Faults of fragmentation | Sergio de Miguel

New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA

In the recent architecture we find a resource appellant of figurative transgression. His aim is not other one that to put in value, to emphasize, the buildings that for his character and purpose have to stand out in his environment.

It is known that the principal virtue of the architecture is to control the fragmentation. Definitively, the quantities. There exist numerous laws that come to define the guidelines opposite to this one basic question.

The styles, the modes, they could have developed thanks to certain attitudes opposite to the problem of the fragmentation.

Or the lack of her.

And it is that, as if about lacks of spelling it was treating itself, many buildings in the last times have come to modify meaningfully the order learned (and transmitted) of fragmentation with the only intention of proving to be different. With an upset presence.

To provoke the wonder.

It is an effective enough procedure but, to be successful, has to contemplate a great dose of technical know-how.

Historically, the fragmentation of the architecture has come from the hand of the technical used systems. Of the manners of constructing. The fragmentation of the stone nothing has to see with the fragmentation of the ceramics, of the concrete or of the steel. And, in a more recent way, the incorporation of compound materials has given like proved one without end of new alternatives.

Constructing an extremely big and constant volume is complex. Not only for practical questions but because actually it escapes from nobody that actually yes he needs a fragmentation. What happens is that it does not appear. That is to say, it supposes obtaining a premeditated deception to the perception.

In the same way, to construct an excessively fragmented piece, he supposes a constructive effort in rather improbable resolution of meetings. What makes understand, again, that we are not before a certain fragmentation but before the figurative one.

For this one reason in most cases these intentions cross. The very big thing conforms to a countless sumatorio of small pieces. And vice versa, the very small thing is obtained in a practical way by imperceptible big pieces.

The scale is always human. It must be human.

Exploring the limits is a task of the good architecture.

And the search of a “new fragmentation” is a part of the game…

Sergio de Miguel, architect
Madrid, march 2010

Sergio de Miguel García

Ph.D. Arquitectura, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, (ETSAM) 2016.
M.A. Arquitectura, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, (ETSAM) 1990.
Profesor en la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, (ETSAM) desde 1995.

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