so by chance on the way to the matadero in madrid, we stumbled upon a poster for and exhibition by photographer, josé manuel ballester. to our luck it was just around the corner. the abandoned tabaco factory in the heart of madrid, had be left in its decaying original state. as we walked into the dark space, in front of us hung a large version of the last supper, without people. and then we thing this was it. but as we walked behind, the exhibition just kept going. it was so beautiful to see these photos, some of them of the space itself, hung in a building that wasn’t perfectly white, and with amazing lighting. i think this was one of the more beautiful exhibitions i have seen in a long time., where the space gave such importance to the content. if you are going to madrid. do not miss it .
text : mansill + tuñón architects photo : luis asín
on the first of july 1999, five trucks transported five letters from madrid to castellón. the five letters had been built in white reinforced concrete, in the city of madrid. the five trucks were the same, the five letters were different. the drivers carried telephones so that they could attend to the orders of the directors of the action. as they moved through the landscape and the towns, the five letters formed a word. the emergence of a word, an intruder, implies a culturization of landscape through thought. a culturization in motion that leaves no lasting mark. an ephemeral action, limited to four hundred and forty kilometres and ten hours of travel. nature is what a person sees through experience. the task of art is to generate thoughts able to propose new experiences. the task of photography is not to represent or imitate what exists, but to summarize an experience. therefore, the pictures of this travel reveal the process of a different experience –just a few documents are left as a trace that freezes time, catalyses memory and at the same time challenges the disappearance of the ephemeral. the movement of the five letters on trucks must be understood as a “travel with weight”, reminding us of the mass of the earth that claims for itself everything that moves on its surface. the aim of this ephemeral installation has to do with the earth (two ways of colonizing: the gaze and the footprint) and with time (two ways of measuring: distance and movement). the emergence of these intruding letters, before the changing eyes of people, provokes a transformation of the different territories that are crossed by the road. a sort of spatial appropriation through the footprint and the gaze –a material confrontation between the language of the particular and the language of the universal. the continuous and accelerating frictions between the language of the particular and the language of the universal, between simultaneously being one and part of a group, inaugurate the moment of invisibility. the globalisation of culture and the respect to difference call for a wordless consensus. today it is necessary to make ideas invisible, in order to clear the path for an architecture made from the frictions of living as presentation -not representation- of life… the architecture of tomorrow does not ask for forms, but for the marrow of forms, an architecture with a succinct body, just enough to stand up. if something characterizes today’s architecture, it is the architect’s capacity to explore and exploit, with a critical and ironic attitude, preferably with a sense of humour, the apparent restrictions and difficulties of the profession in our time.
the mirador building by MVRDV stands at sanchinarro, on a vacuous terrain in the northeastern outskirts of madrid, in a newly expanding zone bounded by the heavy-traffic arteries of the superhighway and destined to become a new residential district.
the project is part of the program promoted by the ayuntamiento de madrid for upgrading peripheral metropolitan areas that have been victimized by savage, unregulated urban development.
the third largest city in europe has, in fact experienced urban sprawl dominated by real estate speculation, devoid of any consistent plan and, even worse, with no concern at all for the architectural quality and livability of the districts involved. for this reason, in 2001 a number of madrid architects were invited to develop, in collaboration with great international design studios, proposals for apartment buildings that would respond to the growing, and increasingly varied, demand for housing, but would at the same time become a kind of icon, a reference point for the whole city. text via : floor nature photos via : stupid pony .
i go on a lot about amazing architecture in japan, when we have fantastic architects right here in spain doing amazing homes. albert campo baeza is one of them that i love, and i have talked about before with his caja granada. this concrete home in toledo, just south of madrid, is an example of what he is known best for now, a concrete box at the bottom housing the kitchen, utilities and bedrooms, while the pavilion above is just a roof with pillars and four walls of glass. his fist version of this is the de blas house, much smaller and perfect, and from there he has repeated the idea in many different forms. the rufo house is on a big scale, but the lines and ideas stay the same. beautiful Read More
eating food from food? marre moerel has returned to spain, and opened her studio and shop in madrid, after studying at the toyal college of art in london, and living in new york. she has designed for the top names in furniture and products. her range of ‘food on the table‘ are pieces of meat, whole livers, hearts, pigs feet, that have been made in ceramic. lets try and get an exhibition in openhouse Read More