The City and the Region
Arquitectos sin ciudad
José María Ezquiaga
Ayuntamiento de Valdemaqueda Valdemaqueda Town Hall
Casa de cultura de Guadarrama Guadarrama Cultural Center
Junta municipal de Latina Latina District Council
Centro deportivo en Valdemoro Sports Center in Valdemoro
Viviendas entre medianeras en Vallecas Urban Housing
Blocks in Vallecas
Bloque de viviendas en Arturo Soria Housing Block in
Estación Sur de autobuses Bus Station for the
Ampliación del aeropuerto de Barajas Extension
of Barajas Airport
A double title for a half issue, for what else can we give a city that has lost its self-respect, degrading itself through vulgar muscular growth, unpublishable public works and thematic statues; a minimal issue, not because minimalism is a refuge of the young, but because few of Madrid’s constructions can rightfully be presented as works of architecture; and an intimate issue, because only deep within some peripheral landscapes does one find the sensibility and intelligence that can save a profession’s self-esteem. A paradoxical issue, finally, because it records the split between a vigorous city, a demanding school and a group of talented architects.
Madrid, Madrid: city and region, because the lines between them have blurred and Madrid today is more in the outlying municipalities than in the central core; and because good architecture now tends to appear in the province’s remotest villages, spurred by enlightened regional entities, happily removed from the demands of picturesque triviality.
Madrid, Madrid: uncertainty and hope, because the city has changed so radically as to resemble the new continent of America, America; and because this crucial transformation - whereby old certainties and landscapes are giving way to unprecedented panoramas for innovation and experiment - is at once a risk and an opportunity.
Madrid, Madrid: affirmation and skepticism, because the city’s economic brawn cannot be expressed by the old chotis song that repeats its name: Madrid, Madrid, Madrid; and because the rejection of the castizo does not exclude the blended pride of an at once cosmopolitan and provincial, brilliant and absurd city, exasperating home to many of us.
A double title for an issue of couples or duets; an issue repeatedly multiplied: 2 × 2 × 2 × 2; and an issue that resorts to the device of obsessive order to manifest its perplexity. Faced with an urban core bursting into a thousand fragments, a small group of painstakingly elaborated objects stubbornly pretending architecture’s continuity. Faced with a city whose tastes exalt folklore and tradition, a selection of abstract autistic pieces refusing to go with the tide. And lastly, faced with a metropolitan identity that leans on airports and museums, two divergent emblematic projects each of which marries technology and tradition in this Castilian town that feigns an American destiny.