Of the (unbearable) variability of the contemporary fact to the times of the architecture | Jorge Meijide

“Marquesa Casati”, Man Ray, 1922 1

Of the (unbearable) variability of the contemporary fact to the times of the architecture

We live a time that practically everything is considered to be valid and that everything is revisable. A time in which the need to offer something new and different from everything made, and that certainly is recognized as such, prevails opposite to any other need or value.

Nowadays, and already time ago, to the architecture there is not left he to enjoy his time, this time necessary for his accused and execution; the necessary one for his complex production. His chronology already not this one dictated by his own one to develop, for his own evolution and need. Not, nowadays his times come marked by that one that is foreign to his nature. It is marked by the political times, by the times of the market or the spurious personal times; times all of them of convenience, but convenience of whom? The consumer market has entered strongly the architecture and this one has embraced without modesty his values, and we with her.

The architecture has been turning little by little into a foreign instrument to if same. We have left her, have been obliging and complaisent with that one that in a moment was looking like to us a push and that with the time has appeared as a ballast, and with this undesirably added load we have ballasted it and have trivialized it, have made it lose complexity and depth, it has turned in superficially and banal and the honourable exceptions ” that they to be, haylas ” standing out of the average, they confirm the rule.

Neither it is a question of placing to the architecture in the high pedestal of the untouchable and contemplative fine arts, on the contrary, it has to be tangible and participative, but for if same, not for the external agents who use it as propaganda or spectacle passenger, it is necessary to return to him the dignity of his work and if it fits, something of former honesty. To put excessive emphasis in the emblematic of his final result reduces his aptitude to transmit and impoverishes and stultifies her. We have got used to not being able to see and to not being able to read the architecture, limit ourselves to looking and to deciding, rapidly and fleetingly, between the simple poles of a reduccionista and Manichean aesthetic classification at it. The above mentioned thing, we reduce it, simplify it and trivialize it, rather they us reduce it, they us simplify it and they us trivialize it.

“None of us is a so good architect who could work below his capacity; and nevertheless, I know not even one only recent building where it is not demonstrated up to the satiety neither that nor the architect nor the builder strained. This it is the distinctive character of the modern work. But the ancient work was, in his most, dedicated. Our work, on the other hand, gives always the sensation of costing money, of which we cut our effort away where and when we can, of an indolent complacency in the low quality, instead of a loyalist I pawn in our forces. Let’s end of once with this type of work: let’s remove any temptation; let’s not leave us to degrade then to protest and to be sorry about our differences; let’s let’s confess our parsimony or our shortage of ideas, but let’s not deceive ourselves. It is not, not even, a question of how much let’s should do, but of since should be done; it is not a question of doing more, but of becoming better “.

John Ruskin’s words, remembered by Josep Quetglas in an article about Alpaca Alonso, already were saying this to us in the middle of the century XlX.2

The culture of the project demands effort, self-criticism and something of limitation of the complacency of which we display too often. It suits to remember in addition that a project is, as says to us Juan Tallón, “an exercise propositivo that it has many possibilities of staying in nothing “, so it would not be of more taking advantage these times that the present conjuncture drinks to us (by force), for certain pause and to think more on what doing that on how doing it.

I finish with a few Roberto Bolaño’s phrases mentioned by Juan Tallón3 on the literature of that, for that one of the parallelism, probably we can take advantage. The Chilean writer says to us:

“A quality of writing does not mean to write well, because it it can make anyone, but write wonderfully well, and not at least it, since to write wonderfully well also it can do anyone. Then what is a qualit writing? So what always has been: to be able to put the head in the dark thing, be able to jump to the emptiness “.

Let´s jump so, but with the opened well eyes…

jorge meijide . architect

a coruña. march, 2012


1 “Marquesa Casati”, Man Ray, 1922.

2 “Las siete lámparas de la arquitectura”, John Ruskin, 1849.It´s mentioned in turn by Josep Quetglas about Alpaca Alonso in the number 137, Arquitectos magazine, of the Consejo Superior de Arquitectos de España, 1995.

3 “A pregunta perfecta”, Juan Tallón, Sotelo Blanco Edicións, 2010.

Arquitecto por la ETSA de A Coruña desde 1991. Colabora en el estudio de Juan Navarro Baldeweg entre 1991 y 1992. Máster de proyectos integrados por la fundación camuñas, madrid 1992. A la vuelta A Coruña se incorpora al estudio de su padre, Carlos E. Meijide Calvo con el que trabaja hasta 2001. Desde 2004 hasta 2009 colabora con los arquitectos Patricia de Marichalar y Fernando Martínez. En el año 2009 forma, junto con Patricia de Marichalar meijidedemarichalar arquitectos.

Desde 2014 trabaja en solitario colaborando con estudios y arquitectos amigos. Es profesor de proyectos arquitectónicos en la Escuela Técnica superior de Arquitectura de A Coruña desde 1997; es tutor de proyecto fin de carrera y ha sido presidente del tribunal de PFC. Colabora con blogs y publicaciones de arquitectura.

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