No Fear of Glass
‘No Fear of Glass’ was a site-specific intervention by Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis in the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona, from 20 December 2019 to 12 January 2020. Taking the title from the book about the Barcelona Pavilion by Josep Quetglas, the proposal explored the contrast between the request made to Mies van der Rohe to “not use too much glass” with the creative proposal of Sabine Marcelis herself, where glass is the key element, pushing the material to its limits.
Mies Van de Rohe and Lilly Reich experimented with materials to test their ideals of modernity. Marcelis similarly used experiments to create surprising applications based on the materiality and the profile of the Pavilion.
The exhibited pieces seemed to grow from the architecture itself. Two different materials meet, becoming sculptural yet functional furniture pieces. Eight chrome columns provide the structural support for the roof of the pavilion. Marcelis introduced a ninth mirrored-glass column that functioned as a light, blending in seamlessly with the architecture.
However, not only the solid architectural materials were extruded to become new objects but also the natural elements that are part of the pavilion’s design. In the water pond outside, a curved glass fountain seemed to be bending the water upwards, letting it spill over and go back down again.