Monday, July 26, 2010

Sustainable Design

In the latest issue of the bi-annual Russian journal Speech, dedicated to the theme of sustainable design and the future, I interview Iñaki Ábalos on his latest projects with current partner Renata Sentkiewicz and former partner Juan Herreros, and on his teaching and experiences in sustainable design. Photo, left: Project Porte de la Chapelle Tower, Paris. Courtesy of Ábalos + Sentkiewicz.

I also write a feature on the Vigo headquarters of the College of Architects of Galicia, by Jesús Irisarri and Guadalupe Piñera. It is an inventive design with complex interior spaces and a translucent plastic skin. I first published Irisarri and Piñera's work in my book Young Spanish Architects ten years ago when they were just starting out. Their approach still features an improvised ease of invention I find very appealing. Among their other recent projects are a fisherman's pier in Cangas, finalist in the 2008 FAD Prizes, and campus buildings for the University of Vigo, included in the exhibition On Site show at New York's Museum of Modern Art in 2006. Photo below: College of Architects of Vigo, © Manuel G. Vicente.

ermodynamic Aesthetics 101:
The Formal Dimensions of Controlled Energy Exchange

Interview with Iñaki Ábalos.
Speech 05/2010, June 2010, pages 210 - 227.

The Greenhouse Effect
College of Architects of Galicia, Vigo,
Jesús Irisarri and Guadalupe Piñera.
Speech 05/2010, June 2010, pages 98 - 108.

Texts in Russian and English; no webpage version.

José Antonio Corrales, 1921-2010

Arquitectura Viva reports the death of José Antonio Corrales, 88, one of the pioneers of postwar Modernism in Spain (in Spanish). I was lucky enough to interview him a couple of years ago in his Madrid studio in Bretón de los Hereros, where he was still working at his vertical drafting table with a parallelogram, full of energy and ideas.

Years ago Manuel Gallego took me to see Corrales' School of Arts and Trades in A Coruña (Escuela de Artes y Oficios Artísticos), then recently completed, and he remarked that in the boldness of its forms it looked like the work of a youngster, and yet the detailing was obviously the work of a master.

His social housing development of the 1960's in Elviña, A Coruña (Unidad Vecinal No. 3, Barrio de las Flores), like many of the works he realized with Ramón Vázquez Molezún, matches the compositional pyrotechnics of British or American Brutalism but with forms that appear to have been machine-tooled rather than poured-in-place.

Corrales remembered by Rafael Moneo en El País (in Spanish).

Friday, July 23, 2010

FAD is Coming!

Barcelona's annual FAD Awards, promoted by the Foment de les Arts Decoratives Association, aka Arquinfad, have announced their finalists, with winners to be presented in the fall. Here's the list of nine finalists in the category of architecture:

  • Luis Rojo + Begoña Fernández-Shaw, public housing, Ciudad Real
  • MVRDV + Blanca Lleó, for their second public housing block in Sanchinarro, Madrid
  • Grupo Aranea, High School in Rafal, Alicante
  • Brullet + Luna, Elisabeth School, Salou, Tarragona
  • Carnicero, Vidal + Virseda, Single family house, Torrelodones, Madrid
  • Andrés Jaque, Never Never Land House, Ibiza
  • Francisco Mangado, Archeological Museum, Vitoria
  • Jordi Badia, Museum Can Framis, Barcelona
  • José María Sánchez, Sports Center, Guijo de Granadilla, Cáceres
Finalists for public spaces:
  • Carlos Ferrater, Beachfront Promenade, Benidorm
  • Alberto Campo Baeza, Esplanade between the Cathedrals, Cádiz
  • Batlle + Roig, Restoration of the Banks of the Llobregat River, Province of Barcelona
  • Francisco J. Castellano, Rubén Cortes + Noelia Martínez, Magdalena Fountain, Jaén
The prizes also cover interior design and ephemeral projects (exhibitions, fair pavilions, etc). The full list with pictures (in Spanish and Catalan) on the Arquinfad website.

Photo: High School in Rafal, Alicante by Grupo Aranea (Franciso Leiva Ivorra, Architect. © Duccio Malagamba

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer Shows in Madrid

Public Places and New Programs

La Arqueria - Nuevos Ministerios
Paseo de la Castellana, 67
Tues. - Sat. 10-2, 5-9
Sundays, h0lidays, 10-2
Through September 5

The public buildings of the Modern Movement (1925-1965) are the subject of the latest DOCOMOMO show at Madrid's public architecture exhibition space, La Arquería. DOCOMOMO Ibérico is the official register of the modern buildings of Spain and Portugal, and has been systematically cataloging them since the 1990s. Its website has a full list of registered buildings to date.

Laboratorio Gran Vía
Fundación Telefónica
Gran Vía 28, 3rd Floor (Access from Valverde 2)
Through October 6

As part of the 100th anniversary celebrations of Madrid's Gran Vía, Iñaki Ábalos has invited a group of Madrid architects to speculate on an "imaginable future" for the avenue. The participants make up a Who's Who of up-and-coming (and already-arrived) Madrid architects: Izaskun Chinchilla, Manuel Ocaña, Acebo + Alonso, Andrés Jaque, Ecosistema Urbano, Carlos Arroyo, S & Aa, Abalos + Sentkjewicz, AMID.cero9, Gálvez + Wieczorek and José Miguel Iribas.