This is a museographic exhibition that the Maritime Museum of Barcelona has opened, together with “Catalonia beyond the sea”, with the aim of helping to understand the evolution of navigation and how trade and shipbuilding helped the great transformation and modernisation of 19th century Catalonia, as well as reflecting on how people’s relationship with the sea has changed.
“Les Sorres X. A Medieval Ship” exhibits a mid-14th century sanding ship that was found during the construction of the Olympic Canal in 1990 and that since 2015 has been the object of conservation and consolidation works. It is one of the few medieval boats used for the transport of goods that is still preserved in the Mediterranean, thus offers a unique opportunity for academic study and public dissemination of the coastal navigation of that time.
We integrate the museographic project into the architectural space that the Maritime Museum represents, installations that were used between the 13th and 18th centuries as “atazaranas”, spaces used for naval construction. For this purpose, we created a visual continuity between the interior and exterior of the space, where the contemporary wall from the the boat age that was built in order to protect the shipyards from the waves of the sea is located.
It was also necessary to use materials that activated the springs of the memory of the place and the objects that were going to be exhibited. Metal and stone were chosen as raw materials for several reasons. While gravel serves to create a continuity between the surrounding wall and the interior of the exhibition and is also a representation of the place where the boat was found in 1990, metal is one of the main materials used for the construction of ships and curvatures are used to remind us of the crests that the breaking of waves generate against ships.