Arquitectura Viva
Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Arquitectura Viva 114



Normal Housing. The new Spanish building code seeks to improve the quality of dwellings without predetermining their physiognomy. However, its ambiguity is in the end discouraging to the creative task. Architects of three different generations reflect upon the current situation and suggest proposals to redevelop the inherited residential models, illustrating each one of the articles with works by their studios. The three typological examples included – published in-depth in AV 123-124 – introduce new aspects to the architectural debate thanks to their bioclimatic perspective, their program or their material qualities.


Ignacio Paricio
La norma o la vida
Atxu Amann y Andrés Cánovas
Lugares sin nombre
Izaskun Chinchilla
Casas de cuento de hadas
Ábalos y Herreros, cuatro torres
Coll y Leclerc, una manzana
Zaera y Moussavi, un bloque


Residential Scale. Ordered by size, six recent Spanish works reflect the variety of housing types essayed in our cities. In Madrid, a helicoidal volume wrapped in striated concrete panels traces a large courtyard open on one side to draw in sunlight. In the southern area of the capital, cantilevered bedrooms liven up the facade of a block executed with integral formworks. In Zaragoza, a linear building configures the urban edge with two facades of different character. In Vitoria, a piece clad in corrugated sheet has been carved out in accordance with its orientation. In Las Palmas, the courtyard-house building type has been reinterpreted vertically to permit enjoying the climate of the Canary Islands. Finally, the refurbishment of a palace-house in the center of Cádiz recovers the essence of the original work and generates five rehousing units.

Cover Story

Burgos y Garrido
170 viviendas, Madrid
102 viviendas, Madrid
Jaime Magén
68 viviendas, Zaragoza
ACXT/Garay y López
65 viviendas, Vitoria
López y Díaz
34 viviendas, Las Palmas
MGM/Morales y Giles
5 viviendas, Cádiz

Views and Reviews

Spanish Concrete. The conversion of the greyhound track of Carabanchel by José Ramón Azpiazu and an exhibition devoted to the bone-beams of Miguel Fisac highlight the structural innovations of the sixties in our country.

Art / Culture

Marta García Carbonero
La resistencia del pliegue
Francisco Arques
Dinteles óseos

Smooth Vernacular. Bruno Taut in Japan and Bernard Rudofsky in the Mediterranean world discovered in the forms of domestic architecture a
balanced combination of sensuality and austerity.
Francisco de Gracia
Tectónica oriental
Luis Fernández-Galiano
Esparta y Síbaris
Russian Anthology. The theoretical writings of Moisei Gínzburg have been collected in a volume that contextualizes the intellectual legacy of this architect, one of the leading figures of Soviet constructivism. Historietas de Focho
Rudy Ricciotti
Autores varios
Recent Projects

European Curves. After years given over to the virtues of the acute angle, Coop Himmelb(l)au and Zaha Hadid have found in the free-flowing forms a new field to explore. The former have completed a large building for BMW in which they fulfill their dream of building a cloud, while the latter designs
stations in which she researches on double curvature glass.

Technique / Style

Coop Himmelb(l)au
Más allá de las nubes
BMW Welt, Múnich
Zaha Hadid
Lenguas de hielo
Funicular Nordpark, Innsbruck

To close, the enormous advertising screens placed by the Madrid City Council in streets, squares and corners have earned several colloquial nicknames. Beyond these forms of address, the determination to make profit from the public space disfiguring its visual landscape has sparked an impassioned debate on the excessive proliferation of stimuli in the collective realm. Productos
Electrónica, butacas, oficina
Resumen en inglés
Normal Housing
Ricardo Aroca
De mamotretos y chirimbolose
Luis Fernández-Galiano

Normal Housing

AViva-114-lfg.jpg (10184 bytes)Stone represents construction at the limit: at the limit of time, because its tenacious inertia speaks at once of its remote origin and its desire to last, inasmuch as its firm resistance is a symbol of timeless solidity; at the limit of technique, because its extreme variety of joints and bonds runs parallel to its tensional Achilles tendon, because its incapacity to absorb traction is the mechanic reason of its use in volume; and at the limit of touch, because the perception of its textures evokes the contact of the surface with the skin, even when the gaze stops to dwell on the light appeal of shine or color. Time, technique and touch come together in the workshop, which extracts from the stone stubborn persistence, adequate use and common beauty.

Barely natural already in its early, primitive form, contemporary stone is in every sense an artifice, the product of an industry as sophisticated in its mechanisms of extraction and handling as it is complex in its processes of marketing and financial management: marble, granite and slate cover the globe entangled in a web of transport systems and cash flows that take the material from the quarry to the site ignoring the stubborn rules of proximity that in a not so distant past gave constructive, functional and visual homogeneity to the landscapes modelled by human action. And yet, even though entirely artificial in its present condition, stone preserves the singular seduction of its ultimate origin in the womb of nature.

The necessary chance of geology offers a motherly connection with the mysticism of the essential stone that carries on its Atlas shoulders the indispensable continuity in a changing world, but also with the endless list of igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic rocks that display their mechanic and aesthetic variety in a myriad range of locations and sites, multiplying their mineral magic with a whole palette of different aggregates, fractures and weatherings. Essential matter upon which we raise institutions and buildings, and accidental matter whose appeal is based on its endless heterogeneity, stone extends its wide arch of symbolic meaning from a nude and metaphysical radicalness to the cluttered foliage of picturesque diversity.

Severe and laconic as a cornerstone, or exact and necessary as keystone, this mutating material can also shed its gravitas to break up into a caleidoscope of lighter versions, be them thin facade panels, exfoliated roof slabs or translucent enclosure sheets: elements where lightness implies technical versatility, freedom of choice and expressive plurality. It is, in the end, a different way of understanding the journey towards the limits, in an itinerary that replaces the exploration of matter as a never-ending excavation with a continually renewed expansion that rubbles space with the pragmatic multitude of individual taste: between those movements, essential implosion and plural explosion, beats the silent pulse of live stone.

Arquitectura Viva 114 - VIVIENDA NORMAL
Print edition
18.00 € Añadir
Arquitectura Viva 114 - VIVIENDA NORMAL
Digital edition (PDF with DRM) | Ayuda
9.99 € Añadir
Arquitectura Viva SL - Calle de Aniceto Marinas, 32 - E-28008 Madrid, España - Ph: (+34) 915 487 317 - Fax: (+34) 915 488 191 -
Política de cookies - Aviso Legal - Condiciones de contratación - RSS