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Designing the Future Since 1886

Escofet: Groundbreaking Structural Properties and Design Possibilities

Escofet is a Barcelona-based design firm who, through the creation of luxury site furnishings and urban elements, is an international leader in the movement to transform and beautify public landscapes. With over a century of mastery and innovation in cast concrete, Escofet is seen as a universal benchmark for the medium, continually pushing the boundaries to enable new structural properties and open up new design possibilities.

For more than a century, Escofet has been an international benchmark in landscape architecture thanks to its mastery of concrete and its capacity to transform it and turn it into the skin of the city.

At the heart of Escofet is Barcelona, the city that is not just the firm’s headquarters, but a showcase for its work and creativity. "More than 130 years of history have set Escofet as a company one hundred percent involved with Barcelona, not only for its birth and location, but mainly for its participation in the development and growth of the city,” describes Enric Pericas, Director of Urban Elements for Escofet. Since its foundation in 1886, in the heart of the modernist movement, Escofet has sought out the talent of local designers and architects, working with the likes of celebrated Catalan creatives Antoni Gaudí, Lluís Domènech i Montaner, and Alexandre de Riquer to compile the best catalog of hydraulic pavement tiles of the era—a catalog that secured Escofet’s leading role in the architectural history of Barcelona.

The company’s development is marked by two elements that have been converted into icons of our identity: concrete and Barcelona.
Escofet designs functional, comfortable, ergonomic products that increase diversity in use and offer an optimum experience to users.

Throughout its history, Escofet has employed a pioneering strategy of pluralism in design, continuously collaborating with leaders in art and architecture to push boundaries, further innovation, and generate new design language. "Few companies can argue that design, as a management tool, has been present in its publishing base for 130 years,” describes Pericas. "Our basic principles are multidisciplinary exchanges with teams of consultant architects, designers and artists who have a special ability to reinterpret every process, each material, over and over again until they come up with results that provide us with the ability to create and disseminate new solutions.”

Since the 1970s, as the company expanded its focus from pavement tiles to luxury concrete site elements, Escofet continued partnering with renown industrial designers and artists from around the world, among them Ricardo Bofill, Arata Izozaki, Jen Nouvel, Richard Rogers, Buro Poppinga, and Toyo Ito. Inspiration from this new class of design visionaries coupled with the firm's mastery of materials and technological developments in Ultra High Performance Concrete opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for Escofet‐large‐scale organic forms, crisp‐edged geometric pieces, thin‐profile shapes, and seemingly weightless suspended architecture. “The new generation urban furniture in UHPC defies the old laws of physics. The matter is now seemingly freed of weight — a material that once needed to appear rigid and heavy can now seem soft and subtle. The new UHPC concrete technologies allow us to carry out designs that only 10 years ago were not possible,” explains Enric Pericas. “While the matter has changed, the spirit of Escofet‐a commitment to creativity and a constant dialogue with architects and designers‐continues to remain the same.”

Through developments in UHPC and a diversification of its authors and offerings, Escofet has been able to further its mission to help create vital public spaces. Like Landscape Forms, Escofet believes in the transformative power of beauty, design, and creativity to better the urban landscape. In this design process, Escofet not only considers the functionality, comfort, and ergonomics of its products, but also deeply considers the more intangible social and emotional qualities the forms promote. "Public areas can be evaluated by the quality of the social relations they generate, and the capacity to stimulate interaction between people,” says Pericas. “So in designing for the urban landscape, it is a question of insisting on projects in which the positive social and human-centric impact is deliberately assigned a fundamental role."

Beginning in 2012, Landscape Forms has been the exclusive North American partner of Escofet, offering a broad collection of its expressive and functional site elements. Escofet and Landscape Forms’ partnership is a natural one—each company shares a respect for design and the contribution of great designers and artists, a focus on craft, and a drive to innovate through materials, techniques, and processes.

The Domus shelter, designed by Ramón Úbeda & Otto Canalda for Escofet, is a striking illustration of the design potential of ultra-high-performance concrete.
Lena, designed by Manuel Ruisanchez Arquitecte for Escofet, is a large volume planter with a slanted cone shape and deep-grooved surfaces.


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