GALLERIA LOEWE is a contemporary space devoted to all things uniquely Loewe, opens in Barcelona on 11 April. Situated in the heart of Barcelona’s most glamorous neighbourhood, right by La Pedrera, Antonio Gaudí’s distinctively grand apartment block, at 91 Paseo de Gracia, Galeria Loewe marks a new departure for the Spanish luxury brand.
Measuring 580 square metres spread over five levels, and brought to life in collaboration with the production design house Boolab, it’s a gallery-like space that showcases Loewe’s most iconic products and leathers telling the ongoing story of its evolution Each level focuses on a different aspect of Loewe’s 166 years of artisanal expertise.
The basement is devoted to its silks, with numerous print designs that tell tales of Spain, projected onto the walls. A display of silk panels will explain to visitors the role that this print collection has played in establishing Loewe’s reputation as Spain’s foremost luxury brand, alongside a dynamic installation of dancing fabrics by the artist Daniel Wurtzel that resembles a pair of Spanish dancers engaged in a whirl of passionate choreography.
From here, the stairs lead up the lower ground floor level, where a selection of Loewe archive pieces are on show. This trip into the past includes a reconstruction of a Loewe store window from the 1960s.
The ground floor is given over to the Amazona, Loewe’s signature bag, which has remained its best seller since it was introduced in the 1970s. The first exhibit visitors will see as they enter from the street is an installation of Amazonas inspired by the technique used to plan the construction of the Sagrada Familia, Gaudí’s church which has become the most recognisable icon of the Barcelona skyline. A second installation shows an Amazona in the various stages of its assembly, while a third focuses on the quality of its various component parts, both leather and hardware. Tools that have been used by the artisans, who have made this bag across the ages, will be on display, along with a hologram of the craftsmen from the Loewe atelier in the process of creating an Amazona.
The next level is dedicated to leather, the material for which Loewe is of course best known. The exhibits here are designed to highlight the tactile qualities of Loewe’s leathers, and in particular its exclusive napa. Dominating the space is a large tree - symbolising the past, present and future of the company, from its roots to the newest shoots from its branches - built from various Loewe leathers which visitors will be invited to touch, to discover why the brand is world renowned for its ability to produce skins of unparalleled softness, strength and suppleness. This tree includes mapped projections which describe the feel of the different types of skin - adjectives such as ‘warm’, ‘silky’ and ‘sumptuous’ - in 13 languages, to highlight the global reputation Loewe’s leather enjoys. Another tree will bear fruit in the form of brightly coloured Flamenco bags, while the hangings and projections on this level further demonstrate the sensorial and sensuous qualities of Loewe’s skins.
Finally, the top level is made up of an exhibition space that will be given over to temporary shows, and a lounge area for visitors to relax in. This also serves as a reference resource, with interactive tables that invite guests to discover more about Loewe’s history. Throughout the building, animated graphic displays illuminate various aspects of the Loewe story in visually spectacular ways, while elements of the interior - such as the tables on which Loewe products are displayed, and design details around the entrance - take their colours directly from the rich, earthy tones of the Spanish landscape.
So much more than simply a museum, Galeria Loewe allows those who pass through its doors to not only learn about the history of Loewe, but to connect imaginatively with the brand’s character and meaning as it exists in the contemporary world.