The plan as a tool for border overflow | Luis Gil

l Caballo de Troya rodeado por guerreros troyanos, con los griegos disimulados en su interior, en una ánfora funeraria del siglo VII a.C. (.)
The Trojan Horse surrounded by Trojan warriors, with the hidden Greeks inside, in a funeral amphora of the 7th century B.C.

The border as a tense space that opposes its transit, requires effort, determination, formal or fundamental change to be transgressed and overcome or inhabited temporarily or continuously. Thus, the passage through the border or the limit, the jump from one medium to another implies the discovery of a technique that makes possible the survival in the other margin, the change, the transformation and adaptation of life to the neighboring or opposite system. It is no accident that Darwin’s discovery of a theory that justifies the evolution of the species, had an important stopping point of his reflection right on that edge line that marks the passage of life in the sea to which it occurs in land.

A separating line that marks with its space the crisis of change in the way of living as a place (or not a place) where the transformation to be able to continue existing on the other side must occur. That effort, that waste, is one of the indicators that we move in the separating strip, in the margins of nearby but separated worlds. Saving the limit and exceeding that resistance implies wasting energy and recognizing the possibility of failure to transgress or use, depending on that struggle fundamentally on the previous intention and the preparation to overcome it.

The plan is the previous attitude, that strategy that allows dosing the energy to be used to overcome the obstacle. Overcoming, avoiding the border requires a transformation in the way of thinking, in the way of facing the daily life that is spread in an attitude of the athlete’s strategy that jumps an obstacle. This one tries to transform the common dynamics of the race by means of the technique of the jump (what commonly we call maña) or by means of the instrument (the pole, the machine or accessory that the plan designs with the objective of helping itself) to avoid the accident.

The elaborate traditional war machine, both defensive and attacking, is born and depends directly on the notion of overflow or breakage of the limit and its variation and evolution for the fight. The defense with the objective of maintaining and developing the obstacle, the wall, the fort, the moat that is growing before the possibility of a new external aggression, using geometries that study the enemy’s tactical variations, expanding each time in new and different rings or domains The attack as an artifice that must show its ability to fight through actions that condense energy and that are generally combined with rich mobility.

Mobility and speed that are inherent to the passage, transgression or life by the limit, where the Trojan Horse becomes one of the most beautiful and subtle bankruptcy solutions of the border that history has given us. The construction of a mobile container cabin (a first and circumstantial machine to inhabit) is converted here, into a weapon, in a weighted strategy, which serves as a refuge for intelligence capable of crossing a border. The plan is treated as ingenuity, where the machine is developed as a fighting strategy just as the pole can be for the high jumper and where crossing means literally sneaking in, using the strategy and planning, forecasting and anticipation necessary to save an unfrontable limit in other conditions.

Energy is thus not required in the physical sense of quantity and force as is necessary in other border overflows, but in the intellectual, in the analyzed and weighted deception, one of the few ways to cross or survive the limit.

It is not casual, or metaphorical, but rather typical of life on the border, that an object in this case container and mobile, as we will later address in the description of the architectures of the border, be the means of struggle or work to eliminate the inaccessibility caused by the defensive or dangerous notion of the limit. The border, the space of limes, generates its own architectures, of opposite poles and meanings and also often complementary as the worlds that try to join or separate, paradoxical forms that need a constant forecasting and alert strategy that uses the plan as a configuration essential.

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.

Luis Gil Pita

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.

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