Spring / Summer 2010 - José Juan Barba
Crisis = Recycle
When I visited Enric Miralles at his home in 2000, I remember that after making coffee in the kitchen we went into the lounge and he started telling me about the opinions people had when they visited his house (a dwelling that is almost totally interior and connected to a patio through which you enter the house) The restoration of that 16th century house which was done with Benedetta was an example of one of the well known phrases of the Catalonian architect that reminded me of Miguel San Millán:
"the same reused gothic walls and floor… like looking in the pockets of an old coat… placing the things you find on a clean surface… or the paint on the wall that reveals found fragments…"
Enric noted that any intervention on pre-existing architecture should deal not only with its own spatial, dimensional and constructive reality but also with the fragmentary episodes accumulated in it as witnesses. The design had certain characteristics of an open and premeditated intervention that was unfinished and was an obvious rejection of conventional functional categories.
Enric didn't mention it explicitly, but it was easy to recognise his intention to recover the traces in space of the different places in which the house, over time, as he would say "its uneven diachronic dimension", had been left like scars on the building.
The project had been carried out in a period of crisis, and the editorial of one of the publications in which it appeared (and which coincidently featured projects by both of us) was even entitled "Crises, intangibles and design." The editor talked about the change in values, the perception that the new individuals recognized in the new designs differentiating content and how the decisions of the users and consumers of all of that were filtered through the problem of the economy. I looked at the year of publication again and saw it was 1995; I thought I was confused and was reading a current editorial.
The reality is that periods of crisis are cyclical and we could continue to look to the past to prove it. What really amazed me about all of that, besides the transparency of time between that moment and the current one, was the idea of advancing by reusing, recreating and recycling our ideas, our buildings and ourselves. Today, in a more brutal way than in those years, we find ourselves facing the same need to recreate the existing in order to invent the future
To recycle according to the Real Academia Española has the following four meanings:
1. (VT) to submit a used material to a process so it can be used again.
2. (VT) to provide complementary training to professionals or technicians in order to expand and update their knowledge.
3. (VT) to provide new training to professionals or technicians in order to work in another speciality.
4. (VT) Techn. To repeatedly submit material to the same cycle, in order to expand or increase its effects.
To recycle, to reinvent ourselves and our needs is also one of society's demands in times of crisis. To recycle, therefore, means to suppose an act of reflection on the stressful use of consumption through reflective acts in periods without time to think and time is something we now have a lot of, even if it's only between tenders.
The proposals that are presented in this issue are intended to be only a minimum contribution, not a prescription for reusing buildings with new programmes, for giving old materials new uses, for redesigning the use of existing urban areas, for recycling party walls and paper to create works of art, actions that require a new relationship with the natural, a recycling of our urban humanised nature. …. the collection of materials presented here, even more than before, has a clear common tendency, as a whole, a deliberate tendency, with a short fuse, with a tiny detonation if you want, but with the confidence that the fluttering of the wings of a butterfly in China can mean a radical change on the other side of the world, the butterfly effect, an optimistic perception or simply the need to continue to dream that Architecture can still create new worlds that spur on the changes that society demands.Spring / Summer 2010 - José Juan Barba
METALOCUS-026 - José Juan Barba 4
A.01. 10 years and 25 issues, METALOCUS - José Juan Barba. Spiros Papadopoulos 14
T.01. The defecators - Iordanis Stilidis 20
A.02. Forgotten colonisations. Abandoned architecture - Gerard Bastidas 32
A.03. "Annenberg Public Policy Center" University of Pennsylvania - Fumihiko Maki. Maki and Associates 42
A.04. Mediatheque - Tank Architectes. Olivier Camus - Lydéric Veauvy 52
A.05. La Minoterie - Tank Architectes. Olivier Camus - Lydéric Veauvy 63
A.06. Boa Mistura and the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall - Boa Mistura 68
A.07. Refurbishment of the satellite control centre - Juan Herreros. Herreros Arquitectos 78
A.08. "Student's home". "UPCT" - Martín Lejárraga 86
A.09. Spanish pavilion, Shanghai World Expo 2010 - EMBT - Benedetta Tagliabue 92
A.010. Perforate block in Carabanchel - Atxu Amann, Andrés Cánovas, Nicolás Maruri 106
A.011. Office building in the centre of Athens - Alexandra Kalliri 114
T.02. Edward Baker. Madrid Cosmopolita. La Gran Vía, 1910-1936. Interview by: - José Juan Barba 120
T.02. Post Scriptum - Daniel Zarza 138
T.03. Reflecting on the shop window - Nuria Álvarez Lombardero 140
P/A.01. Photograpies - Antoine D'Agata 150
A.012. The mountains of light. Xidayinggang twin bridge - Pedro Pablo Arroyo. CA- Group 156