Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation

The construction of the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation in Palma de Mallorca was made possible thanks to the generosity of Pilar Juncosa, the widow of the artist, who wanted to realize the desire that Joan Miró expressed in his will, which was to donate the studio of Son Abrines and an important part of his work to the city in which he lived so many years. From the beginning, the foundation contained a center for scholars and artists.

The new construction was conceived taking into account the powerful presence of the artist’s studio (the work of Josep Lluís Sert) and of the house built for Pilar and Joan Miró by the architect Juncosa, both situated on a pleasant south-facing slope, with views of the bay of Palma, on land belonging to an 18th century house that gave the property its name, Son Abrines. The design of the new building reacts energetically to the degeneration of the site caused by cheap construction and negligent real estate speculation of the 1970s, and for that reason the foundation takes on forms similar to those of a fortress or citadel.

To recuperate the lost presence of the sea now blocked by the zone’s over-development, the roof of the gallery was transformed into a floating pool. The water and the gardens surrounding the foundation were also planned to act as buffers against the hostile environment. Accordingly, the architecture deliberately ignores its surroundings. The windows are protected by concrete louvers and an alabaster membrane filters the light transforming the heavy walls into weightless screens. The low windows force visual contact with the garden where examples of Miró’s sculpture appear with the dense Mediterranean vegetation.

The new gallery attempts to capture the character of the of the work of Miró that has always celebrated liberty and life. Moneo wanted the unique, singular and non-repeatable character of the artist’s work to find an appropriate atmosphere in the indefinable and broken condition of the gallery.

Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain