City of Galleries ARCO 2023
A project by Pedro Pitarch
Pedro Pitarch’s firm designed the communal and lounge zones of the 42nd edition of ARCO, the contemporary art fair held at Madrid’s IFEMA trade fair and exhibitions grounds, held this year from 22 to 26 February. For Pitarch, ARCOmadrid is envisioned as a ‘city of galleries’: ephemeral urbanism encapsulated inside pavilions 7 and 9 of the premises. The main public parts of the art fair have been arranged heterogeneously and with unique designs. Amenities like the Lunch Corner, the Forum, the Terrace, the Guest Lounge, and the presentation rooms act as social catalysts, condensers of cultural activity and events that are spread out but engage with each other. Arco Lunch, the Guest Lounge, and the restoration areas are located where the logistics of loading and unloading can be executed quickly and without acoustically interfering with other goings-on. In this way, the fair’s special features can be distributed heterogeneously, creating nodes of program-related activity and maintaining the mixed nature of the event.
Finally, through homogeneity and heterogeneity, an effort is made to intensify activity in the rear zones of the ARCO exhibition. The programs requiring more control form a backbone that crosses pavilion 9 from north to south, putting meeting places and cultural spaces in relation to a lateral public avenue. Publications and magazines are relocated to the far end of pavilion 7, upholding a type of collecting that complements that of artworks in galleries. The ‘Mediterráneo’ section takes a central position around which the cultural programs of pavilion 7 orbit.
Architecture: Pedro Pitarch
Collaborators:Guillermo Martín-Peñasco, Mario Azorín, Jaime Menéndez, Javier Morán, Alberto Santos
Location: Madrid, España
Photography: Imagen Subliminal (Rocío Romero + Miguel de Guzman)