PLAÇA DE LA MERCÉ
TAKE MY HAND A Daily Celebration of Rights and Civil Wedding
Design by: Yael Reisner with Sir Peter Cook
In collaboration with: Straddle3
Barcelona’s tercentenary commemoration celebrates in mid June 2014 “the universal fight for freedom”, and we were asked to refer throughout the design of our project to the word DEMOCRACY. The Protection of Human Rights of All Citizens is one of the four core elements of Democracy and it’s the one that forms the basis of our project.
Emanating from the very location of Plaça de la Mercè – where on the southern side rests the Civil Registration building, we created an intervention that refers to the freedom of the individual in a democratic society, and thus dedicate the square during the coming summer months to the celebration of human rights through civil weddings.
The option of a civil marriage in many countries opened new possibilities for interfaith marriages, non-religious marriages, and same sex marriages.The aspiration is to promote progress in the city’s life and human’s wellbeing – freedom of individual choice along with a live and elevating honey fragrant flowers – along memories of great moments in life; turning a marriage registration to a ceremony and ritual that suits a big event in one’s life.
The 21 columns – three times seven – along the ceremonial walking platform, are columns with growing living plants in green and white, known as Snow Princess, Snowdrift, Sweet Alison, or in their Latin name Laboularia maritime. The long blossoming of rounded heads in pure white and the strong honey fragrant are all their unique characteristics.
The canopy that defines the celebratory space and shades it from the summer sun – is itself in the form and the specific light blue color of the Human Rights’ new universal logo – established as a symbol to remind the world of these fundamental rights in any civilized society.
The suspended inflatable structure is in the tradition of festivals and street parades along with its practical role of projecting a unique shadow that will move daily along the square as the sun moves in the sky. Thus the two tenets of democratic behavior – the personal and the societal are brought here together, hopefully helped by the combination of a sympathetic Registrar and a joyous couple – taking the celebration out into the square.
Organized by: Oficina Tècnica del Tricentenari, (ICUB) Ajuntament de Barcelona and the Enric Miralles Foundation.