Without concrete time. The strap of Lira. Manuel Gallego Jorreto | Luis Gil Pita – Cristina Nieto Peñamaría

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“The paces, the objects and the events exist; but the time and the space they are triumphant inventions of the man. Every individual creates again the past, the present and the future from a present that San Agustín says that it is a made present of past things, of present things and of future things…

Of what time is it this place?

Kevin Lynch.

Lira’s strap. To Corunna, 2007-2010. Manuel Gallego Jorreto | Photography: Mónica Balado

We should begin asking for excuses to “he Centering and the Arch” of Carles Martí approaching the approximation to this work of architecture, Lira de Manuel Gallego’s Strap Jorreto, with words, while these lines are on intense architecture but are not an architecture, are only it words … Succinct reflection the one that we sense beforehand on a work that seems, to be seemingly only a secondary work because it is not left to see in his modesty, not only opposite to the works of architecture of other authors who him are contemporary, but to other architectures of the own Manuel Gallego (something, if it fits, even more difficult inside the known and humble coherence of his long path). Nevertheless, for different motives, this construction connects with this type of project in the biography of his authors, that being you act by all appearances minor and hidden, they turn later into lofty modals of a vital path, since they are and answer to the calm and slow practice of an author and of an own delayed time who makes them grow abstracted. This type of projects that propose and are born vocacionados towards a conscious and modest silence, are buildings Bartleby[1] of his own authors and of the company that them wraps that, in exchange for this anonymity, not only they teach us to think and to turn into engine of learning for other projects, for other architects but in addition they are there to stop giving sense and deep structure to the corpus of a professional life. They are works that look like the notes afoot of page of a text, hidden lines that it is not necessary to continue if it is not wanted, but that are the support of the theoretical body of the principal text that is read. Lira de Manuel Gallego’s strap is one of these rare works, which does not want to appear, but that is, undoubtedly, one of the highest beaks of his architecture and of the national architecture of the latter ten years.

Lira’s strap. To Corunna, 2007-2010. Manuel Gallego Jorreto | Photography: Mónica Balado

Of Lira’s strap we are interested, very principally, what is almost nothing of this building without form and that, nevertheless, is almost quite, the principal material with the one that seems to us is done, unlike the majority of contemporary architecture with which we coexist, the time and his alteration. We explain, there is something deeper in this silent building, that it leaves us to learn and to get excited but that is not in the habit of appearing in the majority of constructions that are visited as architecture, and that is the sensation of being before an original work. Original in several senses, one of them in the perspective of the primitive thing, of the ancient thing connected to the basic thing that is to locate and to be. To be located, in this case, little frequents so the building an obviedad works perfectly there same, in his relation with the immediate sea, the port, and also it does it in the balanced perception of his implantation in the most opened geographical and distant horizon, the ocean. Original also, because the work for this above-mentioned modesty, seems to want to be reported only across the simple description of the constructive action, as an invention, little or nothing more: seven parallel porticoes and in projecting of almost 18m pushed in the soil of the port. This to push in these seven props of support for a few girders in bracket is an action very over the architecture, since it ends for turning into an almost anthropologic success of constructive behavior that it puts, metaphorically speaking, to this work at a height of the simplest action of the protagonist of Be urgent in Mihalkov’s film, when in the middle of the steppe, to give sense and measure to a domain inabarcable that is the extent of nothing, cudgel his bar (is urgent) in order to express of extremely basic form the own and only territory, not franqueable. To our way of seeing, the constructive action of this building does the same thing, not one but seven times, with his seven porticoes repeated in the horizon of also inabarcable ocean stuck to Lira and to the Pindo Mount.

Lira’s strap. To Corunna, 2007-2010. Manuel Gallego Jorreto | Photography: Mónica Balado

After these two original premises, implantation and constructive action, maybe at all any more, since it is in the habit of happening with the great architecture, since the program might be the current one or any necessary other one, and the building might not have be finished, and his use will not be able to be necessary in hundred years, if it is a ruin, and a deep architectural sense would continue making. In this respect and not for random we have chosen, to illustrate these brief words, the photographies of constructive process of Manuel Gallego’s aparejadora, in this one and in other many works, Mónica Balado, but because they betray the desimportancia of seeing finished the buildings that are real projects of architecture, original since we come saying. Lira’s strap fulfills today his program and the first aim perfectly, but what it does of her something for us so important is that it might fulfill, for his primitivism and subtlety at the same time, any other future use that was asked him, even of “not wanting to be” bartlebyano, of turning into the above-mentioned ruin that already he does not need from the Utilitas or the Venustas to explain and to be able to be deceptive to the time…

We finish thinking that very few vital percursos in architecture are capable of balancing the project wisdom of maturity, with the energy of those of beginning of a career, Manuel Gallego demonstrates this difficult possibility finding the same justification propositiva and fresh in this “secondary” work of Lira that gets hooked up directly by the power and elementarismo architectural of some of his first works, as the house of the Painter Ortiz, as Corrubedo’s refuge … as to be able to be and be, before and after the time.

Luis Gil+Cristina Nieto. architects

santiago de compostela. juny 2013


[1] Of distribution, secondary or bartlebys, as Lira de Manuel Gallego’s Strap, also they have looked like to us always the Gementee Museum of H. P. Berlage, the ship Utzon’s Paustian Furniture or the Church Pastoor van Ars Church de Loosduinen of To. There go Eyck, buildings that they seduce and get into one calmly to never go out.

Luis Gil Pita

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.

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