The Mies van der Rohe Foundation organized this competition coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the reconstruction of the Barcelona pavilion. The idea was to recreate the former eight columns and two bases, which no longer exist, that in 1929 presided the mythical original modern building. Our response, which was both material and performative, was to produce eight smoke columns, which could be understood either as smoke signs or as smoke screens, along with two containers. The proposal orchestrated the process of lighting the fires and producing the smoke, thus highlighting the transformation of matter, the tools required and the role of agents needed to do so, both the active ones (actors) and the passive ones (spectators).
This proposal is part of a series of works in which we have asked a ask ourselves how pertinent it is for us to participate as architects in the culture of ephemeral events, also questioning the promotional and media dynamics surrounding such initiatives. To this, we added the reflection put forward in the call regarding the meaning of heritage, its recovery and the construction of its representation. Ultimately, the proposal is nothing other than a contemporary vanitas applied to current architectural production, a sign of its fragility, its transient nature and practically inevitable expiry.