DHUB, the design hub in Barcelona
The Museu del Disseny de Barcelona (DHUB) conserves huge holdings – more than 70,000 objects – the result of merging the collections of the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Museum of Ceramics, the Museum of Textile and Clothing and the Graphic Arts Cabinet.
The Museu del Disseny is located on the new Disseny Hub Barcelona building on Plaça de les Glories and it is scheduled to open its doors to public in spring 2014. Formerly housed at different sites and following different trajectories, the four collections – the cornerstone of the Museum – have now been brought together in a permanent home in a new building located in the modern district named 22@ in Barcelona, close to the famous Agbar Tower.
The building is the work of MBM Arquitectes, the architecture studio formed by Josep Martorell, Oriol Bohigas and David Mackay, together with Oriol Capdevila and Francesc Gual. The edifice is made up of two parts: one underground (which takes advantage of the slope created by urban development of the plaza) and another which emerges at 14.5 m (at the level of Plaça de les Glòries).The underground section made possible by the change in level caused by the reorganisation of the square; and a section at street level. It is in this, second, detached building that the permanent exhibitions will be housed, on four floors. The new premises provide the finest conditions for the conservation, restoration and exhibition of the Museum’s heritage.
Entrance to both parts or bodies that compose the DHUB headquarters is gained through a single vestibule with two points of access: one in Carrer d’Àvila and another in Plaça de les Glòries. Passage through this part of the building is almost inevitable, as it forms a kind of corridor connecting Plaça de les Glòries, the 22@ technological district and Poblenou. The building’s internal organisation is uniform and neutral, making the entire space flexible and adaptable to the inevitable functional changes that will come about with the passing of time.
The net floor area of the building amounts to 25,000 m2. A preliminary programme for use of the main spaces in these installations could be the following.
The Museu de les Arts Decoratives , whose heritage formed the basis for the establishment of the other museums as it grew, opened in 1932 in the Palau de Pedralbes. Its collections, unlike those of many other museums, royal and sumptuary in origin, are largely the result of donations from Barcelona collectors, businesses and artists. Since 1994, these holdings have included a collection devoted to industrial design. The DHUB is constantly expanding, this collection is outstanding, in terms of both the number of objects and the designers represented in it.
The design museum, organised around the theme “from the decorative arts to design”, is dedicated to the culture of the object, focusing on pieces that are often from the everyday, their design, manufacturing process, use and distribution, aesthetic and/or functional obsolescence and their transformation into museum pieces, all from a 21st-century perspective.
Exhibitions, lectures, workshops, activities, education services, publications, courses, etc., as well as an online presence that includes both the collections and the Documentation Centre (which contains more than 20,000 documents, including both books and archives devoted to different themes), will also help to encourage richer, more plural interpretations of design and to foster greater understanding of its influence on our lives. All information abour the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona (dhub) in its official website.
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