MEL, established in 2013 by Maria Ruiz and Roberto Molinos to create art pieces in glass through combining artistry and digital technology.
Words by Emily Martin
Maria Ruiz and business partner Roberto Molinos met while studying architecture together at university in Barcelona. In 2013, the duo set up their Barcelona-based company MEL, which designs and fabricates glass art pieces combining artistry and digital technology.
In 2014 it launched its two collections DUNA and LOTO – modular systems using individual moulded glass pieces to create striking installations. The same year MEL won an AJAC VII Young Architects’ Award from the architect’s institute in Spain – the COAC. MEL now also has a third collection, PÉTALO.
Carmin is a sensitively refurbished antique house in Bordeaux, France, in May 2016, using MEL’s latest modular collection PÉTALO. The glass design complements the elegant interior design of this impressive country house
‘We are very good friends who always had in mind the idea of working together,’ says Ruiz of her business partner Molinos. ‘The right occasion arose when Roberto was invited to see the glass workshop in his hometown of Cartagena. He came to me with the idea of putting together digital design technologies and glass craftsmanship.’
Mshereb is another bespoke and currently conceptual project planned for a building in Qatar’s capital Doha in the shape of a digitally designed pattern, spanning six floors. Visitors can enjoy the complexity of this impressive glass art piece while travelling in the building’s lifts.
Gripped by the idea the two architects teamed up, with Ruiz leading the design and research. The company has built distribution networks in the Middle East, Latin America, the US east coast and the UK in just a year. ‘In 2017, besides consolidating the network, we will be launching a revolutionary collection of mouth-blown pieces that come from the same mould. One mould for more than 80 shapes! In the glass world it’s a huge invention,’ adds Ruiz.
Cubo is another bespoke project currently in the concept stage, this time for Dubai. Designed for a shopping mall, Cubo features suspended transparent glass rods that form a rectangle in front of the main entrance to the mall. ‘A subtle movement of the light changing… gives the effect of dancing water,’ explains Ruiz.