It was the first time that a municipal hall offered a contemporary jewelry exhibition. The City Council of Elche gave us the complete management of the exhibition, from the selection of pieces to the communication of the event.
We had at our disposal three free floors. The ground floor, with a surface area of 77 m2 and 5 meters high, acts as a big hall and visible attraction to visitors, who necessarily have to go through the upper floors to continue the visit. The other two floors are 145 m2 and 2,50 meters high each one, which is friendlier in terms of human scale.
From the beginning we conceived the space like volumes of available air, being absolutely forbidden to use the walls.
One of the main conditions was the real size of the elements that were going to be displayed. All that pieces of jewelry fit into a small shoe box (0,08 m3) and we had to organize them into a 1.110 m3 one.
The decision was taken. The little box had to explode inside the big one, leaving every element, every jewel floating in the space.
Then we only had to design the structure for leave the pieces levitating inside the gallery. That structure had to be able to create a private and inaccesible space around each piece.
We tried to avoid the use of the glass cases which were so obtrusive and heavy. They weren’t appropiated to express the contemporary design, the edges and voids of the Oscar Abba creations.
In addition to the function of display structure the design also had to provide security to the jewels.
After several working models we refined and simplified the design in order to obtain a pure diamond structure: an horizontal tray holds up the piece which is the main element and is sewn in the center. The platform is suspended with cables from the ceiling which are compensated with another four cables that configure a fictitious enclosure of protection.
We managed to achieve the same aesthetic of the jewelry pieces in a higher scale by the arrangement in different levels of the platforms. A tinkling and apparently fragile atmosphere try to cause the same feelings that the exhibited pieces do.
In essence, we avoided the obvious spatial limitations of the exhibition halls and created new spaces to look for and where to show. This allows the observer to slide in a cautious and patient way between the structures, having a close and medium point of view of the jewels.
Gravity and light are the elements that give meaning to that expositive system in equilibrium.
There was an implosion of the conventional “white box”, feature of the traditional exhibition hall in order to generate little sorroundings of observation and abstraction, tiny ephemeral architectures.