I am constructing a house. This one, and the smallest ship, is the only thing that I still have now, after years of frenzy.
To construct a house: In that penultimate stage of my life it was doing so many people that almost I had been forgotten what it was meaning.
It is a magic. Independently of the major or minor architectural quality, it is a miracle. There take the functional expositions, the tastes, the needs, the caprices, etc, of the client and cross with the form of the lot, the ordinance, the technical regulation, and, inevitably, also with the tastes, the needs, the caprices, etc, of the architect. (It is said the architect to yes same that it must not put his tastes in this coctail, but it cannot avoid it).
Of this in a mess one they go out sew by half: what has been thought as solution of a problem aggravates different other one. There are moments in which one does not see any solution. It is days in which everything goes out badly.
Nevertheless, always, always, the project ends up by being solved (better or worse). The things fit more or less like it was wanted and everything fits (more or less, already I say).
And, with all this, the project is not the architecture. The project is a declaration of intentions, which tries to foresee the problems and the solutions, but that is not prepared for everything what comes.
And what comes is the good thing. The architecture in paper is not an architecture. The architecture it is necessary to construct it. In paper they can draw many things, but it is necessary to make them real, to be wetted, to get splashed. There it begins the architecture. There the architecture is.
It begins the work and to the architect, to begin, they give him a juguetito that costs a lot of money. Excavators, trucks, encofrados, and, especially, many persons, are dependent on what you suggest, on what contributions, on what you should indicate. (Less badly than the majority of the times they are a very professional people and are they those who suggest you, they contribute you, indicate you).
There goes out an unexpected cave, the unforeseen one of the type that is or an aspect that was not thought about the project, and is necessary to take a decision. And there, in the work, you have to feign a safety that you are far from having. With everything, you give a solution. You do not know if it is the best, but it is a solution. And with her they throw for alante.
And in house (especially by night, especially in the dawn) you have the absolute certainty of which this solution “A” that you have given is bad, and that would be necessary to exist done her “B”.
(A thing is sure: If you had decided the “B”, this dawn you would have woken up equally with the absolute certainty of which the decision had been bad and which you would have to take her “To”. It is like that always, and does not have remedy).
And you go away in the morning early to the work, to seeing if you come in time of contradicting yourself, but already they have maked to concrete .
Of all forms, the work continues progressing, and finishes, and stays there, and almost always well. And one does not explain to himself how it has been possible.
The zeal to construct, the force of constructing, the pride of constructing. What pleasure.
He was saying Mies van der Rohe that the architecture was beginning when a brick was placed neatly, and was saying a friend of mine who had never experienced major pleasure (with the put trousers) that when a wall or a partition (or what was) they were going where he had thought when he was drawing them. To see a bricklayer to do what one foresaw, or a locksmith to weld the pieces that one imagined, it is an indescribable sensation.
In the excessive epoch, it was taking in the glove compartment of the car a sponge limpiazapatos, to take the powder from them and to give them some sheen when it was returning of the works. Yesterday, coming from my work, it was looking proudly at my dirty shoes. But already I remain without works. What monkey I sense beforehand, what nostalgia early. When it has the inevitably clean shoes I will take in the glove compartment of the car a bolsita of powder, to begin a bit, at least in the toes, and to feel to taste.
José Ramón Hernández Correa · Doctor Architect
Toledo · march 2012
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.