Arquitectura Viva
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
USA TOUR

AV Monografías 122

USA TOUR

XI-XII 2006

USA TOUR

 

Luis Fernández-Galiano
America, America America, America

De Boston a California 
A Coast to Coast Journey


Nicolai Ouroussoff
Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo, Boston 
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Diller & Scofidio, Renfro

Cynthia Davidson
Edificio New York Times, Nueva York
New York Times Building, New York
Renzo Piano

Paul Goldberger
Torre Hearst, Nueva York
Hearst Tower, New York
Norman Foster

Julie V. Iovine
Sede de InterActiveCorp, Nueva York
InterActiveCorp Headquarters, New York
Frank Gehry

Blair Kamin
Museo de Arte de Akron
Akron Art Museum
Coop Himmelb(l)au

Sarah Amelar
Centro deportivo Richard E. Lindner, Cincinnati
Richard E. Lindner Athletics Center, Cincinnati
Bernard Tschumi

James S. Russell
Teatro Guthrie, Minneapolis
Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis
Jean Nouvel

Carlos Jiménez
Museo de Arte Nelson-Atkins, Kansas City
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
Steven Holl

Suzanne Stephens
Edificio Frederic C. Hamilton, Museo de Arte de Denver
Denver Art Museum’s Frederic C. Hamilton Building
Daniel Libeskind

Jeffrey Kipnis
Estadio de los Arizona Cardinals, Glendale
Arizona Cardinals Stadium, Glendale
Peter Eisenman, HOK

Joseph Giovannini
Villa Getty, Los Ángeles
Getty Villa, Los Angeles
Machado & Silvetti

Martin Filler
Edificio de oficinas del Gobierno Federal, San Francisco
Federal Building, San Francisco
Morphosis

 


Luis Fernández-Galiano

America, America

Decadence gets good press. Sunsets are indeed more dramatic than sunrises, and the fall of the American empire is a label that shelters a fertile intellectual industry. Many of the golden centuries for culture have been of lead in the economic and military field, awakening in the collective spirit that twilight mood that Jaime Gil de Biedma coined for individual experience: “...and to live like a ruined nobleman amid the ruins of my own intelligence”. The slope along which the dollar slides down and the swamp in which the United States troops stationed abroad sink are alarming signs that contrast with the technical and ideological leadership of the country: Wall Street and Washington may go through difficulties, but Silicon Valley and Hollywood are in good health, so the news about the death of the American power must be judged premature. And in any case, this material decline can eventually be the springboard of a new spiritual boom.

In the world of architecture, the coast to coast journey carried out through the projects in this issue gives more reason for optimism than for dismay. After twenty years of disappointing results, during which the center of architectural debate moved to Europe, the United States returns to the foreground of innovation and discovery with a happy crop of works that brings together the most articulate authors of the nation with the most influential architects of the Old Continent, in a cross-fertilization of positions and languages that allows to sketch out a certain Europeanization of American practice, simultaneous with the spectacular Americanization of European architecture following the worldwide success of the Guggenheim and the white heat of the Bilbao effect: The key works of the American avant-garde went up in Europe while European architects converted to the new iconic creed of emblematic construction and trophy architecture.

These sculptural forms spread today on either side of the Atlantic, and it would be impossible to classify the works presented here attending to the origin of their authors, because Europeans and Americans alike have become global architects in their aesthetic approach and in the geographic dispersion of their works. The predominance of private initiative over the public sector is, indeed, more evident in America than in Europe, and the dialogue with the existing construction has, inevitably, a lesser historical depth. But the stage on which these figures, ideas and money perform is, more and more, a single stage, and it is within this setting that the celebratory or critical action of architecture evolves, a narrative with few characters and a lot of noise, smoke and mirrors: a play of sound and fury where the grandchildren of the European century and the children of the American century await the birth of the Asian century, while they enjoy the golden light of their own sunset.

 

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