Josep M Jujol, an architect who deserves recognition

Josep Maria Jujol, son of the architect Josep Maria Jujol Gibert, has recently left us.

Jujol Jr. devoted a good part of his life to the work of his father through the Jujol Archive, located in Els Pallaresos. He was also director of the Friends of Jujol association and author of numerous books on his father’s work.

JM Jujol junior in the Archivo Jujol

In 2018 we contacted Jujol Jr. to issue (reissue?) the Double Oval Table. This table, along with another one, was shown in an exhibition at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya conceived by the artist Perejaume. In this exhibition entitled Maniobra Perejaume, the author paired works from the museum itself with works by other artists with special attention to oval forms.

In the exhibition, Perejaume matched the Double Oval Table with a drawing by Joan Miró, and the Oval Coffee Table was linked to a drawing by Antoni Tàpies.

Exhibition catalog

After the exhibition we came up with the idea of producing the Jujol 1920 table, as we have named it. The original model is built with two oval tops superimposed on two planes creating a three-dimensional cross supported by a slatted structure.

MNAC (National Museum of Art of Catalonia)

The relationship with Jujol Jr. was full of mutual understanding. In one of the visits to Els Pallaresos we recorded an interview in the Jujol Archive. In that interview, Jujol Jr. vindicated the figure of his father. The truth is that Jujol’s work has not received enough recognition, as is usually the case.

Fortunately, the modernist movement began to be vindicated from the 1960s, and so was the unknown figure of Jujol in particular. One of the promoters of this movement was the architect Oriol Bohigas, who himself had been his pupil. Jujol was an outstanding collaborator of Gaudí, who allowed him to experiment with total freedom. In his later career he experimented with all styles until he forged his own creative universe far removed from the conventionalism of his time.

Torre de la Creu, Sant Joan Despí
Can Negre, Sant Joan Despí

At Mobles 114 we also wanted to participate in publicizing his work as a designer. The table we chose to issue is at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya and we believe it is a unique piece. The way it is built, with imperfect joints, some with a nail right through, without glue or contact between woods, others in which the screw goes through the wood or inclined planes that do not fit, makes us think that the table is more a prototype than a piece out of the workshop of a woodworker.

Perhaps it is a table half made by a woodworker, half made by a bricoleur (maybe Jujol himself?). Perhaps… What we know for sure is that it was part of the furniture that the architect had in his house, in the Rambla Catalunya in Barcelona. His son testifies to this through his memories. He explains that they had it in front of a window with a couple of vases, one on each top. Sometimes with, sometimes without flowers.

One of the ways to vindicate Jujol is to put his work on display. Jujol was an architect, but he also drew, painted, sculpted and designed. In the market, before our reissue, there was only the glass bottle Casa de Familia published by BD Barcelona Design.

The Jujol 1920 table (a name we chose with the aim of highlighting Jujol’s name) is his first furniture design on the market and is part of Mobles 114’s Classic catalog.

The architect’s work and archives are divided between the COAC, the MNAC and the Jujol Archive.

Photographs from the Jujol Archive by Meritxell Arjalaguer

50th anniversary interviews

Mariano Ferrer

Co-founder of Mobles 114 and designer

What are your memories from the beginnings of Mobles 114?

Massana, Tremoleda and I started together the adventure of Mobles 114. In those years, starting a business involved a certain risk, but the endeavour was successful thanks to our energy and good mood. I was part of it until 1981.

Massana and Tremoleda were excellent partners, and it was very pleasant to work with them as a team.

How would you define the evolution throughout these 50 years?

Mobles 114 has managed to operate excellently during these first 50 long and difficult years. Since 50 years are always long and difficult, this anniversary is quite an achievement and I hope they can continue for many years to come.

What is the product you would highlight from the collection?

As is obvious, I consider the star product to be the GIRA lamp, which paved the way and has remained the brand’s hallmark. Everything by them has never lowered the bar, quite the contrary.

’50 years of a furniture publisher’, a commemorative book

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Mobles 114, we have published ‘50 anys d’una editora de Mobles‘, a limited edition book that commemorates the compilation of our trajectory. We wanted to bring together all the products we have manufactured or distributed, both those that are still featured in the current catalog and those that are no longer present.

In addition, we have highlighted the people who have been a fundamental part of our history, the logos made by América Sánchez or Folch Studio, the several different fonts that have been used over the years and also the multiple locations we have had since our inauguration on October 19, 1973 at 114 Enric Granados Street.

From the beginning, Mobles 114 has put on the market a series of furniture and objects with the intention of doing things as well as possible and avoiding discordance. We have given life to pieces that have transcended the simple functionality of furniture, some of which (such as the Tria bookshelf, the Torres Clavé armchair or the Ona coat rack) have become icons that have filled spaces all over the world.

This collection carried out by the founders and designers, JM Massana and JM Tremoleda, has benefited from the participation of other designers and artists throughout these 50 years, such as Antoni Arola, Martín Azúa, José Antonio Coderch, Isidre Ferrer, Mariano Ferrer, Joan Gaspar, Josep Maria Jujol, Lagranja, Enzo Mari, Javier Mariscal, Rafael Marquina, Nani Marquina, Miguel Milá, Gabriel Mora, Isamu Noguchi, Gabriel Ordeig, Montse Padrós, Lluís Pau, Jorge Pensi, Lluís Porqueras, Eugeni Quitllet, Carles Riart, André Ricard, Germán Rodríguez Arias, Santiago Roqueta, América Sánchez, Pete Sans, Álvaro Siza, Josep Torres Clavé, Helena Tremoleda and Oscar Tusquets. They all have created collaborations producing unique pieces.

Each and every one of these authors have contributed to the enrichment of our portfolio, as well as the consolidation of our commitment to innovation and sustainability. We have adopted responsible practices to preserve the environment, and such commitment has influenced our design and production processes.

Finally, we look ahead with encouragement through new projects and new collaborators to ensure the continuity of the legacy of the past 50 years.

This book was made possible thanks to Studio Albert Romagosa, who suggested its idea, structure and design. The illustrations are by Luis Mazón. We would also like to thank the Design Museum of Barcelona, collection Mobles 114, for lending us the images that have illustrated this book.

Photographs: Marcel Juan