La Ricarda: An Architectural and Cultural Project
During her talk, Marita Gomis gave a unique perspective on the Casa Gomis, the iconic house that she grew up in with her four sisters and her brother. She discussed the design and construction of the house, the cultural activities it hosted, its relevance more than five decades after it was built, and the efforts (and challenges) to preserve this historic house.
La Ricarda or Casa Gomis, completed in 1963, is one of the key midcentury buildings in Spain. Located by the Mediterranean Sea in El Prat de Llobregat, a town 10 miles southwest of Barcelona, the house was commissioned by Ricardo Gomis and Inés Bertrand in 1949. Barcelona-born architect Antonio Bonet Castellana, who had trained with Le Corbusier and Josep Lluís Sert, designed the house while living in Buenos Aires, where he had emigrated from Paris after the start of the Spanish Civil War. Working closely with the clients via letters, Bonet designed every aspect of the building, from the overall organization to the materials, interior details, and furniture. The result was a spacious and harmonious house defined by an 8.8m x 8.8m grid of thin metal pillars and vaults, with connected but distinct areas for the different uses. The house was also designed with its natural surroundings in mind, blurring inside and outside, and paying special attention to the nearby pines, dunes, and water.
Besides its architectural merit, the house is also remarkable for the critical cultural role it played in Catalonia since its completion. The Gomis Bertrand family supported and welcomed to the house intellectuals and artists during Franco’s dictatorship in Spain. Organized by Club 49, a private association that promoted avant-garde cultural activities, which Ricardo Gomis belonged to, the house hosted many cultural activities, from concerts that benefited from its state-of-the-art sound system to dance performances and theater shows. It was a haven for artistic experimentation.
This talk accompanies the exhibition La Ricarda: An Architectural and Cultural Project organized by MAS Context and that will be on view October 12, October 19, and October 26 at Lawrence & Clark. For more information, please visit: www.mascontext.com/events/mas-context-fall-talks-2019/la-ricarda-an-architectural-and-cultural-project
This event was a partner program of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial.