My home is my castle | Jorge Meijide

The Art of Living, Saul Steinberg, 1949
The Art of Living, Saul Steinberg, 1949

My home is my castle.

Edward Coke formulates this known phrase, “For a man’s house is his castle, at the end of the 16th century. In her the jurist Englishman was referring to the legal question on the legal authority of the master of the house not to stop to enter the men of the king without a reason legally well-taken. Since then the above mentioned doctrine has evolved of diverse ways, but the one that we are interested is that one that establishes the condition of privacy that the house carries. A castle, a house, a space or collection of spaces, they lodge the life deprived of his inhabitants and allow his intimacy in diverse degrees. This architecture of the domus, this domestic architecture, which some of they of them qualify of minor but which is on the other hand the most intense of all, is in the one that now we are interested.

The architecture, among other things, arises in direct relation with the life. It is his cover and his scene. The space in architecture always is a life space, always it is an inhabited space. Lived and lived so much by the one that imagines it, believe and he constructs like for the one that enjoys it, perceives and lives. As it the spaces have the aptitude to evoke both the presence of the present things and the past ones, as there evoke also the presences, experiences and recollections of the persons that them have lived and tour. Living is to live through a space, is to use it and is to apprehend it. To live means to leave fingerprints, was saying Walter Benjamin. To live a space is to appropriate of him and the fingerprints that in them we make alone sound visible for the one that leaves them and they are not transferable. The experience is personal, the emotion is intimate.

The architecture is an art of emotion and is an art of passion, of the emotion and of the passion of the man. Of the emotion when he feels and is perceived. When it is lived. And of the passion necessary to create it, to give him form and to construct it. The architecture, the stay that this one shapes, is a form constructed and inhabited. It is, as says Juan Navarro, a sound box, a vacant room to the wait of these impressions. Actions and behaviors that transcienden the functionality of the mere distributive use of the spaces.

La arquitectura es un arte de emoción y es un arte de pasión, de la emoción y de la pasión del hombre. De la emoción cuando se siente y se percibe. Cuando se habita. Y de la pasión necesaria para crearla, para darle forma y construirla. La arquitectura, la estancia que ésta conforma, es forma construida y habitada. Es, como dice Juan Navarro, una caja de resonancia, una habitación vacante a la espera de esas impresiones. Acciones y comportamientos que transcienden la funcionalidad del mero uso distributivo de los espacios.

Living a space is to do it to the measure of the man, this is, using as frame and scene of his commonness, as his privacy opposite to others and as the necessary immanent intimacy our being. The space, the stay of the man, becomes dense in meanings while he remains marked by the life that receives in his interior. This one is recorded in his limits and resounds on having been lived as the key of the piano that guards his note up to being touched. The space like that understood transforms in sensitive container:

“Every union (between quarters) speaks about a system of relations between the parts that it comes out the problems of mere composition, because under them, there is deeper other one of relation of the persons who live these forms. This way so, it is not a question of a matter of simple form, but of sociology”. 1

The inhabited spaces act as resonance chambers of the life, of his inhabitants, captators and sensory issuers whose complex fenomenología constitutes his real essence. This it is the poetical quality of the inhabitable space. This it is the quality of the architecture, which it affects. It is the same quality that with that there are thought the architecture, his spaces, compositions and constructions, across the creative imagination. The same imagination to which Quetglas alludes when roundly he speaks about Enric Miralles’s architecture:

“I affirm the following thing: it is necessary to call architecture, not to a few objects constructed from agreement to a few certain technologies and materials, but to a way of imagining” 2.

It is the architecture.

The private life and the domestic spaces inherent in she have been losing the connotation of intimacy of which they were enjoying up to entered good the 19th century, so much across the evolution of the own spaces that they were sheltering like of the social and personal conduct that they were protecting her, to be intending little by little, inexorably, towards the reflection of the company opened and exposed in that we live nowadays; that though it is more opened, permissive and explanatory, has driven, for against, towards the major one and deeper introspection in the individual character of the subject. Towards the absorption of the inhabitant and the valuation deprived of the inhabitable stay.

This way towards the introspection, towards the absorption, is reflected well in these words of Imperial sand grouse:

“The man can suspend, every now and then, his direct occupation of the things, extricate of his contour, affect ignorance of him, and submitting his faculty to attend to a radical twist, to turn, for saying it this way, of backs to the world and to get inside yes, to attend to his own intimacy or, which is equal, to deal if same and not the different thing, the things …, or saying with a splendid word that only it exists in our language: that the man can ensimismarse”.

Jorge Meijide . Architect
Coruña. February 2016


1 Cuartos sueltos, Santiago de Molina. Enero 2016.

2 No te hagas ilusiones, Josep Quetglas. El Croquis 49/59, pag. 22-27. Madrid. Septiembre 1991.

Arquitecto por la ETSA de A Coruña desde 1991. Colabora en el estudio de Juan Navarro Baldeweg entre 1991 y 1992. Máster de proyectos integrados por la fundación camuñas, madrid 1992. A la vuelta A Coruña se incorpora al estudio de su padre, Carlos E. Meijide Calvo con el que trabaja hasta 2001. Desde 2004 hasta 2009 colabora con los arquitectos Patricia de Marichalar y Fernando Martínez. En el año 2009 forma, junto con Patricia de Marichalar meijidedemarichalar arquitectos.

Desde 2014 trabaja en solitario colaborando con estudios y arquitectos amigos. Es profesor de proyectos arquitectónicos en la Escuela Técnica superior de Arquitectura de A Coruña desde 1997; es tutor de proyecto fin de carrera y ha sido presidente del tribunal de PFC. Colabora con blogs y publicaciones de arquitectura.

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