Lilly Reich Grant for equality in architecture

Fundació Mies van der Rohe launches the 2nd edition

by Cecilia Di Marzo
4 Love 2304 Visits


Marking the 135th anniversary of Lilly Reich’s birth (16 June 1885, Berlin), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s artistic partner in the conception and execution of the German Pavilion of Barcelona in 1929, Fundació Mies van der Rohe presents the 2nd edition of the Lilly Reich Grant for equality in architecture.

The grant, that bears the name of the pioneer of design and architecture in recognition to her legacy, relegated to a second place, if not non-existent, in the story and memory of architecture, aims to promote the study, dissemination and visibilisaton of contributions to architecture that have been unduly relegated or forgotten, made by professionals who have suffered discrimination because of their personal circumstances. It also seeks to promote equal acces to the practice of architecture everywhere.

On its first edition, the Grant was awarded to the research proposition Re-encatment: Lilly Reich’s work occupies the Barcelona Pavilion by Laura Martínez de Guereñu. Thanks to this research, the story of the Pavilion that we can explain from now on is more complete regarding the work of Lilly Reich.

The intervention that resulted from the first edition, which can be visited in the Pavilion until 15 July 2020, is a material response to the pervasive invisibility of Lilly Reich’s work. Re-enactment reconstructs two display cases, as the ones designed by Lilly Reich for the International Exposition of 1929 and transforms the spatial experience of the Pavilion in an unusual way, thus reclaiming its connection with Lilly Reich’s work on the Noucentista Palaces of Montjuïc. For the first time, the work of the german designer has been made visible through a historical and documental reconstruction that brings together letters, photographs, patents, blands, plans and projections, some of them unpublished, from different archives and private collections.

This new edition the grant, in its academic research modality, will once again focus on the study of Lilly Reich’s own work in order to continue deepening in the knowledge and dissemination of an essential figure in the history of modern architecture.

However, this year, the Fundació Mies van der Rohe widens the scope of the research field with the Lilly Reich Grant for Senior High School students research projects for high school students, which will promote the carrying out of curricular research projects dedicated to reversing the invisibilisations in architecture, both from a historical and a contemporary perspective. The granted proposals will be co-tutored by Fundació Mies van der Rohe and will be allowed to access the archive of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe.

To celebrate all these events related to the history and the legacy of Lilly Reich, the dancer and choreographer Toni Mira comes back to dance the new look in the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion forced by the striking transformation of the space by Laura Martínez de Guereñu's intervention. A danced visit that invites us to escape from the already infinite perspectives prior to the intervention to show those that were not possible before exclusively. 

In a 3-minute video, Toni Mira guides us through the transformed space of the Pavilion, the elements that transform it and what they contain. The camera always focuses on a new element, shots that would not have been possible without the intervention, and plays with the magic of transparencies, reflections and vanishing points that tempt us to inhabit the space and transcend its immobility with the movement of the body with music recovered from his old show "Mies".