247. Nexus Housing, Kashi District, Fukuoka, Japan


Dear Sven,

"In each house we tried to offer a rich
variety of spacial conditions and tectonic
contrasts: enclosed vs. exploding, intimate
vs. open, public vs. private, high vs. low,
rough vs. refined, dark vs. light, concrete
vs. abstract." (R. Koolhaas talking about
his Nexus housing project in Japan)

Regards.
R

246. Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam



Dear Mary,

Gerrit Rietveld's last commission was the design
for the Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh (1963–73)
in Amsterdam. Regrettably he couldn't see it finished
because he died in 1964 so the building had to be
completed by his associates.

Regards.
R

245. Berlin Gross-Siedlung Britz


Dear Robert,

The "horseshoe" community, so named from the
horseshoe shape of the inner group of apartments
which are built around a natural pond, was one first
siedlung communities to be built in Berlin between
1925 and 1931. It is one of the best examples of
application the ideas of the Garden City Movement
by a functionalist architect.

Best regards.
R

244. Halsingborg. Konserthuset


Dear Louis,

The Halsingborg Concert Hall was built in 1932 and
was the first relevant proposition of the modern style
in Sweden. The architect, Sven Markelius, was sued
after the building was completed but won in court
because he complied with all legal stipulations and
security and hygienic requirements.

Best.
R

243. Longarone (BL) La nuova Chiesa



Dear Tanu,

I enjoyed very much the other day projects review
session. It was really refreshing for me to see so
many great and enthusiastic ideas. Thanks a lot
for letting me to be part of it.
When discussing Thomas' project you mentioned
Giovanni Michelucci's San Giovanni Battista
church on the Autoestrada del Sole. This is, by
the way, one of my favourite buildings, particularly
because of its intriguing and amazing interior space.

Though this church is one of Michelucci's best known
works, he built several buildings as well. Another
church he did in Longarone (Italy) replaced the old
church that was destroyed along the whole town
in the 60s. A landslide forced millions of gallons of
water over the top of the nearby Dam, killing
almost 2000 people. Longarone was hopefully
rebuilt following the tragedy.

Here I am sending you a couple of postcards of this
church that to me resembles somehow to a dam
(maybe because of the all concrete finish). I like to
think that the ultimate reason for the extensive use
of this material was that Michelucci wanted to
change (metaphorically) the structure that brought in
destruction to the locals into a new structure built to
spread out hope and confidence.

Anyway, thanks a lot again for your invitation. Please
call me back any time you might need some extra
help.

Take care.
R

242. Vue nocturne du Pavillon d'Espagne, Bruselas 1958


Dear Aldo,

Last night I went to see the Spanish Pavilion still under
construction. When I came back to my hotel I had the
certainty that this building was about to be one of the
most important pieces of Spanish architecture of the
twentieth century.

Take good care.
R

241. Rotterdam. Centrale Bibliotheek


Dear Hans,

In the Rotterdam Central Library you can find besides
more than a million books, a library theatre that often
stages cabaret performances and literary activities, a
café-restaurant a, the Central Discotheque for CDs and
DVDs and the largest collection of books ‘about’ and
’by’ Erasmus in the world.

Cheers.
R

240. Punta Ballena. R.O. del Uruguay. Hotel Punta Ballena en Solana del Mar


Querido Juan,

A ti, arquitecto de la luz, tocado
del soplo de la mar grecolatina;
mano que eleva, frente que origina
la gracia en el azul ilimitado

Por ti otra vez el cielo creado,
por ti el oscuro bosque se ilumina.
Canta tu arquitectura cristalina
sobre el espacio mas deshabitado.

Te espera el sol, el aire anda impaciente
Del campo a la ciudad, y el hombre siente
morirse de dolor en la mirada.

El arquitecto puede hacer la rosa
Y con el sol la vida mas dichosa,
en luz, en luz, en luz edificada

(Rafael Alberti a Antoni Bonet, 1946)

Abrazos
R

239. Suomen Urheiluopisto



Querido Enrique,

Después de mi encantador paseo en bote por el lago,
he venido a ver el edificio que me dejó tan pensativo
e inmóvil entonces (como le pasaba a Kafka). He tenido
que desplazarme todo alrededor del complejo para
abarcarlo bien, como si estuviese rodando una película.
Aun así la sensación de serenidad y armonía que 
desprende el edificio ha tranquilizado mi ánimo que 
empezaba a inquietarse. Después me he serenado del 
todo cuando me he cruzado con un señor muy bajito 
que me ha saludado muy amablemente con una sonrisa 
de felicidad al pasar. Helsinki me transporta a veces 
hasta Verona...

Saludos.
R

238. Vierumaki, Suomen Urheiluospisto


Querido Enrique,

Aquí en tu admirada Finlandia, admiro yo desde
una bote que he alquilado en este paradisiaco lago de
Vierumaki un edificio funcionalista del año 36.
Se trata de la fachada trasera del Centro de Deportes
Finlandés, obra del arquitecto Erik Bryggman.
Esta vista me hace recordar a Frank Kafka. La quietud
y solemnidad del entorno me hacen reflexionar.
No hay apenas movimiento, solo el torpe e inconstante
remar de mis brazos que a veces consiguen distraerme.

Un abrazo.
R

237. Bibliotheque Nationale de France





Dear Melissa,

The four corner towers of the new Biblioteque Nationale
de France (BnF) resemble four open books. These four
"books" plus the underground floors contain altogether
400 km of shelves for 20 million books. According to
the architect Dominique Perrault one of the inspirational
concept when designing the library was a typical medieval
cluster. This idea is in part achieved by the fantastic winter
garden that stand surrounded by the four towers in the
middle of this gigantic but also minimalistic complex.

All the best.
R

236. IBM Pavilion 1964-65 New York World's Fair


Dear Eliel,

The atmosphere of the IBM
Pavilion at the New York
World's Fair 1964-65 was
that of a covered garden.
45 tall corten steel trees
hold a large green translucent
plastic cover for a series of
colorful exhibits underneath.
The main attraction though was
the "Information Machine",
an ovoid theater with multiple
screen projection, raised 90
feet above the ground. Here
the Eames-produced
documentary "Think" was
projected onto twenty
screens of different shapes
and sizes.

Best wishes.
R

235. Palau Sant Jordi-Montjuic


Querida Luz,

Hoy he vuelto a visitar Barcelona, como cuando fuimos
todos con Manolo. Gaudi, Mies, Sert fueron iluminadores.
Hoy tengo que incluir en la lista Nouvel, H&dM y por
supuesto Miralles. Espero que esteis los tres muy bien.

Besos.
R

234. Aalsmeer, Centr. Aalsm. Veiling



Dear Jennifer,

Aalmeer is the center of the Dutch flower trade.
This particular market hall is known as "Bloemenlust"
(floral delight) and was built by J.F. Staal in 1928.
The gable shape is a neat echo of the glasshouses where
flowers are typically grown. Hope I can teach you
some architecture as you asked me to do.

All the best.
R

233. Turku-Abo



Dear Neiti,

Yesterday was my first day at my new job. Now I work
for the Turun Sanomat newspaper here in Turku as an
assistant in the commercial department. I have a brand
new desk in the ground floor of this new building. The
most modern in the city. The whole building is so
extraordinary that many people have asked me about it.
The only thing I know is that the architect's name is Aalto
and that the style is inspired by recent European
architecture.
I think I 'm going to enjoy this job. Pleople are very kind
with me and they seem to be quite professional. I will
keep you posted.

Best wishes
R