A prize of work | Luis Gil Pita – Cristina Nieto Peñamaría

“S/T” 2002. Photographs color. Rubén Ramos Balsa. Purificación García Collection

A prize of work. Notes about the Praza do Curro en Noia.
Salgado and Liñares architects

To speak about architecture is difficult, great, to do it even more, because of it we are going to try to be brief and the approximation does not obstruct with unnecessary words to the exceptional ones and innovators values that the work of Praza do Curro in Noia by Salgado and Liñares, they contribute to the understanding of the interventions on the public historical current space.

The reading exists accepted of that great part of the actions that turn on the rehabilitation and the conditioning of urban, historical spaces or of new plant, they are not an architecture sensu stricto, as if the work and the action on little more than a plane than paving had scanty opportunities to alter nothing beyond that this skin of level zero. Surely the example of Praza do Curro in Noia is, on the contrary, the proof that the work on the surface of the trodden one has, when it treats itself truthfully and honesty, an irrefutable aptitude to activate and / or regenerate the espacialidad of a place.

Praza do Curro in Noia by Salgado and Liñares | Photography: Héctor Santos-Díez

This work, beside expiring with all the expectations of the constructive rigor and the conscience of being able to be employed at a public space, has a commitment so much with last time that is the history and the memory of the city, since with the contemporary time in the one that places the new offer and the current demanded uses. It is a work that it is born in the public emptiness of a common hollow, as we say abundance of history and use, the locus of a market outdoors, a square of supplies without cover, which had lost any character up to coming to our days with a clear disaggregation between the horizontal plane of step and the urban scene of traffic that closes it. If the set was desconfigurado by the passage of time and very specially by the uses and unnatural architectures of the second half of s. XX, one of the big values that contributes this solution is that of having could bring again to the emplacement the nature of the significant one, of a contemporary form – language, which allows to return to read from the horizontalidad of the soil, the local totality. In this point we cannot send less than us metaphorically to the photographic work of the artist Rubén Ramos Balsa (S/T 2002 in the Purification García collection) as clear example of what can manage to be and mean the transformation of a space across the alteration of the dense surface of the soil. Attitude propositiva that re-defining this plane under the feet clarifies that we can alter the perception completely, subverting and denying the simplest reading and defeatist who stretches to take up office that the estereotomías of what we travel only have importance for the visual horizon of level zero. It happens this way so much in the Praza do Curro in Noia, since in Rubén Ramos Balsa’s work, that by means of the intensification of the conscience of the soil, the being and the value is returned to him to the spatial studding that is lived more above. This way the place, it can acquire again unit and importance thanks to the reformulation of a part of the world of the architecture that habitually there meets condemned to the marginality – the pavement – one of his fundamental agents patternmakers together with the fence that marks the enclosure of the domain and later the cover.

Praza do Curro in Noia by Salgado and Liñares | Architects´sketch

After this to take conscience and of rethinking, as if it was the first time, what is what runs down the feet – for yes same and in relation to what it is around in the rest of planes of the urban scene – is not much any more, one almost anything that to say … One almost anything that it allows to orchestrate and to organize – as say Salgado and Liñares – his lines of force in relation to what already it is, the flows, the tours, the access and the presence of each one of the buildings that deserve diverse status or recognitions in the meeting of the common emptiness. A review, point to point, to observe what element needs a pódium that lodges it or the resunked one that brings it over, one to notice in what reference to rest or whom leaving to fly, to get lighter. Finally to know where to make traverse the water of rain and where to gather her carefully, channels or sinks, of a similar way, to since the good architecture it finishes off always his work, with to be able to make guide the hands for the rails, putting the maximum emphasis in his design as last sample of the intense thing. An approximation to the care of the subtle thing, that of the tact in the rail, which to this height, that of soil, already is not necessary and which worry for fighting has to see not with the hands but with the eyes, a guide who holds the look in the lines of force that are also those of edge of canaleta, this ingenuity of antibordillo for the withdrawal of the water that serves in addition to organize necessary meetings of concrete…

Praza do Curro in Noia by Salgado and Liñares | Photography: Héctor Santos-Díez

We finish thinking that this exercise of architecture in the urban space could have passed simply along the courses of the trade, of the ways trite and accepted by the contemporary conventions of intervention in the public space, especially, having so nearby examples of marked character party-liner, not exempt from value, in the nearby city Santiago de Compostela. But contrary to this, to Salgado and Liñares it has happened like to the masseur of Robert Walser1 to penetrate the border of his obligations, the procedure of his profession and, exceeding, to come where it is not allowed, the place of item of those who “act with the freshness of the first time” (not beyond at all of the reality, his winning works in Muiños de Pedrachan, A Chainza and in the access from Praza de Raxoi to that of the Obradoiro in Santiago de Compostela they testify the deep knowledge of the high requirements of the historical arrangement, well be in the contexts traditionally or urban), demonstrating the value that the amateur propose, not as ingenuous but as lovers of his. Loving spirit that can work from the economic impossibility, and beyond the conventions and guidelines of the protocol accepted of the current architectural routine, to subvert and to rethink what is or can be again an estereotomía, a distribution or zoning of the material in relation to one of his immediate habitats, the soil, and how from there below it is possible to remodel the space up to the sky of the constant cornice that composes the sum of the individuality edilicia. With this attitude unconformist and it worries, is not so of surprising that when some jurors of contests of architecture value works of this sincerity and risk (to see COAG AWARD 2015), him his qualities pass completely unnoticed, since the perfume goes unnoticed to Baudelaire’s dog, which only has his smell programmed for other occupations…

Praza do Curro in Noia by Salgado and Liñares | Photography: Héctor Santos-Díez

Rarely a work is a prize. Not, not a work with prize, but a prize of work, even more when it is a question of a work in the plane of the soil, where everything is densified due to the gravity, and where most of the citizens runs without preparing of the luck that is to have a space common and shared to tread. What luck to be able to enter, as citizens, as architects, this soil – space of Salgado and Liñares, this immense – intense rayuela and be able to receive this great prize.

Luis Gil+Cristina Nieto. architects
santiago de compostela. may 2015


1 “To me, saying is of step, there worries the almost risky question, the trivial one and nevertheless important highly topical question of if there is allowed to a masseur to kiss the woman whom it has to rub, almost shape, in order the beauty makes arise for incantation. Might not this provoke surprises, theatrical scenes, oppositions of the first order?, they might say to an artist of the body to the one that should happen to penetrate to him the border of his obligations, the procedure of his profession.” Walser, Robert. Extract of Brueghel’s picture in Ante la pintura. Narraciones y poemas. Edition by Bernhard Echte de Siruela Edt, Madrid 2009

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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