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A Catalan Labyrinth Built By Xavier Corberó

In all work created by Catalan artist Xavier Corberó, the outcome has to be poetry. This ethos applies to sculpture, installation and spaces – even the construction of his home, which has remained a work in progress for decades.

In this editorial series created for Wall Street Journal, photographer Salva López guides us around the house of Corberó, situated in Esplugues, a municipality in the suburbs of Barcelona. Since acquiring the land in 1968, Corberó has been building his ‘casa sublim’, which today has evolved into a union of nine interconnected structures and courtyards, spread over 38,750 square feet. The Catalan labyrinth is characterised by elaborate and playful forms, with layered archways in the exterior structure and staircases reminiscent of those visible in the work of Escher–perhaps a nod to the surrealist years he spent as a friend of Salvador Dali. Kaleidoscopic light and poetic reflections permeate the rooms through arched and octagonal windows. The interior boasts work studios, living spaces, ten bedrooms and bathrooms–all adorned with Corberó’s own work and acquired objects that tell a multitude of stories. The building reveals itself as a monumental exploration of architectural possibilities, but also a meditation on the artist’s process of work. About the construction of his home, Corberó explains, “I use reason to build things up so they don’t fall to pieces. But the motives behind all the rest are aesthetic, ethic, and if you will, divine.”

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