717. Eden Project

Dear Charles,

"It's quality that matters more than anything else"
(Sir Nicholas Grimshaw)


716. Stadtbad Mitte, Berlin

Dear Sybille,

It was a beautiful morning in Berlin that summer day of
1994. I remember well when we walked in Berlin Mitte
Public Bath. An ample and long corridor stepped us
down to the spectacular, beautifully lit, main hall where
Europe's first 50 m swimming pool can be found. This
was one of the most memorable architectural experiences
I've ever had and I wanted to thank you for making it

Hope you are doing well.

715. Santander, Club Maritimo

Querido Alfredo,

La sede del Real Club Maritimo de Santander fue
proyectada por el arquitecto cantabro Gonzalo Bringas.
Unida por una breve pasarela al Malecon de Puertochico,
el edificio se asienta en la bahia apoyado sobre pilotes de
hormigon armado. Asi como ocurre en el cercano Club
Nautico de San Sebastian, el edifico toma prestado
metaforicamente las formas de un barco, adaptandolas al
lugar y al uso del mismo. Asi, una fachada volumetrica y
cerrada se enfrenta a la ciudad, mientras que la otra
horizontal, transparente y ligera, mira hacia la bahia.


714. St.Petersbourg, Ambassade Allemagne

Dear John,

The German Embassy to the Russian Empire, in St.
Petersburg's St. Isaaks Platz, was designed by prominent
German architect Peter Behrens in just eight weeks. Mies
van der Rohe, an apprentice at the office of Behrens at
that time, was appointed as building construction manager.
Mies said much later that under Behrens he learned "the
grand form".

Best regards.

713. Deutsche Bauausstellung, Berlin 1931

Dear Matilda,

Lilly Reich, the co-designer with Mies van der Rohe of
the Barcelona Chair, was also artistic co-director of the
1931 exhibition Die Wohnung Unserer Zeit (The Dwelling
in Our Time). The two buildings in the background center
of the image of this contemporary postcard were designed,
one by Mies ven der Rohe and the other by Lilly Reich,
sharing both a long and meaningful connecting wall.

Best regards.

712. Dublin Airport, Collinstown, Co. Dublin

Dear Michelle,

Dublin Airport terminal was the first significant modern
building built in Ireland. Looking at this beautiful picture
I can't avoid some degree of nostalgia especially in these
hard times of recession.


711. Abdij St. Benedictusberg. Vaals

Dear Timo,

The extension of the Saint-Benedict Abbey near Vaals
is considered by many one of the masterpieces of Dutch
20th-century architecture. The architect, Hans van der
Laan, was an extraordinary Benedictine monk, who lived
and worked in this Abbey. He also discovered in 1928
the system of proportion of the Plastic Number that he
later applied in the design of his buildings.


710. London City Hall


Dear Norman,

Learning from Joseph Paxton and from Archigram,
like a sort of god Janus seeing into the past with one
face and into the future with the other.

Yours gratefully.

709. BMW Welt Munchen

Dear Helmut,

"Contemporary architecture will only be
credible and honest when streets, open
spaces, buildings and infrastructures
reflect the image of urban reality, when
the devastation of the cities has been
transformed into fascinating symbols of
(Wolf Prix of Coop Himmelb(l)au)


708. Los Angeles, Walt Disney Concert Hall

Dear Bob,

"If you can dream it, you can do it" (Walt Disney)
"Your best work is your expression of yourself"
(Frank Gehry)


706. Manufacturers Trust Bank

Dear Charles

The Manufacturers Trust Bank branch in NY City was
the first bank building in the world to display an
undeniable open and welcoming image as opposed to the
previous traditional fortified place appearance. The client's
philosophy was considered revolutionary at that time:
security through transparency and not secrecy.

Because of this innovative approach that took shape in a
clever and bright form, this building is generally considered
as important as other famous landmarks such as the Lever
House, also designed by Gordon Bunshaft, or the Seagram
Building .


705. Pola de Siero (Oviedo)

Querido Paco,

El mercado de abastos de Pola de Siero posee una brillante y elocuente estructura con cubierta formada 
por dos superficies cilíndricas de generatrices 
paralelas a los lados cortos de la parcela triangular 
donde se asienta. El autor de esta proeza es el ingeniero Ildefonso Sánchez del Rio, que la construyó en 1930. Sánchez del Rio está ampliamente considerado como 
un profesional del nivel de otros ilustres ingenieros 
como Eduardo Torroja, Felix Candela o Pier Luigi 

Un abrazo.

704. The Salk Institute, San Diego, California

Dear Bob,

One of the most brilliant and inspirational work of
architecture around the world, the Salk Institute in La
Jolla, California is according to its architect "the thoughtful
making of space". Poetic rationalism at its best.

Take care.

703. Roma, Piazza Bologna, Palazzo della Posta

Dear Alberto,

The facade of the Post Office in Piazza Bologna of Rome
bends subtly to go after the curved path of the street. This
beautiful gesture refers explicitly to some early examples
of the German expressionist architectural movement like
the splendid Schocken warehouse in Breslau.


702. Puerto de Alcudia (Mallorca). Ciudad Blanca

Querida Rosi,

"Arquitectura: Actividad artística impulsada por la potencia
del creador capaz de despertar emociones"
(Francisco J. Saenz de Oiza)

Un abrazo.