For Malu and Tobias, in bicycle
After pedalling scarcely from the alighting-place of the train us one appears a couple of minutes the gray front greenish as cut away on the dark winter bottom of firs and birches. We leave the bicycles in the small lateral parking and enter the town hall. Nobody asks us whom or what we are going to see, and coming from a land so distrusted as ours, there does not stop surprising it. And though hundred times I dress in photographies it does not stop surprising also the extraordinary warmth of the small foyer which we have just entered. His clarity seems that it seeks to deny the gray exterior sky and to stamp on the interior the happiness of the light of the south – the same light from which in the photo Arne Jacobsen seems to be protected by this strange hat-. It is easy that immediately the hand throws to touch everything: the perfect curve of the bank close to the window, the clean smoothness of the identical wall, the glass opal of the lamps of wall, the wood of the rail that is screwed on to protect the entry of the glazed elevator or the delicate piece of marble that bows lightly in the soil to do of socle. They are materials met so much conscientiousness, which while one is walked between them one comes to the head what the still young Jacobsen would think while maybe also in bicycle it was going from the work to the workshops of metalworkers and carpenters to follow the confection of his designs, and of those again to the work, having in the head simultaneously the parts and everything, earring of which it is this one the one that leaves with his, avoiding always the mannerism, thinking still what would do in his place his teacher Asplund. Always ensimismado in his things while the barbarism and the murder in mass was standing out to his broad ones for Europe and was threatening to his own country and to him itself.
This sensation of totality, of integrity of the parts in everything, and the idea of civilization and of transparency that transmits this everything does not stop accompanying us when we continue with the visit to the building, first going down to the rooms where they find the municipal offices, where Tobias has arranged an appointment with the young persons responsible for a company of furniture that seeks to re-edit several of the furniture that his grandfather designed for the town hall. For the occasion they have brought an almost finished prototype and compare it with one of the original ones who is still in use in the own building. It is surprised once again the care with which they seek to reproduce the curve of the draped support or the delicate drawing of the small leg of wood of the armchair, they do without hurry, with the own concentration of the investigator, which he speaks about the respect and the admiration with which they seek to re-edit the piece, and about the zeal with which the grandson guards over the work of the grandfather.
A person of the technical office teaches us nicely the original planes of the building and accompanies us in the rest of the visit. We walk seeing the rooms of meetings, the corridors and the room of plenary sessions, commenting on the circumstances of the construction or the work that they have to realize at present to support the building in use, we walk along quilted and silent soils, with the company of the aroma of the wood of cedar, and of a light increasingly tenuous and comfortable, splashed here and there with the quickness of the sheens in the harness of brass. On not having understood the strange language that us there bring over the doors opened of the different stays, we devote ourselves to see, to touch and to smell. A very different, sure smell, but also the same one who found Bolaño when to the end he found the peace in Blanes, that one that he recognized as the smell of the democracy, the history and the civilization.
José Valladares, architect
Compostela, february 2013