V - VI 2007
Normal Housing. The new Spanish building code seeks to improve the quality of dwellings without predetermining their physiognomy. However, its ambiguity is in the end discouraging to the creative task. Architects of three different generations reflect upon the current situation and suggest proposals to redevelop the inherited residential models, illustrating each one of the articles with works by their studios. The three typological examples included – published in-depth in AV 123-124 – introduce new aspects to the architectural debate thanks to their bioclimatic perspective, their program or their material qualities.
Residential Scale. Ordered by size, six recent Spanish works reflect the variety of housing types essayed in our cities. In Madrid, a helicoidal volume wrapped in striated concrete panels traces a large courtyard open on one side to draw in sunlight. In the southern area of the capital, cantilevered bedrooms liven up the facade of a block executed with integral formworks. In Zaragoza, a linear building configures the urban edge with two facades of different character. In Vitoria, a piece clad in corrugated sheet has been carved out in accordance with its orientation. In Las Palmas, the courtyard-house building type has been reinterpreted vertically to permit enjoying the climate of the Canary Islands. Finally, the refurbishment of a palace-house in the center of Cádiz recovers the essence of the original work and generates five rehousing units.
| Cover Story
Burgos y Garrido
|Views and Reviews
Spanish Concrete. The conversion of the greyhound track of Carabanchel by José Ramón Azpiazu and an exhibition devoted to the bone-beams of Miguel Fisac highlight the structural innovations of the sixties in our country.
|Art / Culture
Marta García Carbonero
|Smooth Vernacular. Bruno Taut in Japan and Bernard Rudofsky in the Mediterranean world discovered in the forms of domestic architecture a
balanced combination of sensuality and austerity.
| Francisco de Gracia
Esparta y Síbaris
|Russian Anthology. The theoretical writings of Moisei Gínzburg have been collected in a volume that contextualizes the intellectual legacy of this architect, one of the leading figures of Soviet constructivism.||Historietas de Focho
European Curves. After years given over to the virtues of the acute angle, Coop Himmelb(l)au and Zaha Hadid have found in the free-flowing forms a new field to explore. The former have completed a large building for BMW in which they fulfill their dream of building a cloud, while the latter designs
|Technique / Style
|To close, the enormous advertising screens placed by the Madrid City Council in streets, squares and corners have earned several colloquial nicknames. Beyond these forms of address, the determination to make profit from the public space disfiguring its visual landscape has sparked an impassioned debate on the excessive proliferation of stimuli in the collective realm.||Productos
Electrónica, butacas, oficina
Resumen en inglés
De mamotretos y chirimbolose
Stone represents construction at the limit: at the limit of time, because its tenacious inertia speaks at once of its remote origin and its desire to last, inasmuch as its firm resistance is a symbol of timeless solidity; at the limit of technique, because its extreme variety of joints and bonds runs parallel to its tensional Achilles tendon, because its incapacity to absorb traction is the mechanic reason of its use in volume; and at the limit of touch, because the perception of its textures evokes the contact of the surface with the skin, even when the gaze stops to dwell on the light appeal of shine or color. Time, technique and touch come together in the workshop, which extracts from the stone stubborn persistence, adequate use and common beauty.
Barely natural already in its early, primitive form, contemporary stone is in every sense an artifice, the product of an industry as sophisticated in its mechanisms of extraction and handling as it is complex in its processes of marketing and financial management: marble, granite and slate cover the globe entangled in a web of transport systems and cash flows that take the material from the quarry to the site ignoring the stubborn rules of proximity that in a not so distant past gave constructive, functional and visual homogeneity to the landscapes modelled by human action. And yet, even though entirely artificial in its present condition, stone preserves the singular seduction of its ultimate origin in the womb of nature.