Notebook of New York (I) | Antonio S. Río Vázquez

Grand Central Station (New York City Municipal Archives)

The trip to a city known always is a fascinating experience. Even more if it is a question of a destination chased for time, which visit turns into an ansíada put and, at the same time, in the beginning of new reflections and trips in the space and the time, that they extend and recall the own experience.

These days I could have crossed the city of New York, «the capital of the contemporary images» and domicile appellant of the modern thought, taking part of the dialog established between city and cultural environment, already countersigned by numerous authors. I want to move here some of the fragments of the notebook of trip, beginning for the readings that accompanied me, before and during the voyage, on a small text of each one:

Le CorbusierWhen the cathedrals were white. A trip to the country of the shy ones (1934)

«New York is not a concluded city… It is a city in developing. It belongs today to the world. Without nobody was waiting for it, it has transformed in the fleuron of the crown of the universal cities, in which the dead cities are of that only stay the recollections and the foundations and whose evocation is stimulant; in that there are the living cities that they suffer because of the narrow mold of the past civilizations»

Rem KoolhaasDelirious New York. A retroactive manifest for Manhattan (1978)

«The city is permanent; there is no any reason in order that the buildings have to be replaced. The mysterious calmness of his exteriors remains guaranteed by the “great lobotomía”. But inside, where the “vertical schism” gives content to any possible change, the life is in a constant condition of frenzy. Manhattan is now a calm metropolitan plain marked by the self-sufficient universes of the “mountains”, and in that the concept of the royal thing, already overcome, has been left behind definitively»

Kenneth FramptonNew York. The capital of the 20th century (2004)

«The tour of force technological [in the Main station] would be equalized in greatness by the constellation of the Zodiac, painted on the vast surface of the ceiling by Paul Hellen, a painter come from France. Answering to the latitude of Manhattan, the composition represents the sight of a Mediterranean sky in winter. Retrospectively, one cannot but to astonish at the innocence that it supposed illuminating from inside the sixty estellas bigger of this sky and his respective luminosity to fit to simulate the magnitude of his sheen in the space»

Marc FumaroliParis – New York – Paris. Trip to the world of the arts and of the images (2009)

«In Manhattan, at the foot of a skyscraper of a mineral impartiality, little less that I took the decision of a pacific coexistence (nonchalance or relativism, since it is wanted) between a wise and attentive reverence to the ancient and modern art of import, and a stock exchange fit for the appliances, euphoretic or disasters of the Contemporary autochthonous or foreign, but more or less traced Art of the autochthonous one»

Antonio Pizza y Maurici Pla, Chicago – Nueva York (2012)

«It turns out to be significant that the first design of the Comissioners ‘ Plan makes come the transverse streets up to the edge itself of the water, representing thereby an infinity that actually was not feasible. From the tax establishment of both versions of the Dripps, the promoters of Manhattan start already contemplating the possibility of an unlimited growth in height, a growth that own “dream of new york” was considering to be virtually infinite»

Besides these readings, the useful Guide of trip has accompanied me also for an architect: Route Chicago – New York – realized recently by teachers of the University Nebrija – facilitating to the moment graphical and textual notes of the most notable architectural modals.

antonio s. río vázquez . architect
Author of thel blog, El tiempo del lobo
a coruña. juny 2012

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Antonio S. Río Vázquez

Antonio S. Río Vázquez (A Coruña, 1981) es arquitecto por la E.T.S.A. de A Coruña, master en Urbanismo y doctor por la Universidade da Coruña. Especializado en teoría y diseño, su línea de trabajo se ha centrado en la investigación y divulgación del patrimonio arquitectónico moderno. Ha desarrollado proyectos de modo independiente y ha colaborado con varios estudios de arquitectura. Es socio fundador de Aroe Arquitectura. Es profesor en el Departamento de Proyectos Arquitectónicos, Urbanismo y Composición de la Universidade da Coruña, y ha sido profesor invitado en la Robert Gordon University de Aberdeen (Reino Unido), en la Universidade do Minho (Portugal) y en la Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza (Italia). Es miembro de la red UEDXX Urbanism of European Dictatorships during the XXth Century, del Grupo de Investigación en Historia de la Arquitectura IALA y del Grupo de Innovación Educativa en Historia de la Arquitectura. Ha formado parte del proyecto de investigación FAME Fotografía y Arquitectura Moderna en España, 1925-1965. Los resultados de sus investigaciones, tanto personales como conjuntas, han servido como aportación a eventos de debate y difusión científica y han sido publicados en libros y revistas.

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