Every time I find more interest in immersing myself in nature than in visiting the latest examples of author architecture. On a recent trip to Australia, a European architect marveled that he had not planned to visit the Sydney Opera House. Despite the distances of the Australian continent, seemed scandalized in my interest for nature, for the forests of the Holocene era or to put the coral barrier before a masterpiece of the twentieth century.
I am fully convinced that in my next visit to the antipodes, the work of Utzon will continue there, even with new discoveries, such as the Le Corbusier tapestry for the vestibule, placed only recently in the place for which it was intended,1 while the Millenary forests or coral reefs will have been reduced or they will have lost part of their unique character, no matter how many efforts are made to safeguard them.
Few will be surprised that one of the texts that marked my formation was Genius Loci, by Christian Norberg Schulz, but the interest that architects dedicate to nature is recurrent. I would cite only Careri and the Stalker collective, who recognize the very situationist practice of roaming the peripheral landscapes of cities, and Gilles Clément’s Third Landscape Manifesto,1 both more focused on marginal spaces, abandoned by contemporary building pressures , but that, like the emblematic landscapes, offer a catharsis reconciling with the world in which we live.
I firmly believe that this relationship with nature fosters a better understanding of project needs, helps to understand the values of permanence and change to which Pallasmaa refers, 2 and to project with the necessary attention required by natural, cultural and social values. of the environment in which we situate ourselves. The work of Alberto Campo Baeza and RCR, just to cite some examples that will be in the memory and imagination of any reader, delve into this approach.
A phenomenological approach that is not exclusive to architecture, in an era dominated by virtual tools and digital manufacturing, and that allows us to return to respect the land and the landscape that are the origin of our subsistence, despite the continuous attempts of flee from environmental obligations seeking alternative solutions.
It would also allow understanding architecture as part of a global development in which environmental, economic and social sustainability plays an important role in front of many wasteful monuments understood as media objects rather than as development tools made in recent decades.
Guido Cimadomo, PhD Architect
Sevilla, July 2018
1 Gilles Clément, Manifesto of the third landscape, Gustavo Gili mínima, Barcelona, 2007.