"The radical character of RCR's work wishes to spark extreme sensory experiences without giving up its commitment to the features of the place." Richard Ingersoll
RCR, (Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta) often mentioned as the “Magos de lo natural – Magicians of Nature”, are based in Olot - a Pre-Pyrenean region in Catalonia, full of inactive volcanoes and scenic landscapes. Their architecture combines romantic rupture with rationality and in no more than two decades they have produced works using a unique language that blends the romantic desire to harmonize with nature and the search for beauty through refined details and geometry.
There are quite a few traces of their artistic interventions. A favourite one is La Lira, a Pedestrian Bridge and Public Space in Ripoll, Spain - a project realized in collaboration between RCR Arquitectes and the architect Joan Puigcorbe which in 2003 obtained 1st Prize in a competition organized by the Ajuntamiento de Ripoll (City Council).
The most important contribution to the cultural and social context of Ripoll is that it has enabled a multipurpose space, “a stage” in which the people of Ripoll can appropriate and find the greatest diversity of uses.
In addition, the bridge created a direct and active passage towards the city. Apparently, it distinctly affected the movement of people by stimulating them to choose the specific bridge as the most preferable crossing.
Nevertheless, besides functionality it also provides an outstanding visual and spatial experience which leaves no one indifferent!
Arquitectes per l'Arquitectura. (Feb. 2012). Visita a La Lira amb Ramon Vilalta VSC. Vimeo. July 2012.
The project’s prevailing material is Cor-ten steel. Clearly, it supports one of the materials with which RCR like to work with but also the whole metallurgical tradition that existed in Ripoll known throughout Europe as the “Catalan Forge”.
Undoubtedly, steel is beautifully used through a multitude of hues transforming from a paving floor to a threshold and a roof. The vibrant sides of the structure are colonized with ivy and sparks of light. Merely poetry expressed in vacuum rhythms and light movements lead by the flow of the material.