In the early 1960s, Joaquim Anson spent his time altruistically making wooden furniture in Mataró. His aim was to make reasonably priced furniture by bringing together professionals from different areas, a notable trend at the time. Architects, lawyers, administrators, managers and craftspeople worked together on different projects, drawing on communal practices and breaking with the hierarchical system of the dictatorship.
Following in the spirit of cheap housing, Joaquim Anson—who was neither an architect nor a builder—decided to build a summerhouse for his family. After buying a plot of land on the outskirts of a town in La Garrotxa, he set about building it on the basis that he could build a low-cost house using the bare materials necessary. He therefore designed a house where bricks would be used for both the structure and the furniture, which would form part of the brickwork. Economy of space was key. This building would be like a piece of furniture.
The 50 m2 house had a kitchen–dining room, a living room surrounded by a brick bench with cushions that served as a sofa and incorporated a fireplace—the only source of heating in the house—as well as a bathroom and three bedrooms: one double bedroom, one for his three sons, and one for his daughter. Given the small space, every nook and cranny was put to good use.
In 2013, Martí Anson decided to rebuild his father’s house. The result was a wooden construction that could be taken down and put up again in a question of days without any need for professional assistance. Anson’s building pays tribute to the anonymous builders who carried out projects to create simple, functional, reasonably priced buildings. Championing anonymous architecture is one of the goals of this project, which was presented for the first time at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2013.
It aims to honour the knowledge and expertise of local heritage, in the same way that national pavilions do at international universal expos, which represent a country’s ideas through the architectural form in which they are expressed. The summerhouse is therefore also a “Catalan pavilion” and takes on a certain political tone advocating an anonymous, cooperative way of doing things.
PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES AT THE PAVILION
Curator: Frederic Montornés
24 April 2014 at 7.30 pm
For the opening of ACT 29: Martí Anson. Catalan Pavilion, Anonymous Architect, a live concert by Marc Egea and Pol Ducable, who will provide the soundtrack to Martí Anson’s film Two Weekends.
8 May 2014 at 7 pm
Opening of Parergon, an exhibition of Rasmus Nilausen’s work.
3 June 2014 at 7 pm
On copies and ghosts. Recherche sur l’origine. Action based on the concept of copying and anonymity in architectural production from the perspective of home life, by MAIO.
19 June 2014 at 7 pm
Al voltant de. Talk by Josep Muñoz i Pérez on architectural furniture from the 1960s.
3 July 2014 at 7 pm
Extending the limits of a pavilion. Space intervention by Carme Torrent and Aimar Pérez Galí.
Martí Anson. After graduating in fine art, he worked as an architect (Bon dia, Sala Montcada, Fundació ”la Caixa”, 1999–2000 and L’apartament, Galeria Toni Tàpies, 2002), footballer (L’angoisse du gardien de but au moment du penalty, Iconoscope, Montpellier, 2001), film director (Walt & Travis, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, 2003), boat builder (Fitzcarraldo, Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona, 2004–2005), art thief (Mataró/Montréal, Circa Contemporary Art Space, Montreal, 2006) and brickie, building a copy of a building in the United States to help conserve local heritage (Martí and the Floor Factory, Lucky 7, Biennial Site Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2008). He has also worked as a haulier, trying to transport a factory from his hometown of Mataró to Lyon (Martí et la chocolaterie, Rendez-vous 09, 10th Biennale de Lyon, FRAC Rhône-Alpes) and painter, painting the walls of a gallery in the colours of two football teams and their scores (El preu dels colors, Galeria Toni Tàpies, 2009–2010). He also set up a chauffeur service in collaboration with Latitudes (Mataró Chauffeur Service, No Soul for Sale, Tate Modern, London, 2010) and worked to restore the furniture made by his father in Mataró in the 1960s (Joaquimandson, Meessen de Clercq Gallery, Brussels, 2011). He is currently working in the field of architecture by restoring a summerhouse designed by his father in the 1970s (Catalan Pavilion. Anonymous Architect, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2013). www.martianson.com
Photos: Luz Broto