BD Barcelona Design Gallery

BD Barcelona Design Gallery

Barcelona, Spain
Galeries d'art

BD Barcelona Design Gallery

BD Barcelona Design en tant que Fabricants.

If Barcelona’s prolific design culture could be contained within four walls, it would have a new address. BD Barcelona Design’s new showroom gallery occupies a former industrial warehouse in 22@, Barcelona’s emerging creative and district. But what is the essence of BD?

When BD was established, back in 1972, Barcelona was a very different place. It had endured almost four decades of repression under Franco’s dictatorship, and creativity in the city had reached boiling point. A local movement named the ‘Gauche Divine’ (or Divine Left) responded, and revolutionised all forms of the arts, design included. BD was created by Studio Per, a group comprising Pep Bonet, Lluís Clotet, Cristian Cirici, Mireia Riera and Oscar Tusquets. These five architects later became progenitors of contemporary Catalan design, but were also responsible for creating one of the first and most successful companies to promote local design both within the region and to the rest of the world. In the late seventies, the company moved to the Casa Thomas, a sumptuous modernista edifice commissioned by a publishing company at the turn of the 20th century.

The choice spoke volumes about the company’s (by now well-defined) philosophy: the conjunction of traditional values and non-conformity, which echoed the symbolic Catalan traits of rauxa (unconventionality) and seny (common sense). For the next two and half decades, BD edited and sold furniture and domestic objects signed by Mackintosh, Antoni Gaudí and Salvador Dalí, alongside the best in international design, and more utilitarian elements such as door handles and bathroom taps. This prolific period produced such icons as the ‘Varius’ chair and ‘Buzones’ letterbox and many other objects that feature in Barcelona’s world-renowned urban landscape. Embracing a new era in which digitalisation and democratisation have transformed modern design, BD is now fully committed to focussing on its own production.

The new BD showroom-gallery is a minimalist backdrop for its catalogue, which is fitting because, after nearly 40 years, the company’s in-house collection has consolidated into an enormously varied yet defining compendium of predominantly Spanish design classics, both historic and contemporary. After crossing a patio, adorned with Alfredo Häberli’s ‘Bancos Suizos’, the display opens respectfully with Gaudí’s masterfully carved wooden chairs, before moving onto to the Surrealist fantasies of Dalí; joyful, almost cinematic armchairs and cabinets from Jaime Hayon’s ‘Showtime’ collection; Ross Lovegrove’s hypermodular ‘BDlove’ furniture; and Konstantin Grcic’s aerodynamic dining tables, to name a few. Around them smaller pieces such as Eduard Samsó’s ‘Mirallmar’ mirror, and Pep Bonet’s umbrella stand, attest to the company’s belief that intelligently conceived design has the capacity to enhance and transform everyday functions. But BD has never rested on its laurels. It has continually generated ideas and sought debate, welcomed both the public and professionals to its domain, encouraged experimentation and promoted young talent.

The new showroomgallery aims to continue in this vein. It will act as a dynamic meeting point for Spain’s design community, make its collection available to be viewed (and purchased) by the public at large, and celebrate craftsmanship, luxury and that wondrous human capacity to imagine, innovate and create.

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