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NIGHTFALL IN THE COUNTRY OF THE THOUSAND BOXES


(PUBLISHED IN THE PASAJES DE ARQUITECTURA MAGAZINE)

 

Luckly, experts and prestigious purists, national and international, are leaving the cartesian-minimalist rhetorics, some going out by the roof through over-scaled skylights, others dancing as Dervishes in circles, all travelling towards places with a greater space-formal delight, than the parallelepiped world, world where they, alone or in company with others, contemplate themselves in alternate versions, B, C, D and… of the Kursaal in San Sebastian.

It is true they do this "transit" to new horizons accompanying themselves and supported by their commercial agents, because these are uneasy waters in which to survive when the comfortable yacht has wrecked, where the security of the discipline’s network won’t provide any longer.

I am pleased. Not only for what turning the page (style wise) means, which in some way is to walk in the history’s direction, but because of its meaning as the Tanatos funeral; of the ethical, moral and architectural embalming, facing the triumph of Eros; the existential,  the magical and also, why not, of the enduring.

It is still true that there is a provincial and suburban market for that which, although quantitatively important, is no longer at the forefront of the architectural parade. It is on the culture’s periphery (literally and metaphorically speaking) where lay the wrecks of abandoned styles.

From the arrogance of symbolism, that understands the citizen as passive consumer, opposed to the objectual, which understands the citizen as an active user. From the contempt for the user’s intelligence, treated as unable to enjoy the space and the architectural form simplicity (not simple), and reflect with inexhaustible curiosity on the complex (not complicated) architectural construction system through a concert of structures, facilities, equipments, transit places inside and outside, outside-in, etc.

I fear that instead of directly building, with sensible and skilled craft, we will see how elements and constructive processes are embellished to arrogantly crush, with special effects often drawn from the “basket” or gotten from the storage for large prefabricated pieces for civil works, or perhaps and even worse, wrapping architecture with little glass pipes, frigid skins, plastic wood, fake stone, etc., inside and outside, obtaining magnificent editorial sceneries, at the expense of a guilty cultural transvestism, and/or covering up with louvers, blinds, meshes and lattices, as "burkas" that which (I’m truly telling you) is the beautiful face of architectural space when it is solved and built from the inside to the outside.

Construction, as a practice which understands this is the essential architecture problem and not the space representation, using our discipline’s more or less cryptic rhetorical language, outlines a promising path.

Social and envoronmental sciences which, in their pressing urgency, will give (and are giving) a shocking knock on the table (from which, and by the way, even the solar panels will jump), forcing to escape all the pedantic, so many metaphors, so many lack of culture, deserve a main role in space and time of creative decisions.

The pleasant country club, where even the northern cold wind is entering, is almost empy, only remain behind partners, ankylosed by age, blindness and cowardice, or just sitting drowsy by the comfortable heat of a well fed fireplace; partners smoking and drinking, good wine I hope, while they gossip and murmur about what is happening outside or remembering old times.

 

SUNRISE IN "THE LAND OF A THOUSAND DANCES" WILSON

PICKET

Andrés Perea Ortega




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