Arquitectura Viva
Thursday, October 22, 2020

AV Monografías 135_136


Spain Yearbook
I-IV 2009


Balance del año Summary of the Year

Luis Fernández-Galiano
Un sismo en el sistema A Shock in the System
El vértigo vertical Vertical Vertigo

2008, una antología 2008, an Anthology


Cultura urbana Urban Culture

TEA, Santa Cruz de Tenerife TEA
Herzog & de Meuron
Biblioteca de la Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao Deusto University Library
Rafael Moneo
Teatros del Canal, Madrid Canal Theaters
Juan Navarro Baldeweg
Museo Memoria de Andalucía, Granada Andalucía Museum of Memory
Alberto Campo Baeza

Vocación ciudadana Civic Role

Ciudad de la Justicia, Barcelona City of Justice
David Chipperfield & b720 Arquitectos
Sede de Sanidad del Gobierno Vasco, Bilbao Basque Health Department Headquarters
Coll-Barreu Arquitectos
Centro parroquial, Rivas-Vaciamadrid (Madrid) Parish Center
Vicens & Ramos
Iglesia y centro parroquial San Jorge, Pamplona Church and Parish Center
Tabuenca & Leache

Deporte en seco Dry Sports

Centro Olímpico de Tenis, Madrid Olympic Tennis Center
Dominique Perrault
Piscina cubierta en Manlleu, Barcelona Indoor Pool in Manlleu
RCR, Aranda, Pigem & Vilalta
Centro de Tecnificación Deportiva, Cáceres Sports Technification Center
José María Sánchez García
Almacenes de pescadores en Cangas, Pontevedra Fishermen Warehouses in Cangas
Irisarri & Piñera

Encuentro sostenible Sustainable Gathering

Pabellón de España en la Expo 2008, Zaragoza Expo 2008 Spanish Pavilion
Francisco Mangado
Palacio de Congresos, Zaragoza Congress Center
Nieto & Sobejano
Pabellón Puente, Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion
Hadid & Schumacher
Parque del Agua, Zaragoza The Water Park
Alday Jover & L’Atelier du Paysage

Paisajes turísticos Touristic Landscapes

Bodegas Protos, Peñafiel (Valladolid) Protos Winery
Rogers Stirk Harbour & Alonso Balaguer
Villa Romana de La Olmeda, Palencia La Olmeda Roman Villa
Paredes & Pedrosa
Parador de Alcalá de Henares, Madrid Parador of Alcalá de Henares
Aranguren & Gallegos
Hotel La Mola en Tarrasa, Barcelona La Mola Hotel in Terrasa
b720 Arquitectos

Alternativas residenciales Residential Alternatives

Edificio Celosía en Sanchinarro, Madrid Celosía Building in Sanchinarro
MVRDV & Blanca Lleó
Edificio de viviendas Expo 2008, Zaragoza Housing in Expo 2008
Basilio Tobías
Viviendas en la plaza Lesseps, Barcelona Housing in Plaza Lesseps
OAB, Ferrater & Asociados
Viviendas tuteladas para ancianos, Alicante Housing for Senior Citizens
Javier García-Solera

Un año en el mundo A Year in the World

Luis Fernández-Galiano
Doce meses en portadas de prensa Twelve Months in Press Covers
Crónica de cuatro estaciones Chronicle of Four Seasons
2008 en doce edificios 2008 in Twelve Buildings

Premios y pérdidas Distinctions and Disappearances


Luis Fernández-Galiano

A Shock in the System

It was to be the annus mirabilis of Olympic China, and ended as the annus horribilis of liberal capitalism. Hardly had the Beijing Games closed when a financial earthquake with New York as epicenter caused a bank run that was unprecedented in scale and scope, toppling the stock markets and forcing government to bail out affected companies by injecting large sums of money, which nevertheless did not prevent the crash of big banks like Lehman Brothers or even entire countries like Iceland. The financial catastrophe immediately brought on economic recession, and the bailout plans cast the shadow of a fiscal crisis, putting the capitalist system on the edge of the cliff: exceeding the limits of a cyclic crisis, the earthquake that began in the central economies spread to the emerging countries, placing the planet on the verge of a systemic breakdown, further aggravated by the absence of leadership in the American superpower, where Barack Obama’ s election in November was a flicker of hope in a dark year.

The detonator of the crisis were the subprime mortgages, that surfaced when the real estate bubble burst, provoking a plunging of the building sector that was all the more acute in countries, such as Spain, where the boom had reached the highest levels. This depression of the real estate market gives a gray tinge to an architectural year that had its center in two festive events, the Olympic Games in Beijing and the Expo on Water in Zaragoza. The Chinese capital was the scene of a huge planetary spectacle that left in its wake the extraordinary ‘bird’ s nest’, the stadium designed by the Swiss partners Herzog & de Meuron, in collaboration with the artist Ai Weiwei, as a titanic tangle of steel; the swimming pools conceived as a ‘water cube’ by the Australian firm PTW; and the airport carried out by the British architect Norman Foster, the elegant lightness of which does not prevent it from being the world’s largest construction. In turn, in the Aragonese capital, an international exhibition centered on water and sustainable development (though also linked to the second centenary of the Peninsular War, in the outbreak of which Zaragoza played a leading role) gave rise, amid the usual whirlpool of ephemeral constructions, to some noteworthy buildings, from the bridge-pavilion of the Anglo-Iraqi Zaha Hadid to the congress center of the Madrid-based Nieto & Sobejano, and an exceptional work, the Spanish Pavilion, a precise and lyrical forest of ceramic columns by the Navarrese Francisco Mangado.

The financial straits and social tensions produced by the rise of unemployment took attention away from the climate and energy crises – the price of oil reached US$150 per barrel, to drop to US$40 at year’s end – but the economic roller coaster did not curb the progressive ecological deterioration of the planet, a historic challenge for humanity that clamors for a global governance of resources and, in the field of architecture, a renewed emphasis on sustainability. Few works express this attitude better than the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, built by Renzo Piano with a green undulating roof that amounts to an ethical and aesthetic manifesto, in a year when the Genoa architect also made the news for his AIA Gold Medal and his projects in Ronchamp and the Kimbell, in dialogue with Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn.

Other names that stood out in the course of the year were the French Jean Nouvel, who accepted the Pritzker Prize in Washington, D.C. and finished an auditorium in Copenhagen; the Swiss Peter Zumthor, who won the Praemium Imperiale and opened a moving chapel in Mechernich; the Mexican Teodoro González de León, who received the UIA Gold Medal at its congress held in Turin and completed an art museum in Mexico City; the Santander-born Juan Navarro Baldeweg, who earned the gold medal for Spanish architecture and wrapped up the Teatro del Canal in Madrid; and the Californian Frank Gehry, honored with the Golden Lion of a disappointing Venice Biennale and the object of a tough controversy – fiercer than that sparked by the Foster and Hadid projects in Mecca – with his Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, the symbolic center of a Near East that again went under fire in December with the invasion of the Gaza Strip. Other outstanding works were Snøhetta’s opera house in Oslo, Giancarlo Mazzanti’ s library in Medellín, Grafton’s university in Milan and José Cruz Ovalle’s in Santiago de Chile, Santiago Calatrava’s bridge in Venice, Nieto & Sobejano’s museum in Moritzburg, and two large constructions in Seoul and Luxembourg by a Dominique Perrault whose full career was recognized with a major exhibition at the Pompidou Center.

In Spain, the year’ s victories in sports were not matched in architecture, though the most acclaimed buildings were, besides David Chipperfield’s City of Justice in Barcelona, museums like the one in Tenerife by Herzog & de Meuron – who also won the competition for the BBVA headquarters in Madrid – or those by Rafael Moneo or Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra in Cartagena, and wine cellars like Richard Rogers’s in Peñafiel; while the most awaited completion was that of the four towers now punctuating the north of the capital, by Henry Cobb, César Pelli, Rubio & Álvarez-Sala, and Norman Foster, amid which the foundation stone was laid for the Convention Center designed, in the form of a wheel, by Mansilla & Tuñón, who, incidentally, also won the competition for the main building of Soria’s Eco-City with a hemisphere-based proposal. These tall completions were the counterpoint in a year in which the credit crisis unleashed a chain of skyscraper project cancellations everywhere, from the United States – where it affected Calatrava in Chicago and Nouvel in New York – to Russia, where Foster saw his Moscow tower vanish into thin air, and even the Gulf Emirates, which did not prove themselves immune to recession.

Apart from that, the year that celebrated the centenaries of Oteiza and Max Bill or the 500 years of Palladio also paid tribute to Paul Rudolph in connection with the restoration of his Yale School of Architecture, continued the cult of Le Corbusier with a huge body of publications and events, and lamented the inevitable list of deaths, headed by two somehow ill-fated masters, the great Dane Jørn Utzon – who will be remembered for his Sydney Opera House and the church at Bagsvaerd – and our own Fernando Higueras – always associated with his mythical ‘crown of thorns’ – and which also includes the architects Walter Netsch, Nader Khalili, Joaquim Guedes, Federico Barba Corsini or Matilde Ucelay, the critic Martin Pawley, the publishers Andreas Papadakis and Gustavo Gili, the civil engineers and entrepreneurs José María Entrecanales and Rafael del Pino, as well as the former mayor of Benidorm and pioneer of urban planning for tourism Pedro Zaragoza: a defender of skyscrapers in their year of agony and ecstasy, condemned as icons of reckless capitalism and celebrated in their last hurrah just before the real estate and financial debacle.


AV Monografías 135_136 - ESPAÑA 2009
Print edition
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