Last month, the companion Joan Carles Sánchez, as consequence of a few comments that we did in twitter on the humility and the simplicity of treatment of the big teachers, suggested me to dedicate an entry of this blog to Alejandro de la Sota; not so much to expose an academic speech as to count my personal experiences with the genius. So well: I did not have personal experiences with him. I did not know it.
Alejandro de la Sota was a teacher of the School of Madrid during a brief period, which ended in 1971 (if I am not bad informed), and I began the career in September, 1977.
It is true that went of to the school, called by some teacher friend, to give once more some chat, but the majority of students we were so stupid that we did not see beyond our noses. We were so overwhelmed by our subjects that if a figure of this was not going to your class, called by your teacher, in order that you were doing any exercise on what it was counting, it was not affecting you. It was not a your thing and did not have anything to see with you.
For example, one evening Miguel Fisac came to my class of Analysis the IInd, and we listen to him approximately twenty pupils. Nothing more. I was lucky of that I touched, and I will never forget what told us (already I have written it partly in this blog, and I will continue counting it because I am very repetitive). But those of the class of to the side (and of all other) got lost it, since I would have got lost it if he had been going to speak to the class of to the side (or to any other one).
To another class, that of a friend of mine, there came Pablo Palazuelo, who told them that it had started studying architecture, but that left it. He said it shyly; only it was necessary to him to add:
“I am not so intelligent as you”.
And he spoke to them about questions that he had very present in his painting, and how he understood the sculpture. And, apparently, with this seriousness that had and this so steely look, it was very nice and very affectionate with all of them. The pupils of this class had to do a work on Palazuelo’s sculptures that were exposed then in Madrid. Since I was not of this group and did not have to do this work, since I did not go to the chat. I saved myself. (God, what I list it was).
Many years later (also I have counted it already), in the course in which I was a teacher, José Antonio Corrales had the amiability and the generosity of coming to class to explain the Pavilion of Brussels. My pupils listened to him, and not all. Neither was a massive abundance of other classes. (I am thinking about remembering that there came a pupil who was not of the group. The same thing they were two).
The companion of Corrals and co-author of the mentioned pavilion, Molezún, was also a teacher of the school of Madrid, and I did not also attend any of his classes (though lucky yes I listened to him in the Johnny). There I do not have excuse: He was a teacher in the years in which I was studying there. He was going for the morning, me in the evening… Inexcusable Excuses.
I repeat: We were too much overwhelmed by our classes as to go to others, especially in the first courses. Now I remember it with anger: So many lost occasions; so many men of talent going on to my side, and I without realizing.
Partly, I was not realizing because they were not looking like important prominent figures. They were not going for the life as “prominent figures”. I scarcely knew nothing of architecture, but when I heard speaking about some masterpiece (the Gymnasium You Astonish, Bankunión, the church of the Dominicans …) he was saying to myself:
“Ah, but does this work belong to this gentleman that I saw a few months ago in the corridor? ” It it did not seem. It was not going of “genius”. It seemed to be “so “normal”…
In this regard, Fullaondo told us an anecdote of the teacher Molezún, to make ourselves to see the infinite patience and the humility of that giant:
He him was correcting a few sketches to a pupil, suggesting him to change some thing (you imagine to one of the best architects of Europa you analyzing a sketch and suggesting some change to you), and the pupil was insisting and insisting, was discussing and discussing, was refusing and was refusing.
(Comment: A theory very extended in the school was that it did not have to agree with meekness to any indication that the teacher was doing to you. It was necessary to show character, defend the own ideas and not give the arm to turn. With this technology joined an inexhaustible cansinismo, many pupils were managing to exhaust his teacher. Sometimes it was working).
The case is that Molezún was indicating him that the entry might be more wide, or to be slightly more protected if the plant was doing the light one I fail, or that the space to double height of the foyer was too narrow and if it was expanding a bit it might receive more light … or what was. And the pupil, very in plan artist, that not and that not, that if “I, which I claim…”, that if “I want to emphasize…”, that if I, I, I, imagine with what level and with what mastery before that teacher’s aficionadillo.
Molezún was taking the pencil, it him was drawing variants (surely much worse), was indicating solitary examples to him … and the pupil that not and that not and that not.
Ultimately the teacher left the automatic pencil on the table, looked at the pupil and said to him:
“Good; in agreement. If you see it like that…”
With an attitude of humility, of “whom I am I to indicate nothing to him, if the project is his”.
Some years later I realized that I had rubbed shoulders (even physically) with all this pleiad of big talents (and more that I have not mentioned), which he had despised systematicly because it had to study algebra or do a practice of facilities, because the trees were not leaving me to see the forest and because my wretched point of view was at a height of the pasture that had to ruminate.
José Ramón Hernández Correa
Doctor Architect and author of Arquitectamos locos?
Toledo · august 2013
Nací en 1960. Arquitecto por la ETSAM, 1985. Doctor Arquitecto por la Universidad Politécnica, 1992. Soy, en el buen sentido de la palabra, bueno. Ahora estoy algo cansado, pero sigo atento y curioso.