Logroño is awash with architectural energy. The northern Spanish city is celebrating the launch of the newest edition of its International Architecture and Design Festival; Concéntrico 2021 has opened its doors to the public and runs until 5 September. Revealing a series of pavilions and installations across Logroño and its outskirts, the festival also includes meetings, activities and exhibitions that ‘discuss public space and places of coexistence’. Inaugurated in 2015 and operating annually ever since, the festival of the built environment is known for its creativity, and this, Concéntrico’s seventh iteration, is no exception.

Led by director and curator Javier Peña Ibáñez, the installations are designed by a range of international studios. They include Lanza Atelier, Laurent Martin, VAPAA Collective, Radu Abraham, Paradigma Ariadné, Herrmann & Coufal, SpY, Aleksandra Wasilkowska, Palma + Hanghar, 44flavours, and École Supérieure de Design de Troyes. 

The pieces are located all over town, in locations ‘selected for their high landscape and ecological value’, explain the organisers. Ecology and design are key drivers in this year’s debate, while the sustainable pavilions were created on principles such as reuse and recycling; they use wood panels produced by Garnica, a renewable, recyclable, reusable and biodegradable product. Below, we tour some of the pieces on offer. 

Eclipse by SpY

eclipse pavilion in the fields at concentrico 2021

Spanish studio SpY proposes a large scale dome to be created at the city’s Logroño Intermodal Station. The piece is a black, 16m-diameter sphere, located right on the station’s central oculus. ‘In the Neolithic period [an oculus] was interpreted as a symbol of the gods’ constant vigilance and attention to the actions of human beings,’ the team says. 

Arbre by Laurent Martin

arbre pavilion at concentrico fair 2021

France’s Laurent Martin makes a comment on the use of various materials and nature in our cities, with his piece Arbre. ‘More and more concrete, more and more bare pavements, without any planting, except for a weed that we pull up or spray with herbicide, as if it had no place on the pavement,’ he says. His installation, in the shape of a tree, uses 150 disused Garnica wood panels. 

No Words Conversation by Radu Abraham

conversación instalation at concentrico fair 2021

Romanian designer Radu Abraham created a piece that aims to be a key conversation starter for debates around the urban realm. Discussing relationships such as old and new, open and closed, natural and human-made, the installation sits in the beautifully preserved Plaza Muralla del Revellín. 

Support Your Local Landscape by Vivian Rotie + Pablo Saiz del Río

landscape installation at concentrico fair 2021

A Spanish-Cuban team comprising Vivian Rotie and Pablo Saiz del Río have composed an installation that hints at generic large-scale advertising signs – or iconic moments such as the Hollywood sign. The structure is made up of six modular elements that are anchored to the ground using stone.

Concéntrico Pavilion by Sauer Martins + Mauricio Mendez

Pabellón installation at concentrico fair 2021

This team combines backgrounds from Bolivia and Brazil, creating a flagship pavilion for Concéntrico 2021. ‘In line with the theme of the festival, the pavilion proposes a reflection on the place, the urban, the city and the specific and challenging moment we live in,’ say its authors. Simple and geometric, the large-scale structure’s powerful shapes flag up the city’s architectural celebrations. 

A Topographic-Landscape-Painted by 44flavours

paisaje pintado at concentrico fair 2021

This German studio explores architecture from various perspectives – that of a painter, a skater or a graffiti artist. ‘As someone who’s into painting, skateboarding and writing, you look for niches and read the surfaces of buildings. You try to define the potential of theses urban landscapes,’ say the team. Their intervention involves colour and shape on an urban scale. 

Soucoupe Populaire by École Supérieure de Design de Troyes

paisaje pintado at concentrico fair 2021

The École Supérieure de Design de Troyes launched a workshop for its fourth- and fifth-year students aiming to show at this festival – which resulted in a team of three design students who worked on the development of this fine piece for a period of seven months. The result, Soucoupe Populaire (Popular Dish), is designed by students Camille Le Mesre de Pas, Léo Letouzé and Justine Thomas in collaboration with the Garnica and Concéntrico teams. Made of poplar, it creates a space for meeting, resting and gathering. 

§