Often one tends to think that the modernity, that the forefront is faced to the tradition or to vernacular. This valid reasoning for almost any discipline of the daily life meets amplified in the field of the architecture. In the rural environments of our landscape this mentality can verify with clarity, in altars of which, there have got up buildings or neo-hamlets that imitate in papyrolit the stylistic features of the traditional buildings, but that are not any more than a mere spigot than the original typology. In general his adjustment to the area is terrible, when this one is precisely one of the keys of the traditional hamlet. The hillsides of the valleys were taking advantage to lead to the loads towards the ganbara, while the persons or the animals were acceding for the ground floor, while at present the radical modification of the topography is the point of take-off of any project of this type.
It is worth commenting in addition, as the distributions of these buildings with form and decoration of hamlet they present interior spaces that reproduce the urban apartments of any city, demonstrating therefore, that the lack of imagination that already could be felt in his fronts worsens in his interior.
A lack of imagination from which the original model never suffered, since this one, I dress from our time as a jewel of the past, was a shout of modernity and of forefront in his time. No family of the 17th century had agreed to live in an obsolete house or if it is preferred, not optimized to his way of life. For that at the time at present one gives this paradox?
For some strange mechanism, one tends to confuse the respect to the landscape, to the tradition or to our peoples, with the adulterated and limp copy of the original one, without stopping to think that from the current importance they can propose new formulae, new models or technologies that departing from the values of the traditional architecture them update and adapt to a new world and to a few new models of life.
Nobody can deny that the beauty of multitude of the rural cores that we adore, resides in the quality of his architectures and in these were arranged in the territory, but it will not be possible deny either that the logics that governed these decisions are far much of that at present they might think as a point of item. The coexistence of both models is a need and an obligation, but both the citizens and the administrations that regulate the legal frames should bet for the modernity. A modernity understood as that one capable of proposing architectures that give response to questions of our time, since it are the environment, the economy, the energy or the new models of user-friendly unit and that in addition it puts in value and proves to be respectful with the keys that determined the beauty of these environments.
A good example of a building that he bets for this model conviviality, is the recently inaugurated one and projected of joint form for the French studies JKA and ESCAPE.
The project is specially notable if we bear in mind that it is a question of the rehabilitation as hotel of a former villa of field of 1826, placed in Pied de la Plagne’s historical hull and that was catalogued as a milestone of the traditional architecture of the region by the French administration.
Knowing of that the value of this traditional architecture relapses fundamentally into his great compact volume, in his protective cover and in the wood typical of the region that covers his fronts, the architects centred his efforts on the maintenance and if it fits the involution of these key points.
But evidently such an important change in the use of the building, the step of an one-family villa to a rural hotel, was needing of modifications of the original model. One of these points of friction between both structures was that of the need of looking for major entry of natural light. The raise of the number of rooms tied to the hotel use motivated the need to open a major number of windows in the front. For it the architects resorted to the traditional technologies of cut in the tablazón of wood of the coating, but instead of imitating the motives vernaculares, raised a simpler geometric and uniform, more suitable model not already to the tastes, but to the constructive technologies of the modernity. Thus the final image of the building sails between the past and the future, does not enter collision with the ancient buildings that surround it, but it does not yield the value of his current importance and force either.
It is in the habit of being said that one of the successes of the great acceptance that the new technologies have, resides in that these, they are thought to do the easiest and agreeable life, question that connects rapidly with the aspirations of any user. In the same way might be interpreted that the current architecture must follow this idea of success and to worry for facilitating the life to his users, solving the problems and the needs concrete that these raise him, to insure itself that the average citizen should bet firmly in favour of the modernity.
íñigo garcía odiaga . architect
san sebastián. february 2013
Article is published in ZAZPIKA