MAS Context Fall Talks 2019
Marita Gomis

 

Marita Gomis, co-owner of the Casa Gomis / La Ricarda, lectured on Monday, October 14, as part of MAS Context’s 2019 Fall Talks series. The lecture took place at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts (4 West Burton Place, Chicago, IL 60610).

 

La Ricarda: An Architectural and Cultural Project

During her talk, Marita Gomis gave a unique perspective on the Casa Gomis, the iconic house that she grew up in with her four sisters and her brother. She discussed the design and construction of the house, the cultural activities it hosted, its relevance more than five decades after it was built, and the efforts (and challenges) to preserve this historic house.

La Ricarda or Casa Gomis, completed in 1963, is one of the key midcentury buildings in Spain. Located by the Mediterranean Sea in El Prat de Llobregat, a town 10 miles southwest of Barcelona, the house was commissioned by Ricardo Gomis and Inés Bertrand in 1949. Barcelona-born architect Antonio Bonet Castellana, who had trained with Le Corbusier and Josep Lluís Sert, designed the house while living in Buenos Aires, where he had emigrated from Paris after the start of the Spanish Civil War. Working closely with the clients via letters, Bonet designed every aspect of the building, from the overall organization to the materials, interior details, and furniture. The result was a spacious and harmonious house defined by an 8.8m x 8.8m grid of thin metal pillars and vaults, with connected but distinct areas for the different uses. The house was also designed with its natural surroundings in mind, blurring inside and outside, and paying special attention to the nearby pines, dunes, and water.

Besides its architectural merit, the house is also remarkable for the critical cultural role it played in Catalonia since its completion. The Gomis Bertrand family supported and welcomed to the house intellectuals and artists during Franco’s dictatorship in Spain. Organized by Club 49, a private association that promoted avant-garde cultural activities, which Ricardo Gomis belonged to, the house hosted many cultural activities, from concerts that benefited from its state-of-the-art sound system to dance performances and theater shows. It was a haven for artistic experimentation.

 

This talk accompanies the exhibition La Ricarda: An Architectural and Cultural Project organized by MAS Context and that will be on view October 12, October 19, and October 26 at Lawrence & Clark. For more information, please visit: www.mascontext.com/events/mas-context-fall-talks-2019/la-ricarda-an-architectural-and-cultural-project

 

This event was a partner program of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

 

 

Casa Gomis, El Prat de Llobregat, 2019. © Iker Gil.

 

Casa Gomis, El Prat de Llobregat, 2019. © Iker Gil.

 

Casa Gomis, El Prat de Llobregat, 2019. © Iker Gil.

 

Casa Gomis, El Prat de Llobregat, 2019. © Iker Gil.

 

Marita Gomis, along with her five siblings, is the owner of Casa Gomis, one of the key midcentury buildings in Spain and the house she grew up in. Commissioned by Ricardo Gomis and Inés Bertrand, it was designed by Antonio Bonet Castellana and completed in 1963. A haven for artistic experimentation, the house hosted many cultural activities and continues to be a must-see destination for architecture students and professionals from around the world. Marita and the rest of the Gomis Bertrand family has diligently preserved it in its original state with the help of local architects Fernando Álvarez and Jordi Roig.

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