Quaderns #272
Cosmetic Techniques
Ferran Grau, Nuria Casais

Essays by Guillermo López, Enric Llorach, Matilde Cassani, Nuria Casais and Ferran Grau and ré Bideau, Pep Avilés, David Avilés, Mark Pimlott, Javier García-Germán and Miquel Rodríguez


The etymology of the term cosmetic combines the idea of order with that of ornament (beauty and image), creating a dual synergistic bond. With the extensive use of cosmetic techniques ornament becomes a tool that takes on new meanings, wider-ranging and even less apparent. The unfinished, the discreet, the lavish or the technified, is also, the, in its own way, ornamented.

Contemporary Architecture, Magazine
Quaderns 272 sets out to analyse different cosmetic techniques by means of a critical approach organized on three levels, corresponding to three scales of the project. First, it looks at the current state of the face of the European city, constructed, reconstructed and transformed. Second, it debates the definition of the architectural object, analysing surface and depht, and, consequently, the idea of artifice from an external view of architecture as well as from a visión of the architecture of the public interior. Finally, like a digital zoom, cosmetic techniques are analysed by means of the study of the architectural fragment while simultaneously attendig to the identity of the whole. Architecture is defined by artífice, often in layers, thicker or thinner, revealing the cosmetic nature of the construction and the possibilities of a language taken to the extreme, and definig the new on the basis of the syntactic domain of the old.

Nuria Casais is an architect and urbanist involved in practice, research and teaching. Currently teaches at Aarhus School of Architecture.
Ferran Grau is an architect currently associated professor at the Architectural Design of Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura of Barcelona. His office (GRAUCASAIS Architecture), has got many awards in competitions,

140 pages
Paperback, 19x26 cm
Catalan, English
Polígrafa, 1st edition 2020
ISBN 9788434314016