Local geometries | Íñigo García Odiaga

Ran realized by Akira Kurosawa in 1985

The places, the landscapes, have a personality, a character, a stamp that at some time has been defined as a Genius Loci, a local spirit. To preserve this character and even to amplify it is the last aim of any artistic or architectural work that leaves of the urban territory and that faces the nature and the landscape.

In the movie Ran realized by Akira Kurosawa in 1985, the master of Ichimonji assembles his children and friends in an ephemeral but rigorous architecture. A square of exact geometry, he constructs a closed enclosure, isolating a space of the continuity of the nature and the landscape. A fabric tightened between a few small masts, a few cables and a few ropes they are sufficient to formalize this space, which in his abstraction faces the natural chaos. A construction furthermore simple that a shop of campaign serves as dispute to the immense landscape. The purity of his abstract form grants a certain degree to him of monumentalidad, with that it can operate to the scale of the valley and of the mountain, to the scale of the landscape, to scale of the territory.

A situation that only can be understood if we send ourselves to Bricolage’s idea defined by Claude Lévi-Strauss. In that the Bricolage is the constructive prehistoric, primitive, basic method, in which each one costs himself of that one, little or very much, that has to hand, establishing this way a universe tied to the essential thing, to the industrial nullity and that therefore he sends to a mythical relation with the environment. A manual method I validate both for the prehistoric man and for the current one, happening for Robinson Crusoe. A constructive system in balance with the landscape and the territory, since by his own rudimentariedad it cannot be imposed, only to appear.

Mull Hill, in the Man’s Island, United Kingdom | Harrespil de Okabe between Lekunberri (Navarre) and Donibane-Garazi (French Basque Country)

Ran’s enclosure is by means of this condition, primitively, as it it is a megalithic construction. Scarcely a few stones indicate a space, already not as nature but as place. A circular enclosure of irregular slabs fixed in the area they introduce an abstract geometry in opposition to the natural landscape. A perfect circle that only the hand human can plan in the landscape. They date back of 800 B.C. and they captivated forever Jorge Oteiza when he understood them for the first time. The Cromlech is the primitive enclosure of the man of the neolithic one, who joins across the landscape the sky and the land. The nomadic man was indicating specific places to bury there the ashes of his deceased, in out-standing points that they empower of the local conditions to understand the landscape. Jorge Oteiza and the architect Luis Vallet received the order of constructing a chapel in Agiña, a place emphasized between the mountains where there were several Cromlechs. Oteiza qualified them of empty statues, of unoccupied elements, of spiritual constructions that join the man to his territory and to his landscape. The Cromlechs of the past were marking in addition old ways, were marking with beacons paths and routes, were determining the tours.

Richard Long | Fuji Mountain, 1979 | Nomad Circle, Mongolia, 1996

The most related contemporary artist to this nomadism is Richard Long. His relation with the natural frame is of someone who crosses it, and it appears clearly in some of his works. This it is the case of that intervention that I lead to him to crossing afoot from coast to coast Great Britain. Every day was taking a stone that it was transporting up to changing into other one the following day, until the last one threw at the sea reproducing the gesture that led him to taking the first one in the opposite coast. Since the same one has expressed in some occasion:

“Sometimes I sit down part of the tradition of wayfarer, of the nomad. Occasionally it seems to me to be very pleasant and satisfactory to live in a rudimentary way, reducing the life to a few simplest activities as walking during the whole day.”

To see Richard Long’s work can come down to seeing a piece in a museum, but when his works are visited in the landscape, what is visited is something more than his own action. There is visited the relation of his gesture by the nature. The art is a way of facing, of understanding the truth. Some Land Art’s works are the best way of understanding the nature and the landscape. The same thing happens to them to some architectures. A good example of this relation between the art, the landscape and the this architecture condensed in the work of the Center of Sports Innovation in Extremadura by Jose Maria Sánchez García .

Richard Long | Center of Sports Innovation of Estremadura byJosé María Sánchez García

In a privileged emplacement, placed in a peninsula that there advances on the Gabriel y Galán marsh, his geometric pure form of ring, it stands out in the landscape establishing a showy relation of direct with the near environment and of contrast with the mountains of the saw that surround the marsh.

The uses of investigation, formation and practice of sports related to the nature get in a narrow piece of two hundred meters of diameter, which front of steel, it reflects the colors and the light of the different stations and moments of the day, joining the place.

The ring creates a round geometry that faces the immensity of the landscape, but for against in his interior guard a fragment of the same territory. A space that it protects and that again it invites to cross and walk, marking like you Cromlechs the routes to continuing to understand the place.

Center of Sports Innovation of Estremadura byJosé María Sánchez García

íñigo garcía odiaga . architect

san sebastián. february 2014

Íñigo García Odiaga

Doctor Arquitecto y profesor asociado de Proyectos Arquitectónicos, ETSASS. Editor de NOMU. 1/5 del estudio de arquitectura VAUMM. Vivo en Donosti.

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