in search of lost tile


Barcelona will have a unique heritage recovery space in which hydraulic floors are found among the rubble by a special

So is the ‘temple’ of the future
  • SOCIEDAD Barcelona Underground

after leaving the box half MoonHenry Jones explains to his son, Henry Jones Jr., who is known to his friends indiana, that despite losing grill Inside the temple they have found “enlightenment”, precisely because they enjoy the mystery of discovery as a form of self-improvement beyond the satisfaction of finding the desired object. Similar disclosure was also reached in 2014. Joel Konovas while walking with your friend Pedro Found a sack full of modernist cement tiles and wondered how one could get rid of them. He rescued them and kept them in his house. The next day he discovered others, and soon a dozen more followed. in a month i had more than 100 stored in a room

As Joel traveled around the city by bicycle and backpack, he began to notice that he found more old tiles, which people threw away after repairing them. “We can’t say that they are not valuable, only that these types of soils cost to maintain if they are worn out and the job of replacing them is more expensive, apart from the fact that operators have to remove them. Time must be careful, not everyone is ready to protect them”, Joel remarks on the medium eight years after his first ‘revelation’, that he has now become a full ‘light’ who in a few months is ‘the light’. Will crystallize into ‘Tile Temple’.

Joel is composing a floor
Joel is composing a floor

“Calling it a museum is too limiting because we want it to be something else, a place to see models, to look at catalogs, with workshops to build and recover this heritage. But when people move out of here So we want them to have the feeling of having been in a museum”, explains Joel as he shows the works of a future ‘temple’ located in the premises of the old siphon factory la villala Nearby poble sec And that it was also a theater. An ideal modernist place to host this exhibition which is now filled with tiles that have been accumulating during this time and should bring more as it still has hundreds in different locations scattered throughout Catalonia.

The problem is “we’ve put in so many hooks” and the network of people Joel has built over these years of discovery is so wide that the tiles keep coming, making it difficult to keep up with cataloging and distribution with improvements. . “Every day we’re open, they come and ask us,” he explains, and shortly after some neighbors in the neighborhood bring a car full of shoes “that we didn’t have in this color.” Thanks to his continued work and that of his close collaborators, Joel has collected nearly 50,000 tiles, of which more than 15,000 of 3,500 different models will make up the permanent exhibition.

hide tile

Although they are mainly used for flooring, there are other options such as placing them to decorate a frame or door, and even making wall clocks with them. Although the tiles were initially recovered from demolition containers on a street running for hours across the city, Joel now has a wide network of people who inform to find them as well as the ‘temple’ in September last year. Since the project started physically, a whole lot of people flock to the place.

rarity of the collection
rarity of the collection

In 2016, he together with his friend Pedro created a game on the network known as tile hunter (Tile Hunter in English) which involved hiding tiles around the Gracia neighborhood and leaving clues for people to find as a reward. Since then, he has become known on social networks and some media outlets have explained his passion, leading to an increase in the number of people offering him tiles. “There are people who come looking for something that’s missing for a floor or to ask me if I need anything, and if they’re not too bad, I recover them,” he explains, though they don’t. He is also informed of various points in Catalonia, Aragon or Valencia where he manages to find rare tiles or old catalogs. they communicate with him social media (Instagram @i_rescue_tiles and Twitter @joelrajoles) and even a “tile hope phone (676070614)” for notice notice.

The tiles have a second life with Joel as he leaves them ready for display after he has cleaned them. Thanks to an agreement with, they also list them Polytechnic University of Catalonia And they can establish the year of manufacture, some are centuries old, the creators, with the help of old catalogues, the authors of the originals and even the designs, revered as authentic modernist artists and architects Domnecht and Montaner from them. They don’t disdain any pieces and keep at least a half dozen when they find pictures or more common materials, although they all have their own value, such as the corners they make and those more rare. Huh.

Before and after
Before and after

With the accumulation of tiles, he realized that he had to dispose of all that he had stored on the premises, and even more so when some urged him to remove them. so thanks for the help guys and his mate Enrique Rebordosa By following the path of “Enlightenment” and opening his tiled ‘temple’, he got closer to fulfilling his dream. In this sense, the intention is to create a dynamic space in which tiles with different motifs can be displayed, for example due to their decoration, floral motifs, makers or the location found in Barcelona.

custom tile

Once there, there will also be a permanent exhibition area, a place to do the activities, he wants to locate a space with creative tile workshops, thanks to a press that Mark Tapias left him with several ‘climb’ or mold, which allows the pieces to be forged and give them the desired decoration. Artisans are at the forefront of these workshops Alicia Cifuentes This explains the difference between older climbers, which are made of harder and more expensive materials, and those that are hard to find, from current ones, which can be made with 3D printers, which are designed to further customize those tiles. Opens the door for those by whom we want to walk home.

“The added value of our premises will be the recovered tiles that will be preserved so that people can enjoy them,” explains Joel, who is satisfied not only with giving them that new life. So, you’re gonna get a hydraulic press that it will bring from Lleida and that it will be one of the seminal pieces so that visitors can see the whole process of making this craft, which has allowed thousands of people to decorate their homes with an eye-catching element, without firing and pressing hydraulics .

You can make your own tiles
You can make your own tiles

Sometimes it takes ‘enlightenment’ to know that the most beloved legacy is the one that we have stepped many times and seen its limits sitting or lying down. sometimes real archaeologistIt is not to be visited in distant crescent-shaped temples as the grail may be in a sack inside a dustbin. Sometimes the way to go is to learn to “give everything” to passion, as Joel explains, because that’s how “the tiles come to you” and you can make your dreams come true.

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