By Parts | Íñigo García Odiaga

Towada Art Center, by SANAA

The architecture unlike other artistic works, dragged by his own functional definition has presented  many times along the history like a sum of pieces, of stays or of parts. This system compositivo reappears in the architecture more vanguardista, that contradictoriamente does alarde to escape of the composition. That somehow the functionalism, that is to say the proyectación of architectures by means of the union of pieces, where each one of them has a specific use, generated a method to project that to route and determined the history of the architecture, is one of the conclusions that quickly can  extract of the reading of the recent book of Antón Capitel “The compound architecture by parts“.

This system that originated in the end of the renaissance, turned into a real method with the neoclassic and academic architecture, and took part to a great extent in the revolution of the modern movement and in his later development.

The book describes this way a tour for the history of the architecture touching architects as unlike as Palladio or Kahn, spending for Him Corbusier, Alvar Aalto or Hans Scharoun. Architects all of them influenced by the Renaissance engravings of Piranesi that they describe for example the villa Adriana as an interconnected amalgam of unlike buildings superposed to form a set with a new meaning.

Maybe the most curious of this exposition proyectual resides in his total force, since architectures like the Japanese use it repeatedly, displaying of an architecture that seems not to worry about his exterior aspect and that tries to narrate his worry for more contemporary topics as the sustainability, the functionality or the landscape, precisely from this denial of the representation of the building.

Somehow these architectures, result of the conjunction of autonomous elements very studied and elaborated according to his use, present schemes opened in that the building shows off to be unfinished or at least it opens the door for his growth by means of the added one of new elements.

This happens in buildings as the center of art Towada in Aomori, Japan, work of the architect Ryue Nishizawa, in whom the different stays of the program are getting accommodated in independent volumes that seem to be thrown of random form on the plot and that enclosed present strange relations between them on having showed off some to give each other the back to others. Of this suggestive way the space “in negative” that leave these elements is to say, the interstices that are generated between the pieces as well as his connections, they receive a new interest and turn into functional or narrative spaces of the building. These spaces between the different boxes turn into courts of exhibition, rest or I work outdoors of the own center of art, whereas the connection between the volumes solved with the geometry of a serpenteante glazed path clarifies the tour to following any visitor and turns into the space of relation of the whole center.

The same schemes already had been tested by SANAA, that is to say by the own Ryue Nishizawa together with Kazuyo Sejima in works as the extension of the Museum Louvre in Lens’s city or the new Museum of Contemporary Art of New York where the sumatorio of pieces offers new variables on having removed in this occasion to a vertical disposition.

Contemporary Art Museum of New York, by SANAA

Though the architects defend the model adopted for the museum newyorkino from the optics of the optimization of the interior spaces, since it allowed them to introduce zenithal lights, terraces, variations of surface and of proportion in the different rooms, it is undeniable to tenor of the tens of models of the exterior volumetry developed by the office, the interest of this irregular apilamiento of prisms in his condition compositive.

The accumulated geometry of the building resolves besides the functionality, the exterior image of the offer that allows the urban insertion of the building in the set of Manhattan as if about a massive sculpture it was treating itself.

Another example still in construction of this architecture that we might name on parts, is the developed one for the study FRPO Rodrigues and Oriole in the house MO. The project solves a wide program of one-family housing by means of a collection of prismatic pieces that rest on the area of chance form, avoiding in an intelligent way all the trees of the forest of pines in which the housing is inserted.

In this occasion this system of autonomous pieces allows in addition a high degree of prefabricación on having incorporated in his construction specially profitable panels of counter-laminated wood in the construction of units of succinct and prismatic dimensions.

The elegance and subtlety of the insertion of this program in the place and the landscape that surrounds it owes no doubt to the adopted scheme that minimizes the impact towards the area and the vegetation, reducing mass to the volumen constructed by means of his fragmentation.

In spite of the fact that the architecture of forefront seems in occasions ensimismada in futurist expositions and in raising always new challenges, architectures exist with new speeches that are somehow debtors of schemes and already very ancient compositions, and that maybe for not doing of the mortal jump a value they support the highest quality.

Reconstruction of Villa Adriana | Piranesi
Barranca Museum | Herzog & de Meuron
Abu 1| BIG
Hospice Søndergård | BIG
Convent of the Dominicans | Louis I. Kahn
House O | Jun Igarashi
House MO | FRPO

íñigo garcía odiaga . architect

san sebastián. january 201o

Article is published in MUGALARI 17.12.2010

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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