unparelld’arquitectes + Clàudia Calvet + Xevi Rodeja Fontada

Authors: unparelld’arquitectes: Eduard Callís, Guillem Moliner + Clàudia Calvet + Xevi RodejaLocation: Fonts de Sant Roc. 17800 Olot 42.173772, 2.473583Source: unparelld'arquitectesPhotography: José Hevia: Roger Serrat-CalvóYear: 2020
Date: December 14, 2021 Category: Things

Three volcanic-stone terraces and rows of plane trees shape one of Olot’s best public spaces: the fountains of Sant Roc. It is a damp, shady and cool spot, accompanied by the river and murmuring of the water. It is a wonderful solution for the border between the urban fabric and the natural environment and, paradoxically, is an infrastructure designed for water catchment, bridges and railways.

These types of places change their character depending on whether you visit them alone or in a group.

They are spaces open to nature, albeit maintaining a somewhat urban feel, appropriate for solitary and contemplative walks. In parallel, they can host large-scale celebrations around the fountain – fontadas – such as parties, picnics and concerts. This duality is illustrated by contemporary paintings by Santiago Rusiñol and Ramon Casas.

Invited for the Lluèrnia Fire and Light Festival, we selected this space to highlight its role among the community.

One hundred and fifty light bulbs and their electric cables create a ballroom lamp, 8m high and with an 8m diameter, structured in three rings. It is suspended 3.5m above the ground, crowning a semicircular clearing defined by the main fountain and a row of slender trees. All components are reusable and the diffusers, thread-winding cones for textile machinery, are recycled.

The installation defines the twofold purpose of this site: it is adorned, celebrating its role as a community space for the city, while crafting an atmosphere conducive to introspective strolls. During the long winter nights and the pandemic of 2020, the light, like a magnet, emitted its siren song for citizens to rediscover this unique public place. And not only discover it. Under the shelter of the lamp, the fountains have once again become the stage for endless spontaneous activities.

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