Madrid, in an edition marked by Covid-19 and that responds to the current situation. Bringing together the latest artistic proposals, the spatial design of Burgos & Garrido Arquitectos is a reflection of the change undergone by many environments and even by the city itself, where collective spaces and hybrid uses have taken on particular relevance.
With great flexibility and versatility, which is in contrast to the rigidity that has characterised this past year, new spaces cast doubt on old ways, in favour of reinventing them. Homes converted into offices and schools, hotels and restaurants reinvented as co-working spaces, outdoor areas transformed into places to meet up and socialise, where maintaining social distancing is possible, or closed spaces that recreate open environments, are some examples of the tremendous ability of human beings to adapt.
Disciplines such as art and design, quite often valued solely for their aesthetic value, have positioned themselves as important tools, capable of influencing the mood of those who enjoy them. How they are used and whether or not natural elements, light and colour, are incorporated, can result in much more people-centric spaces and which, much more than being just places, create atmospheres and generate experiences.
This current global pandemic inspired the VIP Lounge, this year designed by Studio Animal, Gonzalo Del Val and Toni Gelabert based on three criteria: safety, the trade fair context and 'exteriorism'. With the same materiality as the rest of the fair, the Lounge beckons through the 'Way out' - where it gets its name from - for hope and a new beginning as well as a natural 'open' space inside the fair. Flexible and organic, its design transforms the rigidity imposed by social distancing into an opportunity, through two opposing and complementary spaces: the main one, tinged with the characteristic reddish tones of the sunset and with 100 birch trees arranged on a 3x3-metre grid that recreate an enveloping dreamlike forest, and another one next to it, in blue and mustard tones, inspired by the night.
Just like last year, Actiu, along with other brands from the Leading Brands of Spain Forum (FMRE) such as Enea, Estiluz, Inclass, Joquer, Kristadecor, Lladró, LZF, Naturtex and Ondarreta, took part in designing this Lounge, where Spanish art and design co-exist with a new way of looking at space and nature.
The great versatility and infinite number of configurations of the modular armchairs and Bend tables, which foster socialising while enhancing the natural character; the cosy and elegant design of Noom 10 and Noom 20, which encourages communication and transmits well-being; the lightness of the Tabula tables and Wing chairs; or the great compositional freedom allowed by the side tables from the Agile collection, play their part in creating a unique experience that connects nature with the interior space. Functional and flexible pieces, with which Actiu responds to a constantly evolving Hospitality industry that demands adaptable furniture that can be used indoors and outdoors alike, while making it easy to quickly change its layout if need be.
Conceived to highlight the importance of outdoor furniture that, until recently, has been sidelined, 'Way out' opted for pieces with a very clear and powerful volumetry, perfectly defined and, at the same time, integrated into a landscape that they themselves create. A space where nature, art and design come together to highlight the role that these places, that foster well-being and calm, play in improving people's life quality and the progressive 'way out' of the pandemic.
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