A used suit incorporates the memory of its previous user; to start using it is always an exercise that requires confidence and time until you get to feel it as your own. Dressing “second hand” means introducing yourself into a discipline of adaptation and as architects, when we work with existing buildings to adapt them to a new use, our work has something similar to adapting a dress used before by others: you have to unstitch and so recognize the pattern used before, cut on one side to add on another, we may have to sew some pockets… and so on until the garment responds and identifies with the new user.
Under the title Second Hand we will present two projects of adaptive reuse: the Sala Beckett International Drama Center in Barcelona and the new Centre Variétés d’Expressions Citoyennes in Brussels, each one in its own way capable of opening a different dimension in the discipline of working with the existing.
Flores & Prats is an architectural studio founded by Eva Prats and Ricardo Flores in Barcelona in 1998, dedicated to the confrontation of theory and academic practice with design and construction activity. They have worked in rehabilitation of old structures for new occupations, in the design of public spaces with neighbour’s participation, as well as in social housing and its capacity to create community.
The work of Flores & Prats obtained among others the Grand Award in Architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts of London 2009, the City of Barcelona Award 2016, the City of Palma Award 2017, the AD Architects of the Year Award 2018 and the AR New into Old Award 2019. They have been nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Awards in several occasions, and exhibited in the last four editions of La Biennale di Venezia.
Eva Prats and Ricardo Flores are both Doctors of Architecture and Professors of Design Studio at ETSA Barcelona, RMIT Melbourne and ETH Zurich.