Cardedeu, Spain – The 90s were the golden age of the construction business in Spain, as the massive hunger for investment even created new pockets of suburban development – for example, Cardedeu, a village some 50 kilometres outside of Barcelona. When the bubble burst in 2008, the country’s architectural practice had to shift gears, leaving behind the boom aesthetic.
‘But how are [we] supposed to preserve the architectures resulting from this historical period of frenzied economic growth?’ asked Lluís Alexandre Casanovas, a Princeton University PhD candidate in architectural history and theory.
His proposal comes in the shape of a Cardedeu dwelling – aptly called the Real Estate Boom House – that he sees as paradigmatic of this bittersweet 90s aesthetic. His reasoning? ‘First, the house’s original design, material and construction details reveal the imaginaries of opulence that drove part of the real-estate-boom design in Spain,’ he explained. ‘Second, the privileged views over the old town from the house’s back façade, at the edge of a suburban area and cow fields, are under continuous threat of urbanization. And third, the house’s domestic interior attests to the radically different generational sensitivities that have constituted the boom.’
[This] reveals the imaginaries of opulence that drove part of the real-estate-boom design in Spain