Fingerprints and coverages | Miguel Ángel Díaz Camacho

Pabellón de Brasil en la Exposición Internacional de Osaka, Japón, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, 1970 | Fotografía: Fujita Architects Office
Brazil Pavilion in the International Exhibition of Osaka, Japan, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, 1970 | Photography: Fujita Architects Office

The architecture is born from the meticulous arrangement of fingerprints and coverages. In occasions one of them will be sufficient. The fingerprint is established as a vestige, a sign, an engraving or an emergency on the landscape: the land like

“the simplest form of the architecture”.1

The fact of extending to the air a protective surface, of stretching a coverage like who it builds bridges or a network, supposes the second complementary, but independent action, of the first one: the strata land – air establish for yes same a luck of privileges and servitudes.

In 1949 JØrn Utzon it discovers during a trip of study to Mexico the Mayan platforms in the peninsula of Yucatan. His drawings show the authority of the plane on the jungle, real geographical instrument of activation of the landscape. The mountain like a prominent fingerprint, an artificial territory, a monument naturalized like funeral tomb, indication of the courageous life of the illustrious warrior. On the other hand, the drawings clouds on the sea realized by the own Utzon in “Platforms and Plateaus”,2 constitute a direct reference to the importance of the coverage on the horizon, clouds precisely separated from this one, independent from the salinity and the movement of the tides, completely free to his nature.

Paulo Mendes da Rocha’s project in Osaka 1970, solves neatly the approximation of both estratos3. On the one hand the land as topography of soft and rounded forms, we would say ” of new yeast “, 4 as the bread opened in the shape of inhabited landscape, as the cave of immemorial time. On the other hand, the cover of concrete Levite on the soft geography from only four points of support, graces in this case to the technology of the pre – tightened: an air horizon of structural and geometric order completely foreign to the low terrestrial orography. Clouds and mountains, lightness and pesantez, nature and artifice. The Hegelian dialectics or the architecture as gravitation, the wise game of overlappings under the light. The architecture like joint of fingerprints and coverages.

Miguel Ángel Díaz Camacho. PhD Architect
Madrid. February 2015.
Author of Parráfos de arquitectura. #arquiParrafos


1 Lloyd Wright, Frank. “The future of architecture“, Horizon Press, NY, 1953. Consulted edition “El futuro de la arquitectura“, Buenos Aires, Poseidón, 2008, pág. 33.

2Platforms and Plateaus: ideas of a Danish architect“, JØrn Utzon 1954.

3 Brazil Pavilion in the International Exhibition of Osaka, Japan, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, 1970.

4 Rodríguez, Claudio. Almost a Legend, Barcelona, Tusquets, 2006, “New day”, page. 31.

Filed under: lighthouse , Miguel Ángel Díaz Camacho

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