Arquitectura Viva
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Arquitectura Viva 53


Naturaleza y artificio, de la Alhambra a Minneapolis
III-IV 1997
Forms of Landscape. The contrast between the geometrical French garden and the quaint English garden sums up the perennial conflict between order and disorder, between artifice and nature, or between geometry and biology that throbs in built landscapes. The Americans Peter Walker, Martha Schwartz and George Hargreaves; the French Jacques Simon, Michel Corajoud and Alexandre Chemetoff; and the Spanish Elías Torres & José Antonio Martínez Lapeña illustrate different contemporary attitudes to designing the environment, with their attendant social, artistic and ecological implications.   Joan Roig
Modern Gardens
Art, Architecture and Landscape
Susana Canogar
Landscape Figures
Seven Firms in Three Countries
Luis Maldonado
Cultivated Spain
From Barcelona to Cádiz
Buildings: Projects and Realizations
Squares. In the vicinity of the Alhambra, monument and landscape link up in a route of terraces and ditches; and at the heart of Rotterdam, the mosaic of a pavement transforms an anonymous void into a stage of city life.   Hubmann, Vass & Nigst
Access to the Alhambra, Granada
Adriaan Geuze
Schowburgplein, Rotterdam
Michael van Valkenburgh
Gardens in Minneapolis and Paris
Gardens. Gardening and botany are employed in the cultivation of corporate images in Minneapolis and Paris, while nature is urbanized around a museum of St. Gallen and within a hospital complex of Bern.
Parks. Whereas the French park of Issoudun recuperates the scheme of old riverside orchards, the absence of immediate references around the Catalan park of Mollet del Vallés leads to the invention of a new topography.
  Dieter Kienast
Gardens in St. Gallen and Bern
Desvigne & Dalnoky
Park in Issoudun
Enric Miralles
Park in Mollet del Vallés
Books, Exhibitions, Personalities
  Art / Culture
Questions of Perception. The silently monumental cube proposed by Chillida at Fuerteventura and the Prado Museum's exhibition on the five senses invite us to reflect on ways of perceiving art and perceiving in art.   Juan Antonio Ramírez
The Void of Mount Tindaya
Guillermo Solana
The Five Senses at the Prado
Sert and Fisac, on Exhibit. Sert's exile in New York is evoked in a Barcelona exhibition showing his projects for Latin American countries, while Fisac's creative evolution is on display in Madrid.   Anatxu Zabalbeascoa
Sert in New York
Alberto Pieltain
Fisac, Plastic and Mechanic
Modern Sources. The Docomomo inventory broadens the historiographic sources of construction in the Iberian Peninsula from 1925 to 1965, and publications on Burle Marx delve into the legacy of the great modern gardener.   Focho's Cartoon
Richard Neutra
Various Authors
Interiors, Desing, Construction
  Technique / Style
Academic Buildings. Carlos Jiménez makes light the main argument at the School of Art of Williams College; Chaix & Morel give a strong technological image to the School of Engineering at Marne-la-Vallée; and Mecanoo adds a Faculty of Law to the scheme of Utrecht's university campus, inspired in traditional North African kasbahs.   Carlos Jiménez
Art School, Williamstown
Chaix & Morel
Engineering School, Marne
Law Faculty, Utrecht
To close, a complete dossier on different types of glass and its possible uses; and a declaration by Oriol Bohigas against the urbanistic policies of the current Spanish government. The architect and town planner fears economic, social and ecological disaster if heretofore valid laws governing urban development are abolished, as the conservative administration has announced.   Products
English Summary
Forms of Landscape
Oriol Bohigas
The End of Urban Planning


Forms of Landscape

Landscape is at once inevitable and intentional. As a product of topography and climate, it takes the form of land and water, and in its vegetal nature shine the mineral and the meteor. But as a fruit of purpose or chance, landscape is also an arbitrary construction, a territory shaped by need and desire. In this moist and docile soil lie nutritive certainties and Edenic nostalgias, the seasonal cycle of work and days or the cloistral garden of childhood. The forms of landscape are simultaneously hard and ductile: destiny and caprice, fatigue and hope, custom and discovery coexist in its botanical and human geography.

Against the sacred or profane violence of construction, landscape offers expiation and refuge; compensating for the land damaged by the architect is the land healed by the gardener who irrigates and fertilizes. Yet the land is tampered with equally by the bricklayer and the farmer: pick and hoe that break and dig, shovel and plough that build and cultivate, iron tools, in sum, that erect and produce terrestrial shelter and food. Each generation traces its profile and environment; each generation invents its identity and circumstance; each generation carves its countenance and landscape. In the final analysis, we are responsible for both the filling and the void, for both geometry and vegetation, for both the eye that contemplates and the panorama that is contemplated.

From enclosed orchards to interminable avenues, garden architecture builds paradises and metaphors: curative and loquacious, its botanical placidness heals and enlightens; its labyrinths confuse and protect; its caverns stalk and shelter at the same time. Whether behind walls or in the long flight of perspectives, park landscapes endeavor to both isolate and relieve, providing intimate spaces and distant views, condensed calm and broad openness. Rustic and pagan, pastoral landscape was rendered abstract by the modern rupture, and its hospitality took on a hygienist and sanitary character: green lungs and clinical lawns that are sown and shorn in the gaps of the city.

When urban centers explode into fragments, the landscape wavers between the desolate poetry of the peripheries and the soothing consolation of sugared fairy tale precincts: between the surreal sadism of garbage dumps, wastelands and highways on one hand, and the narcotic formation of imitation woods on the other. Parks become thematic, and urban voids are understood as landscaped platforms for recreational and sport use. These vast profane premises shape the rough landscape of the outskirts and the syrupy landscape of facsimile precincts; but also determine the shape of our interior landscapes, devastated and smiling, pleasant and empty.

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