Enric Pladevall
18 marzo 2015

os 13

os 14

Enric Pladevall

Artistic and technical report

Organic Shadow is a dream that started 15 years ago with the ten Pladevall Virtual Projects that I made with my friend Xavier Verdaguer and which were shown at the Maeght Gallery in Barcelona in 2001. A long time afterwards in 2014, the dream wanted to become reality, and the first step was to find out whether it could be done. I took advice from my friends Rafa Cáceres, an architect, and Manu Reventós, an engineer. Rafa told me to do what Gaudí did and make a model. I accepted the challenge and made a 1:10 scale model in the final materials. After 20 long days of work, I confirmed that I could make the full-size work. I did experimental tests with winds of 300 km an hour.

My friend Xavier Verdaguer saw the model when I was coming to the end of assembling it and he told me that I should suggest it to San Francisco, that he would help me… attempt it, and that it was the best city in the world for installing the work. He is a member of the San Francisco – Barcelona Sister City Committee… so there’s synchrony!!

Organic Shadow is intended to be the artistic expression of the sisterly relationship between the cities of San Francisco and Barcelona. The sea is a connecting point that unites them. The work is inspired by the simple bones of a sole, the sculptural possibilities of which suggested to me the idea of building a vast awning: an organic and technological shadow; a space for dialogue and reflection; a place where architecture, nature and sculpture co-exist. At night, the slats are lit up subtly by blue solar LEDs and at midnight they beat like a heart for a minute.

The sculptural assembly is joined together by balls that serve as joints, linking the aluminium, stainless steel and wood blades, which are connected internally by three stainless steel cables (12 mm) and two additional outer cables that ensure the work is stable, and give it its curves.

The awning is raised between 3.7 and 5.5 m above ground level and is supported by three stainless steel structures: two of them are a large continuous arc while the third undulates, which makes the whole assembly stable. At the top, there are two further safety cables.


Location San Francisco Harbor
Material Stainless steel, cast aluminium, wood and light
Dimensions 33 m long x 10 m wide x 13 m high
Steel towers: two between 12 and 13 m and one 8.7 m high
Weight Approximate weight of the shade 3 tonnes