And not in a dream, of that I’m sure. I saw dismal, concrete monstrosities turning cities and the look of their dwellers grey. I saw streets changing, beaches disappearing. I saw all of this recently and it all happened too fast.
They called it the ‘Property Bubble’; it happened in Spain. Now I live in a different country, on a different continent. An amazing Chile bathed by the Pacific, embraced by the Andes, decorated with lakes, deserts and glaciers. A growing Chile, expanding day by day built around its super metropolis, Santiago.
I wake up every morning, next to the windows, and I see cranes lifting walls of concrete with the ease of birds making their nests; window-holed walls that cover the great mountain, which twinkle through the night with the lights of their new inhabitants. Their new and mortgage-indebted inhabitants.
/ Español / English below / Si aún no conoces Fetsac, se trata del Festival de Arquitectura de la ETSAC (A Coruña, España). Este Festival nació gracias a una agrupación de alumnos que decidió crear unas jornadas culturales que alterasen la percepción habitual que sus compañeros … Sigue leyendo →
Sometimes you get to meet people who fill you with energy and electricity — fleeting, intense crossroads full of shared views and beautiful ideas. Spontaneous connections, which however tiny, will remain with you for a very long time.
Sometimes, these crossroads are not between people, but between arts, crafts, talents and experiences. Among these intersections is the inevitable attraction between art and architecture: explosive collages, a romance drunk with imagination. And, on very few occasions these two types of crossroads occur at the same time. And in those moments you can only hope that it will happen again.
It’s called IFAC, the International Festival of Art and Construction. It is a 10-day long celebration that brings together more than 300 people from all over the world – creatively restless individuals, who meet somewhere in the European countryside. I felt immeasurably lucky to be one of those 300 people, and so I wanted to share how fascinating IFAC is from the inside.
The marrying of an individual to their immediate environment dates back to the Neolithic times, to the days when we abandoned the mountain caves and started building instead of simply occupying. The fertile valleys watered by rivers weren’t able to accommodate the type of holes we used so much for shelter. We needed to recreate this safe environment, so the overlapping of matter in a similar way to our previous model on the base plane, seemed like the best solution.
But, why do we seek out shelter? The answer seems obvious, faced with the hostile, violent world outside, but in our subconscious, many believe that the shelter they found in a cave is an earthly reminiscence of the mother’s womb. Who, as a child hasn’t hidden inside a wardrobe within our homes and, more recently, wrapped ourselves tightly our sheets during a warm summer just to get to sleep?
“Human being… by nature, as opposed to other animals, didn’t walk inclined towards the ground, but straight and tall in order to behold the magnificience of the skies and the stars; and furthermore, finding themselves proficient with their hands and joints to easily deal with whatever they wanted, started to create their rooves from branches. Others would dig shelters along the slopes of mountains. Some of them, imitating sparrows’ nests, would take cover under clay and mud.
Others, who observed these dwellings went a step further with their inventions, and began erecting better huts day by day. Thus, these men of mimical and sharp nature, and nurturing their pride every day from their findings, taught each other about new ways to build their homes; and using their ingenuity with these imitations, they progressively upgraded them in taste” [Book II: Chapter 1: Primitive communities and the origin of buildings. Vitruvius II, I, “Of the origin of buildings”].
Some types of architecture that have remained until the present day have followed strange, untraceable paths, that our curious minds attempt to unveil. We ask ourselves about their origin, their precursors, their influences. We wonder about all the factors that consolidated a certain architectural configuration within them, a morphology and a language.
In our section of Popular Architecture we research these unusual constructions such as southern Italy’s ‘i trulli’. We do this to let our imagination fly back to distant times, to snatch a piece of history, to try to speak their unique language.