Fontada

Olot
Photo © Roger Serrat-Calvó
Photo © José Hevia
Photo © José Hevia
Photo © José Hevia
Photo © José Hevia
Photo © José Hevia
Photo © José Hevia
Sardanes a les fonts de Sant Roc, Ramon Casas, 1901-02
Picture © José Hevia
Fonts de Sant Roc, Santiago Rusiñol, 1888
Instagram collection
Architects
unparelld'arquitectes
Address
Fuentes de Sant Roc, 17800 Olot
Year
2020
Cost
0 - 100K
Stories
Undisclosed
Client
Lluèrnia Associació Cultural
Team
Salvi Capellà, Casa Sol, Guerín Olot, Anaïs Masllorens (mezzosoprano), Marc Romero (pianista)
Structural Designer
Blázquez Guanter
Builder
Materials i Transports Coll, Narcís Salgueda Soy

With Xevi Rodeja + Clàudia Calvet

Three volcanic-stone terraces and rows of plane trees shape one of Olot's best public spaces: the fountains of Sant Roc. It is a damp, shady and cool spot, accompanied by the river and murmuring of the water. It is a wonderful solution for the border between the urban fabric and the natural environment and, paradoxically, is an infrastructure designed for water catchment, bridges and railways.

These types of places change their character depending on whether you visit them alone or in a group. They are spaces open to nature, albeit maintaining a somewhat urban feel, appropriate for solitary and contemplative walks. In parallel, they can host large-scale celebrations around the fountain – fontadas – such as parties, picnics and concerts. This duality is illustrated by contemporary paintings by Santiago Rusiñol and Ramon Casas.

Invited for the Lluèrnia Fire and Light Festival, we selected this space to highlight its role among the community.

One hundred and fifty light bulbs and their electric cables create a ballroom lamp, 8m high and with an 8m diameter, structured in three rings. It is suspended 3.5m above the ground, crowning a semicircular clearing defined by the main fountain and a row of slender trees. All components are reusable and the diffusers, thread-winding cones for textile machinery, are recycled.

The installation defines the twofold purpose of this site: it is adorned, celebrating its role as a community space for the city, while crafting an atmosphere conducive to introspective strolls. During the long winter nights and the pandemic, the light, like a magnet, has emitted its siren song for citizens to rediscover this unique public place. And not only discover it. Under the shelter of the lamp, the fountains have once again become the stage for endless spontaneous activities. By popular demand, the installation continues to be there today.

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