The third space | Michael Ángel Díaz Camacho

Alzado de Correos en León
Gathering post office in León

“Constructing a wall with dressed quarry stones, without mortar, in I dry, it is possible that it has been the first step that the men gave in search of that one to what today we call architecture” 1.

The idea of the wall like the third space, as deep, solid and material border between two worlds, was progressively lightened from the appearance of the metallic structures, not without crossing an interesting way of transition that we might identify in projects as the Home Insurance Building in Chicago2: framework of steel and front of stone or the engraving of the wall in depth after a new scaffolding. The later generation of technologies “in dried”, it has favored the assembly of light components opposite to the apilamiento of heavy masses, a new industrialized grammar that it seems to disregard the origins of the wall as mediator authorized by the History.

Numerous contemporary architects have claimed the fundamental paper of the pre-industrial tradition of the architecture of factory opposite to the thinness of the membranes inheritors of the modernity:

“one of the reasons of our interest for the wall is precisely the rejection for this modern trope. That one would be the heuristic denial, whereas the positive explanation is that the walls differentiate the interior thing of the exterior thing, and always we have been interested in the interior. Always we have thought that the idea of that are the same thing is different of the modern topics” 3.

Wall and interior space, the back of the manifestation of the thickness towards the exterior, towards out public4. Adam Caruso puts the accent precisely, in the wall as instrument of construction of the interior space:

“if you look at the works of Michael Ángel, Soane, Schinkel or Webb, you realize that they dedicated as minimum the same time to the interior that on the outside […] The idea of the house I Dominate, that is not another thing that the continuity between exterior and interior space, is very, very problematic” 5.

The construction of the character versus the qualification of the interior space. The deep border versus the membrane without thickness. Maybe Alejandro de la Sota was solving both in the building of León’s Post office: the surrounding light one based on panel of sheet Robertson pliega to the interior delaying the position of the carpentry, revealing on the outside the thickness of a non-existent wall and proposing to the interior a series of cupboards, racks and available spaces.

The air wall: deep but without thickness.

The constructive rhetoric becomes more exciting and contradictory from the placement of the panels as ashlars (in horizontal rows and together contrapeadas “to united bush”) and ended enameled in stony tonality color León. The refined complexity of the construction in Don Alejandro’s work.

The poet Benjamin Prado writes that “in the dreams there are no walls” 6, but it will be thanks to the technology and the ingenuity that we can “liberate of the big clumps and the big weight” 7 and support nevertheless the depth of the factory, the density of the limit. The third space.

Miguel Ángel Díaz Camacho. PhD Arquitecto
Madrid. October 2014.
Author of the Parráfos de arquitectura. #arquiParrafos

1. Rafael Moneo, “En los Andes”, CIRCO 148, 2008, pág. 1.
2. The acquaintance like the first skyscraper of the world in using structure of steel, was constructed in 1883 and his front of stone reveals a thickness that actually does not correspond with his structural responsibility.
3. Adam Caruso, “Forma y resistencia. Una conversación con Caruso St John”, interview realized by Pier Vittorio Aureli, El Croquis nº166, pág. 10.
4. For example in the Building Bankinter de Rafael Moneo around, a bank of brick in the Castellana Street in which the thickness of the wall demonstrates on the outside across the composition of the hollows.
5. Adam Caruso, the same appointment.
6. Benjamín Prado, “Viaje al Reino de Redonda“, in Iceberg, Madrid, Visor, 2011.
7. Alejandro de la Sota, “Nuevos materiales, nuevas arquitecturas”, Tectónica nº1.

Doctor en Arquitectura, Decano de la Facultad de Tecnología y Ciencia UCJC. Presidente de la Asociación Sostenibilidad y Arquitectura,  perteneciente al Consejo Superior de los Colegios de Arquitectos de España. Director de MADC Arquitectos, estudio profesional con premios en concursos nacionales e internacionales, en la actualidad desarrolla proyectos en España y Noruega. Escritor y crítico de arquitectura, es autor de los libros “Párrafos de Arquitectura. Core(oh)grafías” (2016) y “Arquitectura y Cambio Climático” (2018).

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