Tuesday, September 30, 2008

106. Torino. La pista sopraelevata delle Officine Fiat. Sezione Automobili


Dear Sean,

Finished in 1923, for its time, the Lingotto building was
avante-garde, influential and impressive.
Le Corbusier called it "one of the most impressive sights
in industry", and "a guideline for town planning"

Regards,
R

Monday, September 29, 2008

105. The Philadelphia Saving Fund Society Building


Querido Manolo,

En una de tus inolvidables clases
nos hablaste de este edificio, el
primer rascacielos "moderno"del
mundo construido en 1932 en
Philadelphia. Nos contaste que sus
arquitectos, Lescaze y Howe
organizaron el edificio en distintas
areas en funcion de sus usos
diferenciandolas entre ellas por el
empleo de materiales distintos.
Las primeras plantas, que forman
un gran podium albergaban tiendas
y estan acabadas con granito pulido
de color grisaceo. Sobre esta gran
base, se alza el edificio de oficinas
de 30 plantas en forma de T y esta
acabado en piedra caliza de color
terroso. La parte trasera, que es el
nucleo de servicios esta acabada
con ladrillos vidriados y no vidriados
alternativamente de color negro.

Un abrazo.
R

Sunday, September 28, 2008

104. Le viaduc de Millau


Querido Paquillo,

El viaducto de Millau, en Francia, obra del ingeniero
Michel Virlogeux y del arquitecto Norman Foster es
el viaducto construido para trafico rodado mas elevado
del mundo con sus 343 metros. Dos de sus siete pilones
son los mas altos del mundo en este tipo de estructura
con casi 245 y 221 metros respectivamente.
Solo el Royal Gorge Bridge en Colorado, el mas elevado
del mundo, esta considerado mas alto que este.
Te puedo decir sin embargo que de seguro bastante
menos elegante tambien.

Un abrazo.
R

Saturday, September 27, 2008

103. Teologado de Dominicos San Pedro Martir, Madrid


Dear Sverre,

The main theme, that is of light and
color in this church is key for a better
understanding of this unique space.
The architect, Miguel Fisac, decided
to use uncolored glass in the altar, red
colored glass for the choir area and
blue stained glass for the rest of the
space. The church with the rest of the
large theological complex was finished
in 1955.

Warm regards.
R

Thursday, September 25, 2008

102. Lissone. Piazza Liberta


Dear Carol,

The Casa del Fascio de Lissone, designed by Giuseppe
Terragni, shows with the presence of the massive tower
an evident transition of the official italian architecture
toward the dominant fascist German classicism of the
time.

Cheers.
R

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

101. Rotterdam. Torenflat Bergpolder


Dear Enric,

This is the very first working-class
high apartment building built as
conceived by Gropius: the Bergpolder.
The main structure is of steel, while the
horizontal partitions and door and
window frames are of wood.
This is also the first time a lift is installed
in an apartment building for workers.

Best regards.
R

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

100. J. van Nelle, Rotterdam


Dear Joel,

The Van Nelle Factory plans were exhibited at the
Stuttgart exhibition of 1927. As Benevolo states,
the various functions of the productive process were
rigorously analyzed and faithfully expressed in the
articulation of the building, including the pipes carrying
the product to warehouses along the canal, which were
openly set into the glass facade.

Thanks for meeting with me yesterday.
R

Monday, September 22, 2008

99. Scale Model Kunsthal. Rotterdam


Querido Manolo,

"En el Kunsthal las columnas inclinadas desafian las
lineas de atraccion gravitatoria para alinearse con la
topografia generada en el proyecto, en una radical
declaracion de libertad e independencia de los
ordenes naturales" (Alejandro Zaera)

Un abrazo.
R

Saturday, September 20, 2008

98. Elephant House. Whipsnade Park


Dear Louis,

"The aim of the the zoo work was to present a vision
of nature tamed not with a fist but with a smile"
(Berthold Lubetkin)

Best.
R

Friday, September 19, 2008

97. Moscow. The Rusakov House of Culture. 1929. Konstantin Melnikov, architect


Dear Enric,

This magnificent building is a culture
center for workers that houses a a total
of three auditoriums with a total capacity
of 1400. The reinforced-concrete
construction was designed based on
geometry volumes with sharp angles and
diagonal lines that somehow resemble a
gigantic mechanical gear.

All the best.
R

Thursday, September 18, 2008

96. Pavilhao de Portugal, Expo 98


Cristina,

Este es el Pabellon de Portugal de la Expo 98 que
como sabras proyecto Siza con la colaboracion del
ingeniero Cecil Balmond de Ove Arup. La losa, de 20
centimetros de espesor contiene tubos a traves de los
cuales pasan los tensores. Siza penso en proyectos como
los de Asplund para laExposicionde Estocolmo de 1930,
en los grandes espacios cubiertos con losas de Niemeyer
y en la plaza semi cubierta de Villanueva de la Universidad
de Caracas cuando lo estaba proyectando.

Besos.
R

Monday, September 15, 2008

95. Hembrugstraat, Amsterdam


Dear Sibylle,

This residential complex, nicknamed "the ship" because
of its shape, was built in Amsterdam by Michel de
Klerk in 1921. Its tower was meant to be topped by a
cock, the symbol of the Dutch Social Democratic party.

Cheers.
R

Friday, September 12, 2008

94. Scottish Parliament



Dear Charles,

"From our recollections of Scotland we find these images
(a row of Scottish boats laying on the ground upside down)
that stick in our minds...The boats offered by the land.
We like these boats not only in their construction, but also
in their delicate presence in a place. Something about their
form floating in the landscape should be part of our project."
(Enric Miralles)

Best regards.
R

Thursday, September 11, 2008

93. Ciudad Universitaria Hospital Clinico Caracas Venezuela


Carlos,

I read that in this University Hospital the corridors linking
the different wings are protected with screens to diffuse
the dazzling light and ensure natural ventilation, letting
the air flow through the perforated blocks to control the
high tropical temperatures. Though this building was
finished in 1954 it seems to me very up to date considering
all the new "green" architectural method we need to deal
with nowadays.
In any case I also admire very much the fantastic display
of bright colors so uncommon in a Hospital.

Thanks.
R

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

92. Barcelona 1929 Pavillon de Yugoslavie


Dear Jan,

Dragisa Brasovan was the architect who designed
the Yugoslavian Pavilion for the Barcelona International
Exhibition of 1929. It was an attempt to define a new
style for the new nation that expressed its modernity
while remaining faithful to local tradition. Its defining
formal element was the unusual cladding, alternating
horizontal stripes of grey and white stained Serbian
wood prepared by builders in Belgrade and shipped to
the site. Though the most recognizable and memorable
building of the exhibition was the Mies van der Rohe's
German Pavilion, this unknown building was a very
decent attempt of modern architecture for this event.

Cheers.
R

Monday, September 8, 2008

91. Hilversum-Raadhuis


Dear Enric,

W.M.Dudok reinterpreted in this building the playful and
efective intersection of built volumes so typical in the
architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. The alternative use
of horizontal and vertical lines and narrow and broad
spaces gives the complex a strong design concept that
makes the Town Hall a real urban icon. The vertical line
of the tower works as a visual pivot counterbalanced by
the others horizontal architectural elements.

Best regards.
R

Sunday, September 7, 2008

90. Bauhausneubau dessau 1925-26


Querido Alfonso,

Es quiza una de esas pequeñas ironias de la vida que
usted, el maestro mayor de la Catedral de Sevilla,
fuese la primera persona a la que oi hablar
apasionadamente de la Bauhaus. He leido de este
edificio, que posee un equilibrio dinamico. Luego he
pensado que es el contrapunto perfecto al majestuoso
estaticismo de la "Montaña Hueca".

Un saludo muy afectuoso.
R

Saturday, September 6, 2008

89. Matosinhos, Courts de Tenis no Parque Municipal


Cristina,

Este proyecto de Fernando Tavora sito en Quinta da
Conceisao en Matosinhos, junto a la Casa de Ferias de
Ofir, dieron pie al debate en torno a la arquitectura
popular en Portugal como marco valido de una posible
relectura de los valores de la modernidad junto con
los de la tradicion. Una de las ideas latentes en la
entonces emergente Escuela de Oporto.
Nos veremos en Noviembre. Quiza podamos visitarlo.

Besos.
R

Friday, September 5, 2008

88. Guggenheim Bilbao


Dear Alvaro,

This is the building that started out the well-known
"Bilbao effect". The powerful influence great public architecture
can exert. After this building many eye-catching
buildings by famous architect have been built worldwide.

Best Regards.
R

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

87. Pavillon de l'URSS (K.Melnikoff, Arch)


Dear Enric,

This is the back side of the Pavilion.
Above, the roof-like red colored awnings
of the stairs soared like wings. Down, the
staircase crosses the building diagonally
allowing views on to the exhibits on either
side.

Take care.
R

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

86. Paris Exposition des Arts Decoratifs Pavillon de URSS


Dear Enric,

Konstantin Melnikov's Soviet Union
Pavilion for the 1925 Exposition des
Arts Decoratifs in Paris was a masterly
propaganda instrument: a celebration of
the factory aesthetic. As I know you'll
love this image I will be sending you
soon another postcard that shows the
back side of the pavilion.

Best.
R

Monday, September 1, 2008

85. Judisches Museum und Berlin-Museum


Querido Doctor Pasavento,

Su amigo, el arquitecto Daniel Libeskind, que segun
usted leia sus poemas de hospital ( de versos escritos
entre monjas y luces de algodon) y despues los
comparaba con edificios que el habia soñado, llego a
construir despues (o fue antes?)
este edificio, que para mi tiene mucho de melancolia
y psiquiatria.

Atentamente.
R