2nd Lilly Reich Grant Awarded

John Hill
5. November 2020
L-R: Débora Domingo Calabuig, Laura Lizondo Sevilla, Avelina Prat García (Photo: Diego Opazo)

The Fundació Mies van der Rohe and Ajuntament de Barcelona have announced that Valencian architects Laura Lizondo Sevilla, Débora Domingo Calabuig, and Avelina Prat García have won the secon Lilly Reich Grant for Equality in Architecture.

The trio won for the production of [On Set with] Lilly Reich, a documentary on the German designer the grant is named for. Their grant follows Laura Martínez de Guereñu, who won the inaugural grant in 2018 for "Re-Enactment: Lilly Reich's Work Occupies the Barcelona Pavilion," which was displayed at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion earlier this year.

The Lilly Reich Grant for Equality in Architecture was established by the Fundació Mies van der Rohe two years ago "in recognition of the architectural legacy of Lilly Reich, the artistic partner of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in the conception and execution of the German Pavilion of Barcelona in 1929," in response to how she was "relegated to a second place, if not non-existent, in the story and memory of this masterpiece in the history of architecture." The website of the Fundació Mies van der Rohe now credits both Mies and Reich as designers of the Barcelona Pavilion.

The second grant launched in June of this year. By the time the submission period closed in September, 17 projects had been submitted — about twice as many as the first iteration — from Germany, Chile, Mexico, The Netherlands, Argentina, Italy and Spain. The second grant also incorporates a call for high school seniors, though that will not get underway until March.

Lilly Reich (Photo © Irmela Schreiber, Karlsruhe)

Given that the grant aims to make visible the "contributions to architecture that have been unduly relegated or forgotten," [On Set with] Lilly Reich will do just that: putting on the screen "the specific contribution by Lilly Reich to the field architecture," per a press release, "from her professional experience in the fields of design, ephemeral architectures and exhibition spaces. " The documentary will combine archival material and newly created visual material in order to "reflect the limitation of recognition in the professional field" that was given to Reich.

The granted project in the authors' words:

"When we started working on this proposal we realized the great imbalance that existed between the professional work of Lilly Reich and the mentions that literature has made about her, projects and critics that build a part of the history of architecture. Historians hardly ever quote her, despite her regular presence in the professional press of her time. We understood that we had to go back in search of the signs that would allow us to identify and decode her presence in history. Thus, we felt that the format of the documentary was the right one for a visual and temporal reconstruction and a more far-reaching dissemination."

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