In this blog I spread myself often against what I consider intolerable excesses of the architecture of flash, and criticize her without reservations (and I believe that deservedly).
The own title of my blog, ¿Arquitectamos locos?, already I it have counted several times, it is necessary to to the indignation that I sit (or that was feeling, in full epoch of of the circus acrobatics) before the celebrated vacuous and silly architecture, that it is twisted without motive or justification, and before the smiling look of complicity and of stupidity of most of the magazines of architecture and of whom they should have done some well-taken and weighted critique, but, on the other hand, they were limiting themselves to clapping as the seals.
With this attitude I have gained myself friends and followers, and a certain prestige of killjoy, of Dona Cuaresma and of ” This Master of Black “, so sadly as boring and, which is worse, dangerous.
Not. I am not like that. Or I believe that I am not like that. Or I do not want to be like that. In Don Carnal’s ancient fight against Dona Cuaresma one is too of awkwardly, slightly worthily confidence, lazily, facilón and coarsely, but another freckle of unbearably, castradora, frustrated, dry, staked and sterile. And I do not want to be that one. But I do not want to be that one either. Then what? Is it that there is no another option?
I’m excited about the Sydney Opera House. I believe that architecture is space and is form. I believe that the joy that an architectural work shows makes a city beyond the money it has cost or the problems it has caused in its day. And I think it’s always worth it. But always.
One of my most celebrated, commented and disseminated posts is the one I dedicated recently to Zaha Hadid. Better said: to the Zahas Hadides. I do not remove a word, but I admit that if I denounce that architecture because the form is capricious and it is not governed by the function that it has to solve,
So why do I like the husks of the Sydney Opera House so much?
If I am unworthy of the whimsical ways that the author does not know how to build, why do I like the Sydney Opera House so much? If I am disgusted by the fact that construction costs skyrocket, why do I like the Sydney Opera House so much? I do not know. Better said: Yes I know, but I can not explain it.
Oh! Let’s finish! And I’m supposed to want to have a critical inclination when my last word is “just because” or “I experience it hard but I can not explain”? No no. That is not worth it.
Nor is it worth saying that the Sydney Opera House is very beautiful, while the Hadides is very ugly. Had it not been clear that the ad venustam argument was capricious and inconsistent? So what? So what? Eh, ready?
Antonio Mirandaa deserves all my respect. He is a serious and profound critic of architecture. With the greatest honesty he first establishes a criterion, a structure that allows him to judge the architecture, and then uses it to show us a list of more than five hundred buildings of the XX century that come out of that severe judgment.
Naturally, if you build a sieve, however complex and ample it may be, and then want to pass through the buildings under examination, the Sydney Opera House will not happen. (Miranda does not pass any Utzon´s building). And, to give an example, of Michelucci passes the Station of Santa Maria Novella, but not the church of the Autopista del Sol. Of course that of Le Corbusier pass many works of his (and of course the Villa Saboya), but not the church of Ronchamp. As for Frank Lloyd Wright, we all know by now that the Guggenheim is not going to happen, but that the Fallingwater House does not even sound almost provocative.
But provocation there is none. Miranda sets some rules (nothing capricious or inconsistent, on the contrary: very coherent and solid) and lists a list of canonical buildings.
I respect Miranda, I’ve already said it. But I do not like. It’s not that I do not like him personally. He (I repeat it again) seems to me a very valid critic and a very capable teacher. But if his critical method does not admit Utzon it is that something in him (or maybe a lot) fails and is wrong.
I have quite solid ethical principles, but if those principles made me disown my mother I would leave them without hesitation for a moment. And that they are very good principles.
I do not want to be that. I do not want to be a professional bullfighter, a pooper of valuable works but a little crazy (or a lot), and, above all, of valuable works precisely because they are crazy.
Maybe you can not make a criticism on the deductive way, but, on the contrary, first feel “the crush” and then, on the way back, look for arguments. The deductive method does not work. The inductive either. There are too many incommensurable variables that do not respond to analysis or formula. We have to prove the abductive method. (We’ll talk about him: It’s necessary).
Then there can not be valid criticism? I like that even less. If I do not want to be the sour Doña Cuaresma, tabulating everything, I do not want to be a Carnal vivalavirgen. Put to be incomplete almost that I stay with Miranda.
(But before making a drastic decision we will resort to abduction.) It’s not that it’s a panacea, but it’s the little that we have left, maybe the only thing we’ll see, I have to arm myself with courage to explain it simply and cleanly. It is very easy to get entangled in the litter and never clarify anything).
On the other hand, there is a very interesting thing that Santiago de Molina has said. He talks about each project looking for its own design method. It speaks of the internal honesty of the work, due to that of its author in the process of creating it. He talks about the work and about the research and hunting capacity of the architect, who searches intensely and finds the treasure. In this sense, I can ethically defend Utzon against the Hadides, because he locked himself in his work, melted into it and literally let his skin see how to solve the innumerable problems that, on the other hand, only he had sought, while they do not step on the work anything more than to take the glamorous photo.
But that, in the long run, does not work at all either. You can be a very honest worker and do bad architecture. That alone does not work.
Utzon came to the contest with an idea that he did not know how it could be done. And he won it, and he had to do it. And he did it with enormous effort and concentration, and he fights.
Crazy architects: Utzon in Sydney, Wright in New York, Le Corbusier in Ronchamp, show that a feverish idea, a haunted head and a tense and willing muscles can achieve the illogical miracle, the amazing nonsense.
And, while so many brilliant people do tremendous things, I, from this humble and stupid blog, do not want to be bitter.
José Ramón Hernández Correa
PhD Architect and author of Arquitectamos locos?
Toledo · march 2013
Nací en 1960. Arquitecto por la ETSAM, 1985. Doctor Arquitecto por la Universidad Politécnica, 1992. Soy, en el buen sentido de la palabra, bueno. Ahora estoy algo cansado, pero sigo atento y curioso.