The latter days I have remembered the court of the college where we us were squeaking the legs at the moment of the playtime when it had to sorrow approximately twelve years. In this playground, which must serve for almost all kinds of scattering, there were superposed lines that were mixing different disciplines and sports, football, handball, basketball, etc, in an entrecruzamientos of rules and stumbles. On this one entangled of activities and due to the diversity of interests and of games, there was arising in many occasions the handicap of the companions’ lack to organize a complete party of football, with all the covered positions, situation that often was solving with a happy idea: ” that of the forward goalkeeper”. The forward goalkeeper was the tool that was allowing to play with an almost complete equipment at the head of the board of game, in exchange for a simple and evident risk, to empty of content one of the more important places of the field, your own desk …
This drift brought to the head a written article time behind, for the magazine of architecture Laura, in that it was using as tendentious metaphor of support, the idea of the architect I dress as goalkeeper of football. They have passed since then at least ten years in which the football has not stopped growing as spectacle of masses in parallel to the advance and growth of the neoliberal company ….. I recover again the selected one of those words that were saying more or less this:
It turns out to be cynical or less bold when it, since constructing an arch without centering2, it, to have to support these lines, on the attitude of the architect before the company that accompanies him, in the similar soccer one. To choose nevertheless the marginal figure of the doorman of football as element of comparison, I believe he forgives this presumption as symbol of the link that the activity of the architect might have had in the social and urban – architectural project as extension the city. City, social space like playground in which to tense strategies of action for the life jointly, in that the architect like the goalkeeper turns into professional hinge and equilibrador socially as Alvar Aalto was thinking in “the pretension to turn the architects’ world union into an element absorber between the political parties and the mercantile interests of the economy” 3.
Arquitecto, hombre de frontera, que como el portero pertenece a un lugar de contacto entre dos legiones distintas, por un lado la de los jugadores en la que se distinguen posiciones amigas o enemigas y por otro el público, que observa, exige y eleva a presión explícita sus deseos. Porque el guardameta, de todos los jugadores, es al margen de su trabajo directo y obvio también el hombre encargado de sufrir o calmar los exaltados ánimos de los fondos del campo, el más cercano por la limitación de sus movimientos y por proximidad al aliento de los que miran… y también el individuo que más escucha…al salir de la demarcación del campo a recoger balones perdidos y ser el objetivo más próximo y retratado de los medios de información gráficos que le acompañan en su situación liminar.
As men of periphery, his energy is it of those who live in the limit, that common space the creators, the thinkers and the investigators. They are, they should be, partly, like the Ulises that Francisco Jarauta makes clear to us, individual that they divide, in the intellectual sense, questions to be done and that must go beyond the consecrated and protective evidences, turning this way into men of border4. But at the same time, from a physical point of view, they are also Penélopes anchored to a space own and restricted in that they have certain privilege and predominance, always to the wait of the eternal return of the play in the one that is projected. Players submitted to a few specific rules who they differ from the rest of companions and who paradoxically being born of the exception and the isolation take the collective thing as a vocation. A vision which mental project only can be thrown across the others.
His perspective is that of the point origin of the play, a mental place for the beginning of the collaboration of the equipment, where it is possible to determine the rapidity or slowing down of the game and the need of the assault. Awkward position, where one feels in the nape the breath of the company that observes the realizable thing, which is a fundamental point to channel the possible thing and to stop the sometimes almost inevitable thing, being demonstrated person in charge before all, them of inside and them of out, where the made well work can never be been grateful but almost feasted, and his better labor must be it of going unnoticed.
A goalkeeper is like an architect and vice versa as Carles Martí says: a man – architect who must use his mental powers like bridge between the observation, the study of the tradition and his theoretical corpus, having a fundamental paper the attention to the company to which one serves5, so both, doorman and architect, they project his look, in search of a goal, a promising horizon that supports the tension of his activity, suffering the pressure in the first person when the play is born of his head, but specially when this one comes closer in the opposite direction from the exterior, to solve problems, as last persons in charge. A common visual horizon of work that can seem to be often distant and unattainable, little later to have to shorten and suffer in the first line the crisis of the combat. Look that has to retraerse or to be extended rapidly in a repeated and constant process, of going and return, which generates a dissatisfaction for inabarcable of the trip of the knowledge across a limit that it moves and transforms when less to the same pace that that of his persecutor. Due to this idiosyncrasy this way of observing cannot stop then looking for new languages that define and clarify the indeterminate thing, adapting constant, veering the head aside and other one of his natural space of work, to obtain perspective on the times that he analyzes. The goalkeeper must live through a constant wake inside a contemporaneousness in which they have to develop a few intuitions I spread temporary, rapid and immediate, but with clarity and coldness of expositions ready to solve crucial questions of the critical conditions that always they him propose.
The doorman not only is the figure that feels exceptional for being able to use sensory tools as the sense of the tact of his hands with the ball, opposite to his companions of trip, but in addition the doorman, since before the architect was doing, not only sees and relies on the look, fundamentally and inherently in his work, but it is in rough constant, shout and accusation to own theirs. Dialog and scout, not conflicting but coordinated with what the sight and the eye could reach. Arguing and moving with the voice, dialog I continue around it, on theirs to organize the promising thing, with the company that accompanies him to calm the spirits and almost always with it itself, in an obliged interior dialog that is suffered in absence of the others, understanding in loneliness.
Today in times that seem to many of defeat, it is not necessary but to take up office, and we advance in the metaphor, that the figure of the front doorman, the architect who does not know the place that must occupy inside the field of the company to which it serves, that this position and artificial movement is incompatible with the rules of the game. To be where it does not correspond looking for a glory that is not natural to his vocation, to his genetics, it does not bring but defeats. So we will must go to the bottom of the mesh and gather the witness of this ruin to begin once again the play knowing that our limitations also are, they were or they can return to be our wealth. Knowing that the only possible goal of the doorman, his only pretense has to be it of not goal ….
Luis Gil+Cristina Nieto
santiago de compostela. may, 2012
1 Image by Andreas Gebert, for EFE agency, el país 18/04/2012
2 Martí Aris, Carles “La cimbra y el arco” en Circo Nº 93 Edt Moreno Mansilla, Luis Rojo y Emilio Tuñón Madrid 2001.
3 Schidt, Göran. Alvar Aalto de palabra y por escrito. Pag. 12 Edt. El Croquis, El Escorial 2000.
4 Jarauta, Francisco. “Qué pasó con Ulises” en Mundialización y Conflictos civilizatorios. Foro de los Noventa. Edt. Francisco Jarauta. Murcia 1998.
5 Martí Aris, Carles. Las Variaciones de la Identidad. Ediciones del Serbal. Barcelona 1993.
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.