During my visit at the studio Flores & Prats, we do a pause in our conversation and, for a few minutes, they show me the panorama that can be seen from their balcony overlooking the Carrer d’Ortigosa. Under the sun, Ricardo and Eva describe the little fragments of life that they can observe from here; there are also fragments of Barcelona.

“We have been working in this flat for many years and every day we spend lots of hours here, so we have got to know the neighbourhood quite well. We are located in the Carrer (Street) Trafalgar, it is one of the boundaries of the Eixample district. Everything you see from here is already the Old Quarter (Ciutat Vella). Can you see the Cathedral’s towers? From the air, you can tell that we are very close to the sea and, depending on how the wind blows, you can really feel its smell. The ship’s sirens entering the harbour can also be heard from here as well. There are always seagulls nesting in the building in front of ours, it is very funny to look at the pups beginning to walk around that ledge and their parents watching behind them. Just opposite here, there is a school, but we are never bothered by the sound of children playing. However, it is a nuisance to hear those little orange cars that some tourists rent. Have you ever seen them? They have this recording that tells them about their route and the places where they are passing, every half hour we hear them: “modernism, Palau de la música”… For a while, the dancer Angel Corella was doing a few workshops in one of those big warehouses in the Carrer d’Ortigosa, they had a whole wall of tinted glass, only that the bottom part wasn’t tinted and it was very nice to watch the dancer’s feet in motion. Can you see that roof there? Bellow there is a car park, but the roof could be used in some way, perhaps you could project films on the white wall of that building… Our building also has a roof that you can see very well from here, it is all divided; some neighbours have put chairs and swings, but in general there is never a lot of activity. Now, look in that direction. Do you recognize that building? It is the rare façade of the Corte Inglés in Plaça Catalunya. But, perhaps the most amusing ‘thing’ that you can see from here, are the Japanese tourists that pass, all in single line and they often greet us and take our pictures.”

At that moment a group of Japanese tourists passes by and, of course, they greet us while they take photos. “It’s always funny when you are a tourist and see the locals on balconies”, comment Eva and Ricardo laughing and waving once more before returning inside. We leave the studio from the entrance in the Carrer Trafalgar and we take the Carrer d’Ortigosa: we become now those who are observed by that scenic balcony. It is very interesting to walk around the street with two architects that help me appreciate mouldings, capitals and other structures that otherwise I would have never noticed. We arrive at Via Laietana and from there, we take the yellow line’s tube towards Poblenou, where the new Sala Beckett is located.

Flores & Prats

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Durant la visita que faig a l’estudi Flores & Prats en aturem uns minuts per contemplar el panorama que es veu des del balcó que dona al carrer d’Ortigosa. Sota el sol el Ricardo i l’Eva em descriuen fragments de vida que s’observen des d’aquí i que també són petits fragments de Barcelona:

“Fa anys que treballem en aquest pis i hi passem moltes hores, ja tenim els voltants molt dominats. Estem al carrer Trafalgar que és un dels límits de l’Eixample així que tot el que es veu des d’aquí ja pràcticament és Ciutat Vella, veus els campanars de la Catedral? Es nota molt que estem a prop del mar i, segons com bufi el vent, es pot sentir la seva olor. També s’escolten les sirenes del vaixells quan entren al port. A l’edifici de davant sempre hi ha nius de gavines, fa molta gràcia quan les cries comencen a passejar-se per la cornisa i veus els pares vigilant-les que no caiguin. Aquí al davant hi ha una escola, però no ens molesta el soroll dels nens quan juguen. El que sí que és pesat són els tours d’aquests cotxes petits de color taronja, els has vist mai? Van amb una gravació incorporada que va explicant la ruta per on passen i cada mitja hora els sentim: ‘modernisme, palau de la música’… Durant un temps el ballarí Angel Corella va estar fent uns cursos en un d’aquests locals del Carrer Ortigosa, era molt bonic veure els peus dels ballarins per la part inferior del vidre que no estava tintat. I, veus aquell terrat? A sota hi ha un parking, però el terrat es podria aprofitar d’alguna manera, potser es podrien projectar pel·lícules a la paret blanca d’aquell edifici… El nostre edifici també té una part de terrat que es veu molt bé des d’aquí, està tot dividit; uns veïns han posat cadires i gronxadors, però en general no hi ha massa activitat. Fixa’t que es pot veure la part de radera del Corte Inglés de Plaça Catalunya. Però el més divertit de tot, és quan els turistes japonesos creuen el Carrer d’Ortigosa, tots en fila índia, moltes vegades ens fan fotos i ens saluden.”

En aquell moment passen un grup de turistes japonesos que, efectivament, ens saluden i ens retraten. ‘Sempre fa gràcia veure a gent local quan ets turista’ comenten l’Eva i el Ricardo rient i també saludant abans de tornar a l’interior. Sortim de l’estudi pel Carrer Trafalgar i passem pel Carrer d’Ortigosa, ara som nosaltres els observats pel balcó-mirador. És molt interessant anar pel carrer amb dos arquitectes que m’ajuden a apreciar motllures, capitells i altres estructures, que altrament, em podrien passar del tot desapercebudes. Arribem fins a Via Laietana i agafem la línia groga que ens porta a Poblenou, on es troba la nova Sala Beckett.

Flores & Prats