For The Architectural Review's relaunch issue ("not a cosmetic redesign," according to the editors, "but a considered and comprehensive editorial relaunch, intended to offer critical thinking for critical times"), and joining the likes of Anthony Vidler, Joseph Rykwert, Jonathan Glancey (The Guardian), William J. Curtis, Peter Buchanan, Peter Cook, Farshid Moussavi and Peter Blundell Jones, I was invited to write on two diametrically opposed projects in Mérida, Spain: the Mérida Youth Factory by José Selgas + Lucia Cano, and the Perimeter Building at the Temple of Diana by José María Sánchez García.
"The urbanity of the Factory is kinetic, dedicated to movement, activity and intense social interaction, and this is reflected in its fluid forms, where poles of attraction power the circular, circulating movement of its plan. The Perimeter Building, in contrast, aspires to timelessness. ... The plaza is "abstracted" from the present of the contemporary city, as the architect observes, and is a space not so much for bringing people together as for contemplation, in which we observe the presence of others in the space as part of our solitary aesthetic reverie."
Double EntendreThe Architectural Review (UK), Vol. CCXXX, No. 1376
October 2011, pages 62 - 71.Link to article (free registration required)
- Perimeter Building, Temple of Diana; photo © Roland Halbe
- Mérida Youth Factory; photo © Iwan Baan