Sustainable Urban Catwalk – Barcelona

Place: Barcelona, Country: Spain
Client: ModaFad, Barcelona
Project: External Reference Architects, Barcelona
Nacho Toribio, Carmelo Zappulla
Collaborators: M. Tepedino, Giuliana Di Mauro, Chiara Gortani, Tatyana Voskresenskaya
Text by Riccardo Bianchini - Inexhibit
Photos courtesy of External Reference Architects, Barcelona

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This design by External Reference is truly worth to be included in our archive entitled Beautiful, Sufficient, Sustainable.
The project was realised on the occasion of the ModaFad fashion show in Barcelona, an event where young fashion designers graduated in Spanish schools, selected by a multidisciplinary jury panel, have the possibility to present their creations to fashion firms, critics and designers. Since the brief required to build a catwalk structure as well as the seating for the audience with a restricted budget, the External Reference team was forced to conceive a creative and sustainable design. A brewery company provided the main construction material, lending 2,500 plastic beer crates in return for the brand’s visibility during the whole event.

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While usually the seats at a fashion show are reserved according to the importance of the guest from the front to the outermost rows, the objective of External Reference was to address the event to a large number of people. Consequently, the catwalk was used as a uninterrupted sign which crosses the exhibition hall, going outside into the public square and eventually re-entering the hall from a different access.
The beer crates formed rows of seats at different height levels, on both side of the catwalk.

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Beer crates are modular and can be easily converted to seats due to their size and proportions. The use of glue, mortar or specialized workers is not necessary: the crates were easily connected using plastic straps to form the various exhibition structures.
The crates used for the fashion show were subsequently disassembled and re-used to build the stalls for the Merkafad design market.
The next day all crates were carried on trucks so to be delivered to the clients, full of beer bottles.

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