The rediscovery of the edge and the enclosure as an object of study and as a generator of new ways of understanding where current affairs happen, not as in the cultural and presentation issue of the subject being limited by the metaphor of the transition of the end and in particular of the crisis neoliberal of the end of the century or bimilenio, but by the need to rediscover in the middle of an ocean of imaginary falsehoods, what can be, as Master Cornelis van Eesteren said the elementary principles of architecture, those that must be constantly rediscovered for the lost architecture trade.
We are interested in recovering these issues of substance and weight as you have been interested in the last few years to return to the thinking, work and criticism of Team X and the generation linked to your thinking and discussion. It is no accident to see then that the main object of discussion of his time was among others along with the crisis of public space, and its different degrees of relationship with private space and the line that linked them, the site as the original principle of architecture , which now concerns us. From the domestic edge and the enclosure in Alison and Peter Smithson present in all his work as a re-foundation of the architecture to the study of the domain in the distances between the play pieces in the playgrounds of Amsterdam of Aldo van Eyck and its variations in between in your organizational exercises between interior and exterior spaces.
Finally, then, the border and the limit to the encounter with the scale closest to the man and the architect, the limit as the edge of his most intimate protection space, the border as an organizer of his own against external nature and the public world . Limit and border as a separating edge of the space controlled by its own rules against that organized by collective, communal and / or natural rules of a higher order and also political.
But as in the territorial and cultural scale, the liminal question of the enclosure, goes through the essential rethinking about the idea of dominance. This is shown as the generating and organizing energy of any territory that must then be marked or registered. Without this previous question (of marked anthropological character), the brand, the enclosure, in the background the geometrization or materialization of the controlled lacks the meaning that gives rise to it or of which it is expression.
Addressing the basic questions about the appropriation of space or territorialization by the man in his environment is always and in any case primary, although we are already dealing with the domestic architectural scale. The domain is the foundational idea of the conflict and the architectural problem as a delimitation of the dual phenomena inside-outside, public-private, closed-open, etc. which relies on the genesis and organization of the architectural site.
Within the architecture, the domain wants to be meant as control of the space around us, of the things of the environment in the distance marked by the function to be performed and not only. Marks and distances given by the uses to be practiced from an original place. Domain is also to find a place, locate, locate and settle, tasks not easy to the true architectural practice and foundational practice. Mastery in the same way is to distribute, reorganize and balance, either spontaneously, as in nature or in a planned way as architecture does. The domain is also nothing different from the conflict, from the brand that indicates where other adjacent spaces end or begin.
Complexity and interaction, unequal domain relationships. Advance, conquers further from the own, sometimes unnecessary in both daily life and architecture. Then, of course, the notions of limit, of border will arrive … From the possible harmonization of these conflicts, the nature of the collective will result. A rebalancing of forces that organizes the colonization of spaces and interstices that allow the steps and movements in the territories of any scale. You just have to see the disorganized balance of the arrangement of the bodies on the crowded beaches in summer. It is used, it deals more than the substance itself. People, animals and things seem to extend, due to their nature and their own functions, beyond their own physical space or space, such as radioactive minerals or magnetized metals. Just as we burn with the energy of the fire before touching the flame.
There is always a fundamental nucleus, in the way that Heidegger explains it to us, origin, reference from where some energy is projected towards the outside, where in the end the enclosure and the domestic border wall form. That origin, function or use, is the one that later formulates the recognizable architecture in the form. Function that grows around, which continues giving us the final dimension of the wall with which we will work.
The domain is the rules of the game, the brands that organize and limit it and that will sometimes become the lines painted on the floor of the playing field, such as walls and walls of enclosure and limit of architecture, but dimension zero and all this long before the classically sought form-function balance. And on other occasions in the complex rules and laws of the enclosure as a facade as a built edge.
The rest, everything that seems more complex, is much easier …
Luis Gil Pita, architect
Santiago de Compostela, November 2019
Article chapter Allegory of the border and the limit, originally published in the Obradoiro magazine nº34, winter 2009.
Arquitecto por la ETSA de A Coruña en 1997, desde ese año colabora en el estudio de Manuel Gallego Jorreto hasta 1999. Becado de investigación en Holanda en 2000-1, con un estudio sobre lo fronterizo y liminar en arquitectura, por la Diputación de A Coruña, fue posteriormente Profesor invitado en el área de proyectos de la Facultad de Arquitectura de Guimaráes, Universidade do Minho, del 2001 hasta el 2007. Desde el inicio de su carrera ha publicado asíduamente artículos y ha participado como editor en diferentes publicaciones alrededor de la arquitectura.