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Alfredo Arribas

Barcelona, 1954

Alfredo Arribas

Having been a key player in the design boom of pre-Olympic Barcelona, Alfredo Arribas wanted to get away from the fame of those years by working prolifically elsewhere in the world. His projects have earned him international prestige as an architect and designer.

Alfredo Arribas, born in 1954, graduated in architecture in 1977 in Barcelona. His name is strongly linked to the city, as his architectural projects have been positively valued and have contributed to build the city's new modern identity. He was, together with Javier Mariscal, Juli Capella and Quim Larrea, one of the main figures of Barcelona's design fever in the late 80's. Many restaurants, bars and clubs interiors can account for it.

In 1986, Arribas set up the Alfredo Arribas Arquitectos Asociados studio. Some of their architecture and interior design projects are: the Network Café (1987, FAD interior design award); the enlargement of the Museo de la Ciencia in 1988; the pubs Las Torres de Ávila in Barcelona (1990) and Gran Velvet in Badalona(1993). Some of their more recent works are: the Moll d'Espanya and Maremagnum (2000); the pavilion Montjüic and the Musicarium in Badalona (2002), The B house in Premià de Dalt (2003, Maresme Architecture Triennial Award in 2004), the new headquarters of the company Ermenegildo Zegna (Sant Quirze del Vallès, 2005), the B-Hotel (Barcelona, 2005); and, currently, the enlargement project for the Fundació Puigvert at the Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona.

Tired of being classified as a «pub designer», Arribas decided to develop his professional career and reach beyond Barcelona 92's commotion. The thorough care he conferred to detail, much criticized in Spain, provided him a great deal of work in other countries. "We were invited to carry out a Museum of Music in France, and to reorganize the town-planning of some streets in Vienna, the Schwarzenbergplatz, inaugurated in June 2004, for which we used lighting elements and changes in the pavement. Thanks to our devotion for meticulous work, we also won the competition for the Smart centers in Europe. We designed them as if they were a car dispenser machine, only changing the scale. Even nowadays we are interested in looking at buildings in a different way," said Arribas once in an interview.

Alfredo Arribas is nowadays an internationally renown architect. In fact, he has planed buildings in Germany, Italy, China, Belgium, France and, particularly, in Japan. There, Arribas has built from a Spanish Contemporary Arts Museum (Takamatsu, 1993) to several leisure centers and stores. Among his major international projects, we may also stand out: the Smart sales points; the Seatstadt pavilion at the Autostadt, the Car city (Wolfsburg, 2000); the Felisia turistic and cultural center, where the first Ima movies theater in Italy was installed (Castellaneta Marina, 2003). He has also worked recently with Torres Elías on the remodeling project of the Brindisi waterfront, among other major projects.

As an industrial designer, most of his pieces share the universal fame of his buildings: the Pila series of table and chairs (1995), edited by Santa & Cole, is particularly appreciated for its piling capacity and lightness; The Una aluminium casting chair can be seen in some of the best terraces in Europe (1995); the Jane Greystoke chair (1989) that stands out for its shape and name, that recalls of the wilderness; the Copa stool (1995), a classic piece in clubs from the beginning and a piece that inspired in 2002 the Vienna Streetlamp, a remake of the classic light balloon, edited by Santa & Cole in 2003; and the Tornasol lamps series (2004), one of his latest creations, a tribute to Scandinavian lighting.

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