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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          .

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Jasper Niens — Revolver
text and photos via : WEST
After the success at Arco madrid 2012 with his installation ‘Superstructure’, Niens shows a brand new site-specific, large-scale installation called ‘Revolver’. This time, Niens has avoided any of the physical ‘obstacles’ that he used in his previous site-specific installations, such as narrow passages, heavy-weight or closed doors. For Arco madrid 2013 he has chosen to make an installation/staircase, a well-known shape, as a structure in which the visitors are invited, instead of challenged. Inspired by the structure of the art fair and the function of the space, the artist has made an extensive intervention. The object is almost entirely in the service of a form that is usually eliminated. The fair visitors will automatically walk up the stairs and are drawn to look again at the space. The staircase leads to a ‘non-space’, almost a room that is not used by the fair. Thus Niens shows visitors the artificial world of the art fair and – in a way – the backside of reality. ‘Revolver’, in its entirety, has been made of sheet material, which has accurately been carved into wooden elements, using CNC milling techniques. The architectural objects of Niens create spaces that seem without function at a first glance. Physical obstacles such as narrow corridors or locked doors increase this feeling but are at the same time the core of his work. Fascinated by conventions and the human (group) behaviour, Niens searches for limits with his work and confronts the audience with his idea about privacy, determination and solidarity. He constructs interventions which change their meaning of space both inside a building and in open air.                                                                                                                                              .

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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.

 

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from an urban perspective, the project is based on two fundamental principles: on the one hand, the royal collections museum should be part of the natural/artificial landscape of madrid’s western edge, and on the other, it is necessary to maintain the open public nature of la almunena square and preserve views of the parks and gardens beneath the western lip of the city. the museum, in its linear structure becomes an inhabited retaining wall, thus reducing the objective (physical) and subjective (collective subconscious) impact on the monumental plinth of the royal palace.
the aim is to produce a building that is invisible from la almudena square by occupying the space underground. the royal collections museum completes the plinth of the royal palace, constructing a linear space that follows the lines of the palace itself. a simple and compact building, a construction that is aware that maximum flexibility and potential are only possible within a strict order. it uses the materials of the royal palace and its dignified construction as a feature, with a modern layout, heavy yet light, opaque yet transparent.
the three exhibition levels –again equal yet different- hold three differentiated collections: tapestries, paintings and carriages. each space is organised like a warehouse measuring one hundred and fifty by twenty metres, flanked by the remains of the arab wall to the east and a monumental lattice composed of massive granite pillars to the west, opening to views above the campo del moro royal gardens.
the views across the gardens happen in the space between the structural elements, just like the pillars are matter between voids. the space is the rhythm of the beams, and the installations are the interface between the elements that hold the building up. structure, illumination, views, space, and infrastructure all have blurred edges and exchanged attributes. the royal collections museum is a plinth for the palace from the outside; a frame for views of the gardens and the interior features from the inside. the most important things already exist; our job is to make them visible.
text and photos : mansilla + tuñón                                                                                                          .

openhouse-barcelona-magazine-shop-gallery--view-right-through-architecture-mirador-apartment-building-mvrdv-blanca-leo-madrid Sanchinarro 1  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                                                                                                  .

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albert campo baeza

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

marre moerel

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

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