Monday, 22 October 2012

Battersea 2050

Born out of a conceptual collaboration with Aaron and Will, Battersea 2050 is the new and unexpected continuation to the Battersea Power Station Series, as of today a quadriptych.

Following on the theme of excess and energy I decided to take this new entry to the extreme and it is larger and denser than the other three. On the ‘A Catalan Weekend in London’ private view night Aaron challenged me to envision a future for Battersea and suggested year 2050 for the next milestone on the history of the famous London landmark. Borrowing from Will’s comment about a shift in the power source, this time it’s London what’s nourishing a reborn Battersea, satirised as a  carefree hyper powered revamped power station – now a leisure venue of some sort.

The London side has two new addition rows to the cast of characters from previous entries. Behind the Victorian houses, housing tower blocks and functional office buildings now stands the stardom of designer architecture of corporate present day London. From the back row towers over a line-up of hypothetical organic megastructures functioning as vertical districts in order to tackle overcrowding. The unmistakable city skyline has been redefined for good. By this 2050 plugs are bygone and everything runs wireless. Energy is generated by a zombified society that now powers a delighted Battersea set to entertain with fireworks of pure joy. Due to the climate change it also grows palm trees on its top.

Battersea Power Station – 2050
707x1220 mm
Acrylic paint, Indian ink and colour pencil on board. 

Monday, 13 August 2012

Psychedelic Fish Wall

I have done this short experimental animation after my last visit to Spain and the beaches around Barcelona. We were swimming nearby this bit of surviving architecture that was next to a surfing club although I'm not sure what it really used to be part of. It reminded me of some sort of fish, or a beached whale. Once I was back in London it happened that I watched the classic Yellow Submarine film and came up with this architectural psychedelia clip.

Music: Fer by Plaid from Not For Threes

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Central Tèrmica del Besòs

This image is a view from the train on the way to Badalona beach, over the Thermal Power Station in Sant Adrià del Besòs, that has now become an icon of the Barcelona skyline with its three chimneys. The way they are placed one next to the other, and the fact they're literally by the sea made me think of the conga line. The second image is a view from the beach towards Barcelona, with the industrial creature towering over it. 

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Mark Magazine #39

I am happy to have been featured in the Cross Section of the August/September issue of Mark Magazine. The article includes a short interview by Silvie Schaefer together with images of the illustrations inspired by the Barbican Estate and Guy's Hospital in London Bridge, which has been recently dwarfed by the Shard. I have taken a few photos of the magazine against the weathered wooden floor of our flat in East London. This issue has a strong focus on the future plans for the Olympic park. I found particularly interesting the article on architects firm Cadaval & Solà-Morales.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Ashfield St

Sometimes a spot is enough. A corner, a window, a wall...  It's fun taking pictures of these places with my phone and later play around with the pen tablet, drawing straight onto the image.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

A Catalan Weekend in London – Aftermath

It's been already a week since the Catalan weekend happened at Rich Mix. There was some delicious food and drinks that livened up the opening party and in turn made me feel homesick. But also, some interesting screenings like cinematographer Xavi Amoros's music video for Fyfe Dangerfield.

I very much enjoyed Mireia Ros's documentary 'Barcelona, abans que el temps ho esborri', about the golden age of Catalan bourgeoisie through the rise and fall of the Baladia family, the first to introduce the locomotive in Spain in mid XIX century. It helped me understand the past and in some ways the present of Barcelona and the Costa Brava, the coastal region of the North East of Catalonia.

Photos by Sin Fin Cinema. Artwork by Pau Ros and Lidia Casas.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


Here's the flyer of A CATALAN WEEKEND IN LONDON, the first instalment of a series of events exploring Spanish cultural identity and linguistic diversity curated by Sin Fin Cinema.

I am lucky to have been selected to represent Catalan new tendencies this weekend at Rich Mix. I will be exhibiting some of my architecture illustration and animation work together with established artists in the fields of photography, video and music, among others.

Catalonia is an autonomous region in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula, roughly outlined by the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean Sea, and the regions of Aragon and Valencia which formerly were part of the Kingdom of Aragon. Its capital is Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain after Madrid and my hometown.

But that's in a very tiny nutshell. Come down to Rich Mix on the 1st and 2nd of June if you want to get a glimpse of the past, present and future of Catalonia. There's so much to know!

Check out the programme here.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Walk #2

Considering we have chained a few days of hot summery weather I would like to resume the conversation about walks.

This is my second documented walk in London. It happened about a year ago at a time of self doubt and thoughts about the past. Starting at Highbury & Islington station with the idea of exploring Holloway road and fuelled by nostalgia I sought for places I had been to on my first visit around that area in autumn 2008.

Wandering about the Emirates Stadium I discovered Gillespie park, a very special little park which is also a nature reserve, right next to the train tracks. It stretches out from Arsenal station to Finsbury park and is divided in different areas including an Ecology centre, a little pond and a wind turbine.

The journey included some amateur train spotting at Drayton Park station, walking under a pedestrian only railway arch, and crossing the always comforting Highbury Fields finally ending up where it started.

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Circle's on Fire!

Last entry about the Barbican inspired works. This time it's the Circle, and he's hot! Yeah, because he's eaten a very spicy chilli and needs to drink water from the Thames to cool himself down. People at the Southbank must be freaking out to see such a massive creature looming over right across Waterloo bridge. Let's hope he won't have a nap anywhere near!

This set of works are done by combining photos and digital drawing.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Birds in the Attic

After chaos and destruction there comes the calm and where once was an aggressive building now there is good Shakespeare tower, happy and relaxed while singing to birds nested in the attic. To have birds in one's head is a Spanish saying referring to someone being dreamy, immature or mad. 

This is the second instalment of building creatures inspired by The Barbican Estate and plays around with the idea of an environmentally friendly architecture. Quite literally.

Thursday, 10 May 2012


Back to drawing buildings. My friends know that for a long time I have wanted to do something on The Barbican, not quite finding out the way of being true to this fascinating building complex. After my first visit in autumn 2008, when I had recently arrived in London, it made me think of a sci-fi set up in which it was the only civilised remnant in a dystopian future London, like a sort of a Noah's ark of culture among devastation.

However, like the Transformers there's so much more than meets the eye, and so massive it is the Barbican is full of secrets, hidden spots and nooks, a bit of a metaphor of London itself. So after many times wandering around the estate in my spare time, I went back to basics and, drawing inspiration from early works, resumed with the idea of giant straight forward Modernist creatures, something in between monsters and robots wreaking havoc on London. No hidden meaning, just postmodernist fun.

THE BARBICAN! is one in a set of three postcards, with one of the towers portrayed as some sort of Brutalist Godzilla with a dangerous aversion to Classic architecture.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Secret London

I'm glad that last week I managed to submit my entry to the Secret London competition run by Serco and the AOI. Illustrating hidden aspects of the capital immediately appealed me and spent long time thinking about which part of London to focus on, finally deciding to do it on an area I know well, the East End.

An aspect of London that keeps surprising me is the amazing streets and squares that remain tucked away off main roads, that seem to be only for the locals' pleasure as someone non-familiar with the area would hardly venture off the high street unless I imagine to see a friend... In my case, a bike opened me this world that makes quite a contrast with my hometown Barcelona, where shops and bars are scattered about so it's easy to find oneself looking around deep parts of the district.

This illustration is a mind map of the East End as it is in my head after 3 years living and cycling about in Tower Hamlets. Stepney then, is in the centre of the map and around it different aspects of life in the area, covering past and present and focusing on culture, people and food. The colours in the background are those of the Underground lines that serve the area, mainly the Overground, DLR and the District and Central lines. Blue in the middle shows the area of influence of a bike with which one can go anywhere and is the healthier and greener way to enjoy the hidden gems of this rich and not so much known part of London.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


One of the things I enjoy most doing is exploring. The day I went to the Richard Long exhibition at Tate Britain back in the summer of 2009 it opened my eyes the way he creates art out of his walks in the wilderness. It showed me a way of relating my walks and cycle rides with my architecture illustration work. It is during one of these long random walks or the day I cycle to somewhere new or divert form my usual routes that I might see something that would give me an idea for my next illustration. I some times do a few sketches but I normally end up taking more photos of inanimate things than is healthy. I might later use them in a digital collage.
This image is from the day I went out to discover the area around Battersea Park. Starting and ending in Victoria station my only destination was the park so I walked following my intuition only. Once back at home I mapped the route on Google Earth and got this abstract shape. I find it very interesting as it can say a lot about one’s personality and interests in a way.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Magic Indian Scene

Recently my friends of The Destroyed Room contacted me for a quick turnaround job to design a screenprint poster to go with their first LP album The Magic Indian Scene. One of the songs is about some lost boys dressed up like Indians riding around the city on their bikes without anybody seeing them. That’s how they came up with the idea for a coloured Indian feather and in the end it turn out to be blood stained. The lettering is painted using a stick with thick black paint, as I imagined it on a rock by a warrior going to war. It actually was paper, but it would have been substantially cooler the other way. The feather is drawn with a dip pen and yes, Indian ink.
This Friday The Destroyed Room are performing in La[2] de Apolo in Barcelona at 12.30am.

Hace poco mis amigos de The Destroyed Room me llamaron para diseñar una serigrafía para su primer LP The Magic Indian Scene. Una de las canciones habla de unos niños perdidos vestidos de indio que recorren la ciudad en bicicleta sin que nadie los vea. Así es como surgió la idea de una pluma de indio coloreada. Al final resultó estar manchada de sangre. La tipo está pintada con un palo y pintura negra espesa sobre una roca, tal y como yo lo imaginé por un guerrero antes de una batalla. En realidad era un papel, pero lo de la roca hubiera molado más. La pluma está hecha a plumilla con tinta china.
Este viernes The Destroyed Room tocan en La[2] de Apolo en Barcelona a las 00.30h.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Golden Lane Estate

Hardly noticed when compared to the neighbouring Barbican Estate, it’s hard to imagine the importance of the Golden Lane Estate (1957) as one of the first social housing schemes that in a matter of years would change the shape of the English landscape for good.
Designed by architects’ firm Chamberlin, Powell and Bon to house residents of the Cripplegate area after devastation of the City of London in The Blitz during World War II, once finished it became a symbol of Post War recovery and a referent for council housing across England. The fact that King Arthur House – in the image – was for a brief period the tallest tower block in England shows the ambition of the project.
However it would soon be surpassed by the massive scale of the Barbican Estate, built by the same architects immediately afterwards in a regeneration process that took almost 20 years to complete. It’s fascinating we can still look at Golden Lane Estate, as a surviving urban microcosm utopia at a time of architectural disenchantment.
See King Arthur House here.
Golden Lane Estate is postcard five of six designed for Bauhaus: Art as Life competition at the Barbican Centre.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Isokon

In 1934 the Isokon is what came out from Canadian architect Wells Coates when he set out to design Modernist houses and flats with his Constructivist-friendly company Isometric Unit Construction (ISOKON). Once more the building is not related directly to Bauhaus. However, there are a few Bauhaus artists that lived in the Isokon at some point when working in Coates company, Walter Gropius being the most representative.
The story of this building is one of epic rise and fall. Originally designed as an experiment in communal living (with some flats sharing facilities), it was the finest example of Modernist architecture in the UK. It still is, but at some point after being a major cultural hub with some artists of the likes of Agatha Christie and Henry Moore hanging around, it was abandoned and forgotten for several years. Finally an architects firm refurbished it in 2003 and brought the building back to its old glory.
The building is tucked away in nice Hampstead, North London, in stark contrast with the surrounding Victorian houses. It’s a Modernist building in England so it makes perfect sense it's wearing a bowler hat, winkle pickers and has a nice redhead hair.
Find out more about the building here.
Isokon is postcard four of the six designed for Bauhaus: Art as Life competition at the Barbican.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012


Let me digress from architecture today and talk about this shocking news featured on a Spanish newspaper. Somewhere in vast Russia, a man tried to rape a raccoon. Yes, there's lots of strange people around. However, the poor animal, instead of letting himself enslaved, turned back against and ripped his penis off a bite. Hooray for raccoon!

Don't know much more about the story and how faithful it is to reality, since the main source of the article was The Sun... But while having a coffee at the Mary Ward Centre in Holborn with some fiends couldn't help but to visualise the feisty animal as some sort of Rodriguez-like character the sorts of Machete. Mapache is raccoon in Spanish.

I think the illustration would look cool as promotional poster for a gig.

More on raccoons here.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Bauhaus Dessau

Gesamtkuntwerk or synthesis of the arts was what the Bauhaus school was committed to. It’s probable that most of the people that took part in it would have objected against the idea of a Bauhaus style in architecture. Despite the name as ‘House of Construction’, during its 14 years of existence architecture played a minor role in the program and was only one more among painting, sculpture, the decorative arts, and crafts.
The story of the Bauhaus school as a building has three phases at the end of each it was forced to move to a new city. Starting at Weimar under the direction of architect Walter Gropius it next moved to Dessau where Hannes Mayer eventually succeeded to. The Bauhaus ended up as a private school in a former telephone factory in Berlin under the direction of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. It pretty much seems that since its creation during the liberal Weimar republic in 1919 it had been on the run, escaping from the criticism its overstated progressivist left-wing ideals arose. A fast growing party later to become the Nazi regime finally forced its leadership to shut it down in 1933.
It is the school buildings in Dessau designed by Gropius that became the image of the Bauhaus itself and also showpieces of Modernist architecture to which the school contributed decisively. Considering the Bauhaus as a short lived institution that had only 1250 students total and little practical output it’s surprising how influential it still is today.

This illustration is the third in succession of 6 postcards designed for Bauhaus: Art as Life competition at the Barbican.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Seagram Building

So it reads one of the slogans that sum up the International Style, developed in the 1920s to bring industrialized mass-production techniques to architecture, and think of houses as 'machines for living'.
It is likely that if you look out the window you see a glass office building. Before the Seagram Building (1958), designed by German architect Mies van der Rohe, skyscrapers didn’t look like that, they weren’t ‘transparent’. Like the neighbouring Empire State or the Chrysler they were probably Art Deco or copying historic styles.
However, together with Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, van der Rohe was to change that by championing a radical simplification of architecture. The structural elements of a building would make all the ornamentation in an attempt to establish a more honest conversation with the public.
I think that these architects were successful in conveying these ideals through their architecture; another very different thing is what corporations do in them.
Anyway, who cares? IT’S A BUILDING WEARING A SUIT!!
This illustration is the second in succession of 6 postcards designed for Bauhaus: Art as Life at the Barbican.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Unité d'Habitation Marseille

Wow! A year off blogging. Oh well... I’ve been busy, I swear. Working on my first graphic novel which will be published this year! So hopefully now will have more time to upload stuff that is long overdue.
Let’s start with something I did last week! This illustration is part of a series of 6 postcards I submitted to Bauhaus: Art as Life, a competition at the Barbican. This one is inspired by the Unité d’Habitation Marseille by Le Corbusier. It is not really a Bauhaus architect, but his work pushes forward the Bauhaus principles of Modernist architecture and links it to Brutalism.
Christened as ‘Cité Radieuse’ this one is the first of a series of residential housing developments that he designed to ‘improve the living conditions for the residents of crowded cities’. This one in Marseille is a more realistic outcome to the urban megalomania of the ‘Ville Contemproraine’ planned for Central Paris. It comprises 337 apartments arranged over 12 stories and it is informally referred as ‘La Maison du Fada’. The madhouse.
Le Corbusier didn’t know that this ‘unité’ likes eating cars!

See the original building here.