Design Museum of Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona Design Museum (Catalan: Museu del Disseny de Barcelona), is a new center of Barcelona’s Institute of Culture, which works to promote better understanding and good use of the design world, acting as a museum and laboratory. It focuses on 4 branches or design disciplines: space design, product design, information design and fashion.

The Design Museum of Barcelona is a museum that opened in December 2014, depending on the Institute of Culture of Barcelona, which originates from the integration of the collections of the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Museum of Ceramics, the Textile and Clothing Museum and the Graphic Arts Office. The museum is located in the Design Hub Barcelona building, in Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, sharing its headquarters with the Foment de les Arts i del Disseny (FAD) and the Barcelona Center de Disseny (BCD), two pioneering institutions in the promotion and development ofdesign in Catalonia.

The Museum is the result of the merging of several previous existing museums, such as the Museu de les Arts Decoratives, the Museu Tèxtil i d’Indumentària and the Gabinet de les Arts Gràfiques collection. The opening of the new headquarters, located on Plaça de les Glòries, next to Torre Agbar, was set gradually during 2014.

Origins (1888)
Barcelona has been a city historically linked to design since the Universal Exhibition of Barcelona (1888) and the use of the pavilions as the seat of the first art museums in the city from 1891. In 1902 it opened the Art Museum. Decorative and Archeological in the building of the old arsenal of the Ciutadella and in 1903 began to walk the Foment of the Decorative Arts. During the twentieth century various museums institutions related to the world of design were created in the city. Unlike other museums, of royal and sumptuary origin, a large part of the funds from these museums started in Barcelona were the donations of Barcelona’s collectors, companies, and creators. All of these museums are currently in the process of being merged to create the future Barcelona Design Museum.

Museum of Decorative Arts (1932)
The Museum of Decorative Arts, opened in 1932 at the Royal Palace of Pedralbes, had a rich and diverse representation of European decorative arts, from the Middle Ages to industrialization. His collections consisted of a large collection of industrial design and decorative arts objects, including cabinets, carriages, furniture, wallpaper, watches, dressers, tapestries and glass. The collection of the Museum of Decorative Arts gradually expanded. The museum often acted as a lever, or as an embryo, for other local design-related museums, which were created in the city during the 20th century.

In 1995 the Museum of Decorative Arts expanded its temporal scope with the incorporation of design, becoming the first and only museum in the whole state to conserve and exhibit Spanish industrial design. Its product design collection has a very significant national representation, both for the number of objects and for the authors represented and constantly growing.

Cabinet of Graphic Arts (1942)
The Graphic Arts Office was opened in 1942 in Poble Espanyol. It was a small museum dedicated to the design of visual communication. The Cabinet ‘s collections included significant samples of typography (punches, engraving dies, calcographic plates) and printed, ranging from binding to packaging and labels or posters. This space was later closed and the collection kept at the Pedralbes Royal Palace Reservations, awaiting the final headquarters of the DHUB building.

Ceramics Museum (1966)
Founded in 1966, the Ceramics Museum has been housed in the Palau de Pedralbes since 1990. The permanent collection presented the most significant works of Spanish ceramics that stood out for their uniqueness and artistic value. This ceramic heritage is the result of the preservation of archeological remains and the collection of civil society. Highlights include the medieval pieces of the Almohad period, the Mudejar productions of Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia, the Hispanic-Moorish earthenware of Paterna and Manises, the polychrome tiles and tiles of the Golden Age, and the Rococo de Alcora period units. and the creations of contemporary artists.

Textile and Clothing Museum (1982)
The Textile and Clothing Museum was officially established in 1982, but was also the result of the amalgamation of three previously existing museums / collections (the Textile Museum of the Old Hospital of the Holy Cross)., the Museum of the Ends located in the Palace of the Virreina, and the Museum of Clothing-Collection Rocamora in the Palace of the Marquess of Lyons). In 1982, the three referenced Museums merged into one: the Textile and Clothing Museum.

This new Textile and Clothing Museum had a collection of objects related to the ornamentation of the human body: clothing, jewelry, accessories and accessories, as well as a rich textile collection, from Coptic fabrics to textiles. industrial. Noteworthy collections of lace, embroidery, liturgical clothing and tapestries. With regard to the collection of clothing, the Museum allowed a historical tour of the fabric, from the sixteenth century to the present. The Museum’s collections included Coptic, Hispanic, Gothic and Renaissance fabrics, as well as embroidery, a lace section and prints. Also worth mentioning is the collection of jewelry, made up of about 500 pieces made and produced in Spain.

In 1993, the Textile and Clothing Museum inaugurated a new permanent exhibition of the historical collection of fabrics and clothing, and since 2003 the exhibitions there have been dedicated to proposals. related to the culture of fashion.

As of December 2014, all of this heritage is part of the Barcelona Design Museum. Its legacy of textiles (and fashion photography) is divided between the Textile Arts and Historical Clothing Collection, and the Fashion Design Collection, with the jewels becoming part of the Decorative Arts.

Barcelona Design Museum (2014)
At the end of the 20th century, the City Council set out to create a single center, an integral space that allowed the public to understand design in its broadest consideration. It was decided to build a space where all the Barcelona collections and heritage funds related to the world of design were located, and Oriol Bohigas was commissioned to build a building in Plaça de les Glòries. It was originally called the Barcelona Design Museum.

For a few years the museum project and the building were given the same name, Disseny Hub Barcelona (DHUB). The aim of the project then was to create a center dedicated to promoting the understanding and good use of the world of design, acting as a museum, center and laboratory. The project focused on 4 disciplines in the world of design: Space Design, Product Design, Information Design and Fashion Design. It wanted to become a meeting point or nucleus of a network formed by people and institutions linked to the world of design that will share relevant information related to the sector. The aim was to stimulate both research and economic activity linked to the world of design, using both equity and a continuous analysis of the present of the world of design. During this period the museum was divided into 2 spaces in the city of Barcelona, the DHUB (Calle de Montcada, 12) and the DHUB Museums in the Royal Palace of Pedralbes (Avenida Diagonal, 686).

With the new direction taken by Pilar Vélez in 2012, the project changed course and the concept of the building (Disseny Hub Barcelona) was separated from the museum (Museu del Disseny de Barcelona). The new discursive line is focused on generating discourse from the decorative arts to design and contemporary applied arts. The new museum opened on December 13, 2014 and had open days until January 31, 2015. The new museum has more than 70,000 decorative, designed and artistic objects resulting from the integration of the four collections.

Edificio Disseny Hub Barcelona
The Design Museum has its final in the Disseny Hub Barcelona building, in Plaça de les Glòries. It is a building designed by the MBM arquitectes team, formed by Josep Martorell, Oriol Bohigas, David Mackay, Oriol Capdevila and Francesc Gual. The building was begun in July 2009, when the then Minister of Culture Joan Manuel Tresserras and then mayor Jordi Hereu they put the first stone. The museum officially opened on December 14, 2014. The building has two parts: one underground, which takes advantage of the change of level caused by the remodeling of the square, and another that emerges above the level of the street, with a parallelepiped shape.

Lower building
The denser activities, such as the main exhibition hall, reservations, research and teaching, high-traffic services, will be located on two floors and an mezzanine. The natural illumination and the relation with the outside, in spite of being a cellar, will be obtained with the pit produced by the difference of levels, reinforced with the water laminareflective, a kind of large English yard. This lighting will be reinforced with six skylights that will emerge in the public space and that can be used as showcases of the contents and the activities of the Center. At the same time, the roof of the underground floor is a public space, which is upholstered with a green carpet made of natural or artificial elements that guarantee sustainability and easy maintenance. A lake is also installed, which is used to relate the different levels of the building. Outside, inside the water surface is also a work of the artist Madola dedicated to Trinidad Sánchez-Pacheco, director of the old Museum of Ceramics in Barcelona. The new headquarters opened in 2014, following a relocation process.

Upper building
According to the planning, it will occupy the minimum floor space so as not to reduce the space for public use. It will be cantilevered to the square, thus allowing the planned building. The whole of the two bodies that will make up the center will be entered through a single hall with double access: at level +7 m., From Avila street, and at level +14,5 m., From the square. This lobby will be a kind of street or public square – or semi public – almost a passageway to connect Plaça de les Glòries, Poblenou and the metro station.and the possible exchanger. From this semi-public square you will reach all the services located in the basements and, through a system of stairs, escalators and elevators, to all the upper floors, of different dimensions and characteristics, but forming a continuous unit until to reach the conference room. The exterior of the building uses only two materials: metal plates (zinc or aluminum) and glass, so that, as a whole, it has an industrial look with metallic reflections.

The Disseny Hub Barcelona building provides a high degree of environmental quality, sustainability and energy sufficiency. The building has the highest possible rating of sustainability (classification A). The most important chapters can be identified: passive sustainability (materials and structure of the massive and glazed facades, storage and treatment of waste, pre-industrialized systems, sun protection and insulation, etc., within the criteria of the Environmental Quality Guarantee Badge of the Generalitat and the EU Ecolabel), sanitation (separation network for rainwater reuse), plumbing (control of minimum consumption and flow regulation, solar collectors for hot water production for a minimum of 70 %), air conditioning (high performance air-cooled cooling plants, low noise and noise protection, heat recovery in cooling plants, natural gas boilers, free cooling when outdoor conditions allow,latent heat recovery in air extraction), electricity (low consumption, presence detectors, timed testers, photovoltaic panels for direct use of solar energy), centralized management of all installations.

Permanent exhibitions
From single object to product design
It is the permanent exhibition of the Museum of Decorative Arts, presented through a chronological tour divided into two parts. In the first, with 297 objects, the evolution of object arts from the Romanesque period to Romanticism is explained, continuing with the evolution of product design since the Industrial Revolution, with an emphasis on Catalan designs. You can see bridal boxes, beds, chairs, dressers, dishes, fans or watches, among others. The second part of the exhibition shows, with 442 pieces, a representation of the evolution of industrial design in Spain.

The body dressed
The exhibition, made in part with the collection of the Textile and Clothing Museum, analyzes how, throughout history, clothing has affected and modified the image of the human body, all compressing or releasing it depending on moral, social and aesthetic of each time. The exhibition is complemented by a selection of graphic material (photographs, vintage engravings…) The exhibition was named one of the 116 tourist icons in Catalonia, a compilation of the most representative symbols of Catalan identity carried out by the Agency Catalan Tourism, the General Directorate of Tourism and Crafts Catalonia of the CCAM, the Promotion of Decorative Arts(FAD), the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) and the Institute of Catalan Studies (IEC). 9

The Royal Bedrooms
Alfonso XIII’s chamber, the antechamber and the chamber of Victoria Eugenia form the Royal Bedrooms of the Royal Palace of Pedralbes. Recently restored, they were built between 1919 and 1924 by the architects Eusebi Bona and Francesc Nebot to welcome the King and his family in their brief and sporadic stays in Barcelona. When the Museum of Decorative Artsopened in 1932, the royal bedrooms were integrated into the exhibition route, once the alfonsina monarchy had fallen. They were shown to the public as they had been left in exile by their former occupants, largely respecting the mural decoration and the existing furniture in the three chambers. Despite several political regime changes suffered throughout the 20th century (monarchy, republic, civil war, dictatorship, monarchy), the rooms still retain their original stamp, left by the Barcelona aristocrats who decorated these spaces to their liking, and who paid for the cost of this furniture with their own resources. The decoration of the royal bedrooms was conceived with clearly historicist parameters, under the baton of a conservative Barcelona aristocracy and rooted in the past.

Other headquarters

Housing 1/11 of the Casa Bloc
Housing 1/11 of the Casa Bloc (1932-1939) is a floor-museum managed by the Disseny Hub Barcelona. Inside you can visit the structure and the original appearance of the floors of this architectural ensemble, a reference of the architecture of houses for workers of the time of the Second Spanish Republic. The opening of this space as a floor-museum is a recognition of the work of Josep Lluís Sert, Josep Torres Clavé and Joan Baptista Subiranaand the innovation that came from its approach in the 30’s. The apartment-museum of the Casa Bloc, Housing 1/11, is open to all audiences, with a guided tour arrangement by reservation, from the month of March 2012. It is a duplex measuring 60 m² and is located in block 2, floor 1, door 11, of the architectural complex of Casa Bloc. The internal distribution is very simple and clearly differentiates between day and night.

The Catalan architects of the time of the Second Republic, gathered around the Group of Catalan Architects and Technicians for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture (GATCPAC), opted for urbanism that proposed another way of life: fairer., committed to coexistence and an advocate of collective identity. The Casa Bloc had to be a first step in dignifying workers’ housing. However, the outcome of the Civil War disrupted the project and ended the authenticity of its idea.

Documentation Center
The Design Museum Documentation Center is a consulting and research space specialized in decorative arts and design (graphic, industrial, textile, spaces, fashion and services). It aims to gather and preserve information and documentation related to all these matters, to disseminate and put it at the service of professionals and researchers, with the aim of providing support for the study, research, creation, reflection, processes of innovation and specialized criticism. It has its origin in the libraries of the Textile and Clothing Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Museum of Ceramics and the Graphic Arts Office. Throughout its history, it has been the subject of significant donations from individuals and institutions such as the Library for the Promotion of Arts and Design (FAD), the Barcelona Center de Disseny (BCD), the Association of Art Directors of Graphic Designers (ADG FAD), the Industrial Designers Association (ADI FAD), etc. The center has a consultation room with more than 60 reading points. It was inaugurated at the headquarters of the Barcelona Design Museum in April 2014.

Bibliographic collections
The initial bibliographic collection of the Documentation Center is made up of more than 20,000 documents, published between the 16th century and the present. 1,600 of them are before 1950. They originate from the old libraries of the Textile and Clothing Museum, the Museum of Ceramics and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Barcelona, as well as those of the Graphic Arts Office of Barcelona and of the BCD (Barcelona Design Center).

Of particular note, due to its uniqueness and excellent state of preservation, is the old bibliographic collection of the Textile and Clothing Museum, coming for the most part from two major donations: The legacy of Carmen Gil, Countess of Vilardaga, and the donation by Manuel Rocamora i Vidal.

Most of the bibliographic collections are in the consultation room and are freely accessible. The most valuable, oldest and least consulted documents are in a repository inside the Museum building.

The center has more than 100 subscriptions to specialized magazines and an outstanding historic newspaper library.

Documentary holdings
One of the main aims of the center is to collect documentary collections of professionals, institutions and companies, who can provide original documentation on the objects that are part of the museum’s collections, as well as their context and their processes of creation, dissemination, sale and use.

Some of the documentary holdings preserved are:

ADI FAD Fund. It collects the funds of the Association of Industrial Designers of the Promotion of the Decorative Arts(ADI FAD) (1957- 2007). The archive contains documentation generated by the association in its daily activities, both in its management and in its operation. Includes documentation related to its administration (founding events, assemblies, partners, reports, participation in international organizations, etc.), information management (archives, computer system, etc.), external relations (public events, relations with other public and private entities, etc.), human resources management, financial resources management, heritage management (movable and immovable property), legal matters, promotion of industrial design (exhibitions, conferences, publications, etc.) and services to associates (mailing lists, job boards, newsletters, etc.).
Fund Rigalt, Granell and Cía. Includes documentation from the Rigalt, Granell & Cia stained glass workshop. The documentation testifies to the work of this centenary workshop, which was in operation from 1890 to 1984. It is an archive with very diverse documentation on the artistic and technical part of this workshop, most important of the Modernist period. with works for the Palau de la Música Catalana, the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau i Sant Pau or the Casa Lleó Morera, among many others. The company worked with architects such as Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Lluís Muncunill, Josep Puig i Cadafalch orGeroni Granell. The documentation testifies to the work of this centenary workshop, which ran from 1890 to 1984, going through various social reasons and changes in the membership of the founding members, although it was always in the hands of the Granell family.. This archive contains accounting documents, drawings, sketches, inventories, advertising catalogs and photographs from the stained glass workshop. The highest number of documents preserved is the sketch, around five hundred, between drawings of stained glass and acid glass. Thanks to these drawings, a journey through the artistic trends of the last hundred years in the field of artistic stained glass can be made today. There are drawings of pre-modernist, modernist, noucentista, art deco… until the abstract trends typical of the 80’s.Les Vitraux de Paris (c. 1900), Aus der Deutschen Glasmalerei de Berlin (1901) or Religiöse Malerein für Kirchedekoration of Vienna (1907), photographs of the company and, above all, folders with original drawings and sketches.
Montaner y Simon Collection. Compilation of accounts books from the activity of the Catalan publisher Montaner y Simón, which describe the period between 1868 and 1934.