New showroom designed by OAB architects
Roca, the world leader in bathroom spaces, has chosen Barcelona as the location for its new gallery and social activities centre. The centre, which has been named the Roca Gallery and is a worldwide benchmark reference for the brand´s cultural, social and exhibition activities, will open its doors to the public in the second half of 2009.
For a multi-national company like Roca, which is about to celebrate its one hundredth anniversary, the inauguration of this centre is a proud moment which will also communicate the message of the brand's meaning to society, as well as relating its history and its most important recent achievements.
Roca Gallery, located in Juan Güell Street, has been developed in collaboration with the prestigious OAB architects´studio (Office of Architecture in Barcelona) by Carlos Ferrater, his son, Borja and daughter, Lucia. For them, “ creating the building has posed a great challenge and has implied much more than a mere construction job. It has meant the interpretation and expression of the company's values through the medium of architecture”. This modern building features elements such as water, light, and colours, which are the essence of the Roca hallmark, to generate spaces and ambiences unique to Roca through the medium of architecture.
Features of the new centre
The Roca Gallery building is 2,400 sq.m. spread across 3 levels which feature new technological and artistic elements, both inside and out, transforming it into a unique space in which to experience Roca. Roca's commitment to design can be clearly appreciated in the exterior of the building whose facade aims to surprise and at the same time remain unaltered with the passage of time. Made totally from glass, its concept has posed a technological challenge and has been built in a completely innovative way. The objective is for the building to act as if it were a box of light, playing on its transparency, resembling a huge shop window with its interior displayed in a distorted manner. By day, depending on the light, surprising visual effects are created in the interior, while at night, the structure remains totally illuminated thanks to the hundreds of leds which run through it. Roca Gallery is a unique architectural work, not only for the city of Barcelona, but for world architecture in general.
The interior reveals a unique, architectonic interactive space featuring advanced, innovative techniques, which together with the modern audiovisual, sound and light systems, will transport the visitor to the latest generation of the spatial dimension. A zonal detection system and a array of touch sensitive screens allow the visitor to interact with the building and “feel” Roca. The ground floor, named “Roca World”, focuses on the concentration of the Roca essence : its brand values, its history, its most significant details and the main areas where Roca is working such as on their commitment to reducing water consumption and sustainability, innovation, design and the bathroom of the future. To convey all these concepts in a pleasing, attractive and educational format to the visitor, Roca has installed futuristic consultative tools with the latest technology such as touch sensitive interactive tables or 3D projections.
Parallel to this, and on the same floor, visitors can take a quick visual tour of the different bathrooms of the world and discover the importance of water for mankind. They can also watch and interact with the “Rituals” projection which shows, on a life-size scale using real images, the wide range of daily activities we regularly perform in the bathroom. Visitors will also be surprised by the innovative audiovisual effects of “Momentums” which appear simultaneously at regular intervals in all the exhibition areas, creating sensations related to water and atmospheric phenomena such as rain and ice.
Finally, on the ground floor, there is also the reception area, the Lounge Area, toilets, an online consultation point and a program for designing individual bathroom spaces. On the upper floor, there is a display of the wide range of the latest innovative Roca products, created in collaboration with well-known designers and architects. Through the “ Interactive Bathroom Space Visualizer”, the visitor can see and consult the collections applied in bathroom space in large format.
The First Floor is an open, well-lit space called the “Triple Espacio” (“Triple Space”) to house the different temporary exhibitions and socio-cultural presentations which will be programmed during the year. This floor also has a meeting room and video conference centre, both equipped with the latest communications technology.
To celebrate the inauguration of the Roca Gallery, the “Triple Espacio” (“Triple Space”) will host an interesting, temporary exhibition about the history of the bathroom called “El Baño. Una mirada histórica” (“The Bathroom. An historical perspective.”), which will bring together remarkable pieces such as the Dolphin toilet and the bidet from the empress Sissi´s dressing table.