The secret sea | Cristina García-Rosales

The architect Le Corbusier carried away of the sea, was also an enthusiast of the transatlantic ones.

When it realized his first trip to New York, invited by the authorities of EUUU, it did it on board of one and remained very impressed on having experimented during the voyage, that the life of a ship was differentiating very little of the life of a Great Hotel of luxury. To the sea he was eluded, one was concealing like a child evil educated before a few visits of commitment.

Longitudinal sections. The Verona of Ralph and Ruth Erskine
RMS Titanic departing from Southampton on April 10, 1912.

Le Corbusier later -in the book “When the Cathedrals were White”- wrote the different thing that would be a trip in transatlantic accompanied of the sea as of a friend the same as the railroad traveler feels accompanied by the fleeting landscape. For it he imagined a ship with big panels of glass that were relating the traveler to the oceanic subworld. Across them the life of the fish would be observed, the flora marinades and the beauty of the depths. Even the machinery of the ship would stay at sight, to instruct the interested parties in the secrets of the navigation.

Something similar happens in the big current cities. The daily city does not please. Fragmented functionally, with enormous distances between the different activities that it contains, crossed to great speed in car, it has stopped being interested and she is ignored, one hides it the same as to the sea in the previous example. The individual isolates in his own microcosm, which leads him inevitably to the loneliness and to the melancholy. One lives in the city in spite of her same, concealing it after visillos and bolts, like the secret sea, as Le Corbusier was saying, on board of the transatlantic one.

Le Corbusier, Unité, 1953

Lucky there exist beautiful and luminous, cozy and inhabitable cities and every time there is more interest and awareness on the part of the citizenship in the design and recovery of our cities.

Quisiera incidir en dos ideas esenciales:

The first one consists of the fact that is fundamental that the women inform. Together with the men, at the moment of planning, in looking for solutions, of managing resources, of being present in the capture of decisions, definitively, to do city.

– The second one is to transmit my conviction on which the public places of the city must not be been an expert as mere residual redoubts between blocks, or between the fast step of the vehicles, degraded spaces, areas of nobody… But as places of meeting of the human being with it itself, with the others and with the way in the one that lives, expression of the culture of a people and representation of the aspirations of a certain company.

Aldo Van Eyk, playgrounds, Holanda

Places that are shaping our own identity across the memory. And it is with the memory with which we evoke good recollections and bad recollections, according to the different spatial experiences. The good recollections are tied to the emotion, to the affection, to the beauty. To the fact of living. They are the places that remain, which we recognize, which we long for… Those who constitute “the soul of the city”. The “soul” is what sees, which is perceived, which one feels.

Definitively, let’s construct our cities with harmony, with quiet, with moderation, and also hotly. Let’s construct places for all and with the participation of all, men and women, elders and children, teenagers or disabled persons. Of responsible and solidary form, so much for the benefit of the body as of the spirit. Across the dialog with the nature, from the sustainability of the environment, with the respect to the memory. Places for the life created from the interior of the life, out of the contemplation of benefits mercantilists or other similar interests.

Jane Jacobs, “Life and Death of the Big Cities”

Cristina García-Rosales. architect

madrid. may 2012

Notes: Text written from a conference given in Donosti’s Town hall (year 2000) for the Group of Civil Action ” The Women and the City”.

Soy arquitecta (1980). Mis proyectos son muy diversos. En 1995 fundo el grupo La Mujer Construye, en el que ocupo la Presidencia. 

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