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CATA:LAB Anarchist Live Broadcasting + 3D Printing Facility

Part 2 Project 2013
Ben Pipkin
Birmingham City University, UK
Catalonia’s imminent separation from Spain sparks a chain of events that lead to the cancellation of the La Sagrera railway station project, leaving an excavated scar in the heart of Barcelona’s dense urban fabric.

Members of the existing anarchist settlements of Can Masdeu and Poblenou migrate to the site and establish an autonomous community, constructing a new cultural centre for radio broadcasts and live music and arts performances.

Shaded from the heat of the sun by the canopy of the building, the anarchists excavate clay from the ground which through a process of refining, 3D printing, glazing and firing is used to produce ornamentally and functionally advanced architectural components, incorporating decoration, insulation and acoustic deflection into a single building element.

Over time, sections of the building are dismantled and replaced with more developed iterations. The discarded components are distributed within the growing anarchist network around the site and across Barcelona. In this way, Catalonia begins to establish its own architectural identity based around a critical approach to emerging manufacturing methods. A collaboration with British/South-African artist Jonathan Keep has allowed for the creation of technologically faithful scaled prototype components.

Ben Pipkin


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