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Is Architecture Alive?

Is architecture alive? This may seem like an awkward question to ask if we look at it from a superficial point of view. However, to see the true reality of things, we may have to dig a bit deeper and use flexibly our imagination and perspective. Therefore, let’s ask again, “Is Architecture alive?” There are many theories to answer this simple but, at the same time, complex question. Opinions are bound to arise but what we can base ourselves upon is that architecture does have some sort of “soul”. Many different structures all over the world have abstract shapes that can be related to personality traits, to some kind of life. For example, the Dancing House, cloud-shaped cabins and so on. All these buildings reflect a certain self to society, just like people do. They have their own flavor and taste, and all live amongst and with us. Architecture also interacts with society, the same as humans do. It presents -at times, imposes- ideas and has a vocation, a function, like any other living entity does. Some build04 SPARE SOME CHANGE

ings serve as protectors (like police), some serve as mind developers (offices), others as health and education practitioners (hospitals, schools...). A simple building can tell you a great much about its history and age; depending if its walls (skin) are depredated or not; it can tell you about its tastes depending on where it is situated, whether it’s by the ocean or on the peak of a mountain; and it can also tell you if it likes the cold or the warm weather by simply touching the materials that compose its thin or thick walls. Their structure, closed or open, vertical or horizontal, can even depict the kind of personality they reflect. On these grounds, why could we not affirm that architecture is most certainly alive?

selves. According to Neil Leach, architecture serves that same purpose. Its life aim is to allow people to blend into their environment and part of its personality is shaped in agreement to just that. He refers to architecture as having a soul. Furthermore, the Swiss architect, Peter Zumthor, in his studies named “Atmospheres”, even refers to buildings as real beings. “In order to design buildings with a sensuous connection to life, one must think in a way that goes far beyond form and construction…Unfortunately, many people aren´t aware of the soul a house has…” affirms Peter in his writings.

Neil Leach, a British architect, once wrote a theory that explained how people design architecture and give it a certain personality in order to camouflage themselves into society. Depending on the situation or occasion people are bound to act in a certain manner even if it doesn’t concord with their true



“The processes of creation are uncertain. Projects need a proper life and they most certainly show us their necessities. Humans are just there to help and facilitate its growing process”, explains Maria Mallo, a member of the Studio Leon 11 in Madrid. Architecture reflects faithfully the features -i.e., the personality- of the human society that creates it. At the same time, it also contributes to shape, according to its characteristics, the human society where it is born. That makes it an important player in human scene; one with a powerful “personality”. Francisco Carreras, an economist with a sharp eye for architecture in the many countries where he has developed his professional activity, contributes to this debate stating that an architectural style truly does have characteristics of a living creature: birth, change and evolution, reproduction and expansion, decadence and oblivion. He believes that architecture is substantially more than building shelters for human needs and comforts.

Along the same lines, an opinion worth to mention is that of Eusebio Mora, a construction engineer volunteering and living in Mozambique. He explains how architecture has a certain lifetime: “After impregnating future schools and contributing to their growth and expansion, decadence and oblivion seem to be a necessary phase of all architectural styles”.

On the contrary, there are many architectural studios that defend that architecture is just a form of art. It is a sort of cover or jacket of man.

Amilar R. de Melo, a Cabo Verdian Architect working in the ARQUI Studio, believes that architecture cannot be alive. It can only influence the way people live. However, Amilar states that we can most certainly have architecture interventions that may give a sense of life and movement to it. We can take as an 06 SPARE SOME CHANGE

Alive.... O

OR not...?

example Peter Eisenman, whose works are very inspired in the tectonic plates. Also Gaudi sometimes gave away a sort of impressionistic soul to his buildings. Amilar continues to affirm that architecture doesn’t have a limited time of life.

Rijo Arquitects from Dominican Republic believe that architecture can be alive but this living soul is not in the regular architecture that is found in cities or simple structures. They refer to live architecture to that one found in gardens and natural areas because it has the capacity to grow or die and change with time.

Opinions and points of views affirm perceptions. They don’t approve or refute theories, but they enrich them. Our society is bursting with these types of myths and legends that people choose to believe or not. I, for one, consider that architecture is alive because we do not design or live just to die in an already dead world. In my eyes, everything that surrounds us has a certain soul, as well as everything we give birth to, like architecture.

We could not consider just adding words to write a book. Literature is not born by simply that: it has a living soul given by the writer. Similarly, we could not consider just adding bricks to build a house… “Architecture is much more than that. It cannot be reduced to just these terms” (Maria Mallo, Studio Leon 11).

Ana Maria Carreras




Today it is clear that big cities are begin-

ning to have space and serious environmental problems caused by the enormous mass urban development. During the last decades, this problem has been solved with the construction of higher and higher skyscrapers. But the big new buildings show that we have reached a limit. A limit that will be very difficult to overcome efficiently and effectively, using conventional architectural methods. To overcome them, Spanish architects Maria Rosa Cervera and Javier Gomez Pioz have developed a new concept of architecture: the Bionic Architecture, defined by its creator as an ‘eco-philosophical synthesis of the common principles of biology, engineering and architecture, applied to future development of human habitat in harmony with progress and nature ‘.

nic architecture allows us to save energy and improve safety and sustainability, as well as to return to nature part of the terrain that we have taken out of it. Bionic architecture is not yet fully developed, but has reached a level were we can ensure that not too many years will pass before we have the sufficient knowledge and the technology needed to see it applied to our buildings. Somehow, bionic architecture is the architecture of the future, which will partially replace the conventional methods of construction; and the Bionic Tower, if it is finally built, will become an icon of power and human development.

They are the creators of this new concept, but also of the first project that applies this architecture to it. It is called the `Bionic Tower´, and is designed to solve the current problems of the world’s megacities. While working on the project This type of architecture allows us to for the construction of the Chinese Embassy in apply the techniques of nature to construct ta- Madrid, they met with the Mayor of Shanghai, ller, stronger and more efficient buildings. It is who already knew about the investigations by also applicable to horizontal construction and the Spanish architects on bionic architecture. small dimension buildings. In either case, bio- He asked them to find a solution for his city, so08 SPARE SOME CHANGE

mething different, something radical. This is how the project of the vertical city was born; a 1228 m high tower capable of holding 100,000 people. To carry out such work, law had to be changed, and also get a large enough area. So they signed an agreement with the Chinese government, and got private financing from companies that would later exploded half of the tower as hotels, as another major problem is the accommodation for the millions of tourists that visit Shanghai every year. Finally, in 1997, the end of half of the tower is estimated in 2010, and the full tower in 2015. But after the terrorist attacks in New York, the whole process was slowed. People had the idea that a high tower was an obvious terrorist target. Today the project continues to exist, and is improving every day, waiting for the Chinese government to give the necessary step to start the construction. Although there are more cities interested in a similar tower, such as Mexico and Bahrain. Moving on to more technical aspects related to the construction of the tower, as I mentioned before, it will be a 1228m high vertical city, becoming the world’s tallest building. It will be placed on an artificial island where we also find buildings constructed with bionic architecture techniques. The tower will be divided into 12 districts of 80m high and about 20 stories each. Every district will have their own shops, and services, as well as parks, gardens, and small lakes filled with rainwater. They will be partially independent one of each other. The plan floor of the building is elliptical, with folded columns that go from bottom to top, and inside of them, we find the elevators, ventilation ducts, etc. This structure mimics the internal structure of a certain tree trunk, and confers great resistance, with little material. The foundation is completely different from conventional skyscraper. It has no piles embedded vertically into the ground. Instead it acquires a configuration similar to a bicycle wheel placed parallel to the ground, mimicking the roots of those more resistant trees. Around the tower, an artificial island with 1 km in diameter, whose main function is not to house more people, which it does, but to stabilize the tower, and to avoid another building is built within 500m of the bionic tower. One of the most important aspects of the tower is the possibility to build it in phases. You can build a stretch, and inhabit it while continuing to build the tower. That is, adapting the construction of the tower to

the economic and social development of the city where it is located. The tower will have 12 districts. Each will be divided into 3 sub-districts. On the ground and top floor of each one, special spaces are located. Between them, the elevators, move from a neighbourhood to another, and we also take other lift that take us to the different floors inside each neighborhood. At the beginning of each district there are open stories through which air flows freely, reducing wind resistance. In these floors there is the possibility to put windmills to save energy. Thanks to the temperature difference between the base and apex, the air flowing through the tower also diverts, climbs up, and spreads all around it. As for safety, the opened stories gives wind resistance. The artificial island absorbs much of the earthquake vibrations, and the new foundation method also provides stability. Talking about fires, the tower will be equipped with the most modern systems to fight against them, as special lifts, fireproof materials and sprinkling systems. The most effective mechanism, however are the safe floors, allowing people to move to a safe neighborhood while solving the problems in the affected one. In a tower of this size, it is easier to control the fire than to evacuate people. In conclusion the Bionic Tower is a new way of understanding architecture as well as the need to develop new techniques and methods of construction. It opens the doors to a new generation of modern effective and sustainable structures, as well as extending the current vertical construction limit. FRANCISCO ASTIGARRAGA





“One of the most important and admirable prerogatives of architecture through which you can understand its meaning, is not to be linked uniquely to its precise original function, but to always contain a margin, more or less extensive, for other uses, you could say that the architect to designing a building, gives it a vital aspect of that broader claim that immediate need. This implies the possibility for transformation of a formal, supports the building without losing their individuality and character. “ Leonardo Benevolo


Just like Benevole expressed it, architecture contains its own vitality that allows abandoned buildings to be used again without needing any apparent renovation. These buildings are alive within and admit and take in different uses and new occupations. Without an intervention, these spaces adapt themselves to their new functions and get transformed for different uses and activities. They often keep testimony of their previous uses, because of their size, their structure, the way that they are laid out, the repetitive rooms etc. When all these qualities are out of use, these spaces are left open to new suggestions. However, like it has been mentioned, these spaces don’t have a fixed final goal, but they are in general places that act as “containers” of contemporary art, that occasionally receives artists that need a large empty space to develop and expand their art.

Darío Gazapo, architect and professor at the Polytechnic Architecture School of Madrid, knows many things about this topic and he will the one who explain us all we need to know:

stay there having some drinks, go with friends etc. Is not like going to a museum or a theater where you will always find kind of the same and will always do the same thing.

In your opinion what is a raw space and how a building became a raw space? What’s is the function of this raw spaces? In my opinion, we have to look at it from a politic point of view, I mean; we have to think in the immediate application that architecture has in society. This is because these spaces represent the recuperation of, lets say, “the common”, understood as spaces than belong to the community. We have to be careful about this; spaces that belong to the community are not public spaSo, to sum up, these buildings are spaces that ces. Paradoxically, public spaces have become try to recuperate higher degrees of freedom for very controlled, as nowadays there are lots of the citizen. systems that insist in controlling them. However, raw spaces emerge from the desire to create spaces with the less number of codes, with this, the citizen recovers his freedom of use, his freedom of decision, the citizen can decided to participate or not and also how to participate, as there is not a predetermined use. Lets give an example: If you go to a museum you will think “I have to behave like a person behaves in a museum”. This doesn’t let you do another thing different that its use possibilities. On the other hand, spaces that allow not having a predetermined program move the citizens closer to their freedom of decision. Depending on what is going on there, you have the decision to go or not. But also so, once there, visitors can decide what to do, they can take part of the exhibition,

“... the citizen recovers his freedom of use.”

As an architect, what architectural characteristics this spaces have? This spaces has the characteristic, in an architectural level, of work to make the structure disappear, whenever is possible. Of course you cannot remove the walls of Tabacalera because the building would fall, but you can strip it of any architectural artifice, that means a way to construct its own understanding. For example, light system is a specific system that has a specific use and takes part of the infrastructure. In these spaces the infrastructures are reduce to the minimum, they appear whenever is necessary, so, for example, to do an exhibition in Tabacalera you need to carry light with you, because most of these spaces doesn’t have a light room waiting for you. So you use the light in the exhibition and, after that, the building returns to dark. All of these happen with most installations, for example water is reduced to restrooms and even in some cases there are prefabricated restrooms that appear depending on the people who is going to visit the building. Therefore the building begins to lack the elements that, traditionally, have defined the architecture. This was unbelievable years ago and nowadays there are buildings that can lack all of this as only appears whenever is necessary. SPARE SOME CHANGE


There is a term, “equipped architecture”, which uses a lot in the past; the architecture didn’t work if it was not equipped. However this new architecture appears when it has the lowest equipment. Do they need a constructive intervention, investigation or any preparation before “let people into it”? A building doesn’t need requirements as much as the persons who analyze it. The fact that a building can be reused, as it has happened with Tabacalera, comes from somebody with and special imagination and preparation. I mean, imagination referred to the fact the he can imagine situations beyond the conventional ones. On the other hand someone prepared for this has to be a person with a very sensible eye that can interpret well what society wants. And we go back to the beginning, what we demand, what society demands, is more freedom. Tabacalera for example, has not be made, or designed, by anyone in particular, but by a group of people who knew what everyone wants and knew how to do it. 012 SPARE SOME CHANGE

In relation to architecture, what this spaces need is to be clean, which means to eliminate all architectural signs that makes the building a space with a specific use. So all the infrastructures, ventilation, lighting, air conditioning systems and also stylistic elements such the paint of the walls has to be removed. The more we remove, the better result. As a conclusion… Just recall that is important to look at these buildings from a political point of view to recover the degrees of freedom of the citizens. The recuperation of the freedom of the common is the most important thing.

With the technology that is available, when we see something interesting we want right away to make a picture of it. It is as the fact to keep that space in a picture, were much more important as to enjoy it in real time. In the other hand, that picture could be reproduced or copy endless. So I decided to begin the performance with that idea, of reproducing ad infinitum the same space were I was exhibiting. The sound was a printing machine.

Darya von Berner’s art practice spans over the past twenty-five years. The Spanish artist understands art as a powerful device for producing a critical perception (http://www.daryavonberner. net). She will give us her own point of view as an artist that makes use of these spaces. How is working in these raw spaces? Have you ever had a problem while working in these places (electrical failures, problems with space etc.)? The problem that I have find in Tabacalera, is that you could’t use the walls to hang anything. But that happens also in all kind of buildings with historical background. Other important issue is that they do not have any system to warm up or to cool the temperature, so you need to be prepared for to cold or to hot conditions.

I know it depend on the work, but if you could choose, would you like to work more in these raw spaces or in a museum?

On the raw spaces you feel like in a tunnel of time, they make you feel a kind of adventure experience. A new museum has in the other hand In your performance “(Nu) en segway” why all the facilities, but sometimes the unexpected did you decided to play with Tabacalera’s raw problems of the raw spaces bring you to new space? What is the “theoretical” background solutions. of this performance? More information about (Nu) en Segway in:





“When the old city recovers its richness and its diversity in its social structure, it is guaranteed its transmission to the future”. Carta para la integración de la arquitectura contemporánea en las ciudades Patrimonio de la humanidad


hould contemporary architecture integrate with old structures according to the present needs and values of any city? Or would this mean ‘destroying’ the history of the city?

Córdoba, Noviembre 2009

around it, the rest. This other part is composed by modern and contemporary architecture, which sometimes seems to be prohibited inside the old part.

We should take into account that the actual moment is a composition of architectural layers made through every period of hisA city can be seen as a process of tory and for this reason we should conserve construction which has been in constant deit. At the same time there is an essential need velopment throughout history. It is a mixture of introducing new styles that accord to the of styles, cultures, thoughts and economical present way of living. Everything has once activities; a combination of ways of living. been new and (for) so, we might believe that There are many cities declared World whatever we do will become the past at some Heritage, such as Córdoba that have been point in the future. divided into two significant blocks. On one There is no possibility of leaving the hand there is the old part of town and, all old part of town intact forever, otherwise it will 014 SPARE SOME CHANGE

become uninhabited and will start to die. It would be turned into an area only for tourists, loosing, in this case, the city’s essence.

temporary designs with old architecture in any aspect. Firstly, each project needs to be analyzed in detail as one particular case. We also need to visualize all the proposals from Many buildings have been constructed different perspectives (not only regarding the above others that stopped being useful for field of architecture); it is important to visualthe current generations. By using part of the ize what the future construction means to the old structures (to not destroy the heritage) territory in terms of tourism, economics, enviand combining them with modern architec- ronment, etc. A third significant aspect is that tural designs, we created new constructions no architectural action can alter the quality of that made the city stay alive. the old part of any town. To be able to mix a new structure with an existing one, any architect may have to impose a few rules to follow. This is one of the reasons for which we are not free to ‘play’ with old architecture inside a city and destroy it. There are regulations if the old building is stated to be a protected building and apart from that there is an archeological monitoring during the whole process of reconstruction. There are also some design rules which clear-out the differentiation between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’. There are some general points that should be discussed when combining con-

There are some difficulties in the process of reconstructing a building whilst at the same time trying to conserve part of its past structure. Nowadays, we have many technological advances and have developed new techniques in architecture. Before, there were also many technical problems that nowadays have quick solutions; problems that caused the development of a project be very hard and complex. The architect also has to think carefully about the selection of the materials to use and the aesthetical appearance of the building after being finished.



It is worth to mention the opinion of necessities required by people today. When Lola Garcia Guijo, architect of El Viento 10, changing it to the housing building, most of in accordance to this topic. As it is stated be- the original structure was kept. fore, she remarks “When combining contemporary architecture with There are some the old one in the same ideas that “ It is essential to make a principal construction, it is impormight be clear before tant to make a clear differ- study of the values of the starting with such projentiation between the ‘old’ ect. “It is essential to original building and try to and the ‘new’, trying not to make a study of the valcopy any of the styles from maintain them”. ues of the original buildthe past. In this way nothing and try to maintain ing would lose authenticity”. “It is also essen- them. In the case of El Viento 10 these would tial that we adapt the best structure to the old be the patio, the columns, the arcades and one regarding the utility of both”, she added. the stairwell. It is also important to take off all the added elements that hide the original El Viento 10 is a tiny hotel located in ones”, states Lola Garcia Guijo. Córdoba near the Guadalquivir River, just in the middle of the old town. It combines conThe many materials chosen for the contemporary and old architecture which makes struction are worth to mention because each it a significant example about this topic. and every one of them have served a certain purpose in the structure. Glass materials, El Viento 10 has had many different with elevated thermic and acoustic isolation lives. First of all, it was a hospital and later levels, have allowed the closing of the gallery on it turned into a residential building. The in order to install rooms, without modifying first and main objective of the project was the original arcades of the building. Taking to create an architecture that adapted to the into account the strong resistance of steel,


this material has been used to “hang” the gallery of the first floor. The floor has been furnished and decorated with a layer of stone and marble, over a thin cap of sand, in order to allow oxygen to flow freely beneath the building, and thus ventilate the underground. Lastly, the paving of the first floor has been made out of wood supported with metal beams to not over-charge the original structure. As Juan Medina (architect in the Planning Department of Cordoba) says, “sometimes we associate ‘old’ with ‘good’ and ‘new’ with ‘bad’” and this is not always true. We must understand that we take part in a continuous process that has always been alive. Of course it is necessary to respect the past, but without declining the development of our city. We are responsible for the innovation. We are responsible for creating a new layer in the history of our city. Marina Garcia de Mora 24/01/2011




Moustap “it is important where to relax inspiration to v



pha Alaoui says, to create a space in order to allow the visit us”.



The second area is the so-named Artist’s Village and is located on the west side of the building. This space is dedicated to the formal and recognized Moroccan Artists and offers them the opportunity to exhibit their work. The gallery is organized around a patio where the artworks are mostly hanged on the walls that surround the inside courtyard. On the other hand, there is also an inside gallery where two rooms are exclusively dedicated to Chaibia Talal and Al Gharbaoui. a naive and a non figurative Artist respectively.


a Villa Des Arts of Rabat is an art center located in the capital of Morocco and opened its doors on December of 2006. Its programatic organization makes it out stand from the rest of the cultural centers that we might know and give it a unique use. The building is a restoration of three Art Deco villas and was done by Moustapha Alaoui. The Architect uses these already existing houses and determines the use of each one in order to create an active and vital space. His main idea is to understand cultural creation as an infinite process.

ORGANIZING THREE VILLAS The frontal entrance, welcomes the visitor with a fountain which guides him/her to the named square’s art, a site for large scale installations and sculptures, as well as performances. At its back, we find a large concrete tower that is part of a glass box edifice. This is a tribute to the reinterpreted Hassan Tower (a landmark of the capital). The glass building is used by aspiring artists looking for recognition, students, researchers and historians. The first floor is employed as a library, research place and exchanging ideas area. The upper floor called qantra (viaduct in arabic) is a bridge between cultures where the transhumance of Arts is discussed, where the intersection of disciplines happens and where the first step of creation occurs. Al Qantara is a multipurpose room for lectures, screenings and exhibitions. A large side opening allows guests discreetly to attend performances in the Forum. 020 SPARE SOME CHANGE

SPACE INTO SPACE Finally, the East side of the building houses underground the virtual museum where interactive screens explain the evolution of the Art of the Magreb while an audio record guides the visitor through the museum. The ground floor has different workshop, rooms in which during the week end Art activities are held for child while, during the week the space is used by artist that need an enclosed room, in order to produce their work or simply keep the materials they are using. As the Artist’s Village is constructed around an enclosed garden, this workshop rooms are encompassing a cafeteria. During my visit on a week-end, this space was used by different people, going from readers; that enjoy their drink; to parents; waiting for their kids to finish with their activities. On the other other hand, the Architect also thought of this area as an informal gathering for the Artist that use the center during the week days. It was important, he says, to create a space where to relax in order to allow the inspiration to visit us.

BUT IT’S NOT A MUSEUM As most of the cultural centers, La Villa des Arts was created to be mainly used during the day. However, its designer, was convinced that it could also be involved in nights activities such as concerts. So he imagined spaces that are flexible and can be used in many different ways. The clearest adjustable place is the frontal entrance since at the back (underneath the glass building) a stage can be placed to the Artist to perform, and the audience can gather around them.

Working in creative fields such as Art and Architecture is a learning process, where not only attending lectures is enough. It is a long procedure where a whole environment is needed. In this case, La Villa des Arts is probably a great place to produce work and grow as an Artist.

ALONG THE PATH If we ask the everyday users of this space, staff for example, about the pragmatic of the center they will quickly answer (in other words) that it is a complex space. Othmane Saffi, the manager of the security staff, said after working in different museums that he specially likes this one, because of the fact that it is active and noisy, in comparison to the others that he des- cribes as sanctuaries and thus boring for the people that work within them.

By: Khadija Del-Lero January, 2012

The Architect also takes care of the bridges that link the three villas. Those passageways end up being interlocking spaces where obviously most of the movement happen. In order to reinforce again this idea of circle of creation, Moustapha Alaoui deals with those passages as extended entrances (or exits) that allow a gentle transition between places. To make it even more clearer, he adds structural elements such as columns and a set of successive frames. Those easily appeal the visitor to walk through the determined path. SPARE SOME CHANGE


Comparing the Past in the Future I

t´s 11 o´clock in the morning and I ring the bell of Ignacio Mª Díaz Goena´s studio for the first time in my life. A very extrovert and friendly old man with a very marked Basque accent opens the door and shakes my hand in a very secure way. Automatically, after this warm salute we began talking about architecture in a very out-going manner, as if we knew each other for years.

Who was Oteiza? When you design to what do you give more importance? Functionality, I try to design without frivolities or concessions. What do you mean by saying “frivolities” or “concessions”? The most important thing I take into account when I design is the living space without wasting time thinking about beauty. In the future, you, Luis, will be able to manage this vocabulary. I remember when I was younger; I had lots of difficulties with this, especially when they spoke about empty space and Oteiza.


He was a very good sculptor, in my opinion he was better than Chillida; he was like Chillida´s forerunner. I recommend you to visit his museum in Alzuza, in Navarra whenever

you find time. In the museum there is a showcase where Oteiza created some sort of original shapes using chalks that are very interesting for architects. Oh! He also made scuptures with cans, and there is a sculpture of Chillida in Gijon that is similar to Oteiza´s work. Oteiza was an outstanding sculptor because he explained things whereas Chillida did not explain anything. He was also a very intelligent person: he wrote books, and was extremely controversial. On the other hand, Chillida was a very lucky man. He found a very good merchant, who helped him get associated with American Jews and wealthy German people. Do you find Oteiza´s work inspiring? Well, go one day to Alzuza and see if you get excited with his work.

Have you ever built something, which has a design similar to Oteiza work? I would definitely like to, but nowadays, who asks you for something like that? I can notice that you don’t like Chillida, right? Well, I like the Comb of the wind, but only the part that was done by Peña Ganchegui. Peña Ganchegui was the best contemporary Basque architect, in my opinion. Talking about Spanish architects, do you like Raphael Moneo´s work? Yes, a lot. When I saw the model of the IESU Church I was emotionally touched. And why do you like his work? Lets see, to know if something related with architecture is good or bad, you need to see a lot of architecture in your life.



I´m going to tell you something about Moneo. There was a very intelligent architect in San Sebastian who studied with him. Frequently, this architect bugged him by showing him photographs of buildings. However, Moneo never failed to know their names and where they were located. Where did you study architecture? I studied in Valladolid and in Madrid. Did you have any peculiar teacher during university? The fifth year when I was in Madrid, Oiza was my teacher. He was the architect of the Oteiza museum in Alzuza. How was Oiza as a person and as a teacher? He was a very bad teacher (Ignacio laughs) and a very intelligent man, although very chaotic. Nevertheless, he was very funny, passionate and he was able to transmit his passion for architecture to everyone.


As an architect he was awesome and very retailer. A good architect does not have to be a good teacher. Normally in our profession, the people who know a lot, do and explain things very clearly. I was very lucky to know him and I really liked him, but at the same time he was very controversial. For instance, we were designing houses and if there was just one silly mistake in the project, like if the kitchen was in a position that Oiza did not want, he failed that student. Or it was the other way round, a project could be full of mistakes but if the kitchen was in position then he liked it and that student would get a full mark. He did this because he was a very clever person; he wanted to argue in order to obtain something from that discussion. I remember that the final project I did in the career was a load of rubbish. When I was about your age, Oiza was invited to San Sebastian to give a speech with Peña Ganchegui and he said: “ Then I discovered the way to put the elevator in a horizontal position”

and just after that Peña Ganchegui affirmed: “ Paco, what you have discovered is the city train.” He was a very good architect but also copied very well. He used to say that you had to copy, but you had to do it well. When you where a student, where you organised or did you wait till the last minute? I like doing things calmly. As a good architect, I always want to be ahead, even though I don’t take important and final decisions till the last minute. However, this happens to most architects. After talking for a while, I ask Ignacio to show me some of his works. We both get chairs and sit in front of his computer where he proceeds to show me the plans of a house he designed on a slope and in AutoCAD. I then ask him:

Is there a big difference between drawing by hand or by computer? I’m going to tell you something: Fifty years ago, we began using digital topographic plans. The teacher told us that we did a very good job, but we made a small mistake of 20 cm, which was pretty good. When we drew on paper, we always had several errors, small ones but if they all got mounted over each other then the final error would be quite big. This is why computers gained popularity and nowadays we are able to draw without any errors. Author:Luis Benito Alonso






How contemporary architecture has adapted itself to the oldest city of all southwestern Europe? Cádiz was founded by Phoenician sailors about 3100 years ago, as a commercial stronghold. The use of “Piedra Ostionera” (a kind of stone made out of real oysters, which looks like Calcarenite) was found all around the city, and from then, it is a must in every building located in the “Old Town”. Cádiz is a city that doesn’t leave one indifferent, some people may like it, and some others may hate it, but either for its wonderful beaches or its old-fashioned architecture, everyone who visits the city wants to go back. Since there is no land where you can build, every contemporary structure we find in the city belongs to a refurbishment of an old building that subsided there before. As you can see in the pictures, every building in the Old Town of Cádiz keeps a very similar façade, and because of that, architects confine themselves into designing houses with similar characteristics; and so, it is very easy to get lost. In order to study the differences between historical buildings and contemporary ones, I will divide the explanation into four different characteristics: Aesthetic, Comfort, Materials and Coherence. - Aesthetic: As I stated, the fact of keeping the same kind of façades in the Old Town is very important for the City. As a lot of buildings in Andalucía, Cádiz maintains the typical shape of hou-


ses from the south of Spain; an interior patio, which connects to every house, is found in almost every building. Illumination is a very important factor, Cadiz is known for its powerful light. Historical houses did not take advantage of that, on the other hand, contemporary buildings are characterized by huge windows that usually are as high as walls. - Comfort: This is one of the most important factors architects take into account while designing a house. The average of Cadiz’s population is 46 years of age, and because of that, architects try to not complicate things. In the year 2000, only eight percent of buildings in the Old Town had an elevator. Nowadays, this percentage has risen to thirtyfive percent in only eight years. There are a lot of interesting projects going on, such as “15 Viviendas + Biblioteca” (which I’ll explain consequently) where the building is designed for young people, and it even has a library. - Materials: As I mentioned in the introduction, there is a material that was born and it is used throughout the city, Piedra Ostionera. Every symbolic structure of Cádiz is made out of it, such as the Cathedral (picture three), the San Sebastian castle, Santa Catalina castle or Convent of Santa María. The colors white and brown are also frequently found all around. Moreover, because of Cadiz’s strong lighting, contemporary architecture has begun to introduce the use of glass panels in major, if not all projects. (See picture four)

- Coherence: Contemporary architects want to break the “balance” between exterior and interior by using completely different techniques. For example, in the building “15 Viviendas + Biblioteca”, the architect Fabian Cruz Gallego wanted to break precedent. He designed a house keeping the aesthetic aspect of it, however changing the typical form of house we all have in mind. Covered with grey Chinese stones, the Patio is a private area just for the sake of decoration. While strolling around the Old Town, I realized how important the neighbors’ opinions were about contemporary architecture. I therefore decided to interview a person who lives in the house “15 Viviendas + Biblioteca” (Luis) and one of his family members, named Jose, who lives in a very old building in the center of the city. They both agreed that Cádiz is the city they want to spend their lives in. When I asked them “What do you like the most about your home?”, Luis didn’t hesitate to affirm that the illumination and the library were his favorite. He, as a student, is very proud of having a library in the same building where he lives in; a place where he can disconnect from the world, and focus on his studies. On the other hand, Jose said he loves the Andalucian style of his building, perplex with simple but powerful decorative features such as that of plants and fountains in the center of patios. After asking both Jose and Luis what they liked the least in their home, Luis was left in silent for a few seconds. He finally replied saying, “My neighbors”. Jose had a different

opinion and re-assured his answer saying that the height of the staircases was something he could not stand at all. Cadiz is viewed by some, as a quiet, old city that meres close to the Atlantic Ocean. Others observe Cadiz as a cultural area with an immense history. Yet, another percentage of people have heard little of such place. The world changes continuously and every day vations are introduced into society. It is incredible how such an “ancient” city, to be more exact, the oldest city in Spain, has had the force to make our modern aspects adapt to it.



Starting in Guthenburg and finishing in Cannes From circlular simplicity to circular decadence

If you walk the the lovely street from Wavrinskys plats towards the Sahlgrenska hospital you will notice a big tower upon a hill watching over you. That is Guldhedens norra vattentorn. It was originally built as a watertower but was rebuilt 2008 to a building containing 74 student apartments. The architect behind the rebuilding of the tower is Knut Fredrikson and I met up with him to get behind the thought process and construction of the project.

and awareness increased, so did some neighbours worries as well. There were a lot of complaints. People were worried about students moving into the area, they assumed the noise levels were going to increase, as well as littering and traffic problems. It became so severe that it had to reach the highest instance on whether or not it could be built, until it was finally cleared after a full years delay.

(CH) Can you tell us a bit how this project came about?

Then we could actually start to proceed. It was a beautiful tower. The steel construction was amazing, it was all flawless with no cracks or problems. We tore down the inside of cistern and kept the pillars to hold the facade. We casted new floors and we also had to build a supporting sidetower. We first wanted another material for the new sidetower but some calculations was made and we instead decided to use Rheinzink since it also had the advantage of keeping maintenance costs down.

(KF) - Sure. We had a housing crisis during the 90´s and new apartments needed to be built. Our firm (Fredrikson & Schuberg) found this watertower which was a very small tower but we thought we could work something out with it. We contacted SGS (deals with providing housing for students) about turning it into apartments but their CEO was not really all that interested. They thought it would be hard to pull it through economically. Then time went by and there came a new CEO to SGS and he had a more offensive style with a more open attitude. Then we pitched the project again and this time, the response was different. We went through the zoning and it actually showed that they “underbuilt” the tower. We could actually add 5-6 extra stories to it with the extra height and that meant that SGS became even more interested. So we sketched and tried some ideas but as the project developed 028 SPARE SOME CHANGE

(CH) Can you talk a little bit about the design and what kind of thoughts that were important to you? Any special inspiration? (KF) - We wanted to keep the smooth cylindershape that was originally there. That meant that we did not want to build any larger windows to ruin that shape. The tower was built during the time when a lot of buildings were inspired by functionalism and this is too.

There were also already a very beautiful slabs of Fjäråsgneiss in the entrance that we wanted to keep. You can also see the original building date (1935) engraved into these slabs. After our talk, I decided to take my camera and take a stroll to see what my perception of it was and how it stroked me being next to it. My first thought was about the massive presence of the different kinds of stone. You walk up through the asphalt, you climb the natural stone stairs and on your right side, there are gravel and the mountain sticking up, while on your left side there is a grey cement ramp with steel railings. After climbing the stairs there is a round stone wall surrounding the building and then again asphalt and finally the gneisslabs in the entrance. The feeling is both a bit depressing but also very impressive due to its massiveness. I took a stroll around the building and what amazed me was the spectacular view. The stroll around the circular building also got me thinking about shapes, how we use them and what they provide us in terms of function, feel and aesthetics. We are used to rectangular shapes and our entire world seems to try to fit into boxes. In this case, the circularity is imposed by the original structure but it is also perfect in order to maximize the view. The panoramic view is really more beautiful and rare then the upfront one. It has another feel to it and I think the circular form works really well with this building. One architect that really has been questioning this ideal about rectangular buildings is the

Hungarian architect Antti Lovag. He designed Palais Bulles in Cannes. His view about architecture is that it should be a ”form of play – spontaneous, joyful, full of surprises”. He also talks about “humans limiting themselves to cubes full of dead ends and angles that impede movement and break our harmony”. According to him the straight line is “an aggression against nature”, as it does not exist naturally. This touches on what I believe is the prime concept of how using round or curved shapes affects architecture and design. It takes us back to nature and allows the building to live and feel personal. Lovag continues on this theme as well with the Palais Bulles being inspired by what he call Habitology. It takes us back to nature with roundly shaped rooms that is closer to what we originally lived in with caves as the inspiration. Lovag also talks about that the circular shape is pure as it only has one dimension, the radius and that is the lightest, strongest and most material efficient form of them all. I continued to do research about round spaces and how they affect us and stopped to think about it myself. I believe it comes down to it being a form that allows us to gather and focus each and everyones attention to one place. It is built so that we all can be equal, there is no side better then the other and we all are facing each other in a natural way. That is why that it is perfect for common rooms, dinning rooms and all types of spaces where people meet to interact. GORAN CARL HEINTZ



WTC, A COUNTRY ICON By Laura de Miguel Cervera, Madrid.

If we think of a good example of Power through Architecture, our mind will inmediatly transport us to New York City. Replete with skyscrapers, the manhattan island represents the most powerfull economic centre in the world.We will talk about Power and Sustainability beyond the WTC of New York.

In order to understand this article, we begin our investigation back in the 50’s when some visionary new yorkers decided to make downtown manhattan the home of the world commerce. At the head of these people was David Rockefeller who founded a group with several executives, and planned to unify and revitalize downtown

oped a plan for a “new lower Manhattan” , they proposed to rebuild and expand the financial district and suggested a World Trade Center.

manhattan, making it the global economic leader; the Trade Center.

In 1973 the Twin Towers debut as the tallest buildings in the world.

In 1962, the port Authority chose the current site for the World Trade Center, and selected Minoru Yamasaki to design the project. He considered

The plan was supported by the port authority of both New York and New Jersey, who saw the ambitious project as an opportunity to stimulate hundreds of building configurations before dethe flow of commerce through the port. In 1952 ciding on the twin towers design and worked Skidmore, Owings and Merryl (SOM) devel- closely with the selected structural engineers of 030 SPARE SOME CHANGE

the project. They developed an innovative structural system made by a tube-frame structure which allowed open floor plans without columns in the office spaces. Several facts, like the fire on February 1975 and the explosives attack in February 1993, tried to destroy the huge complex, but it didn’t happen until September 11, 2001 when Twin towers were destroy. Two commercial jet planes struck the Twin Towers, causing their collapse and the destruction of four other WTC buildings. The attack killed 2,750 people at the Trade Center, many of them

“I could not digest what I was seeing”

“I needed to be with my loved ones”.

emergency responders. After this horrible attack , new Yorkers changed their mind and life, and they plead to recover their lives and city. These are the words of a half Spaniard-new Yorker who lived the dramatic day. His name is Pablo de Miguel, and he’s an Spanish Architect who lives in new York since May 2000. Pablo works for the international leadership SOM (very related to the WTC, as we have seen), their Studio is placed in 14, Wall street,Just a few blocks from Trade Center. As mentioned previously, thousands of testimonies can be read and listened, so we can understand the grief the new Yorkers felt. The little proudness left in these people, made them get up and fight for their city. This is how phoenix came to life. All these feelings led to a new ambitious project : the New World Trade Center. This complex is a compound of seven buildings and a transportation hub. All this, in memorial to the victims of the terrorist attack. SPARE SOME CHANGE


Number one would be the main tower, placed on the site of the twin towers. It was made as an example of the reborn of the United States, the America´s tallest building. The Architect David M.Childs of SOM, designed a mix of Architecture, structure, urban design, safety and sustainability. “our principal goal

was to convey the sense of security that was broken that day”.-Pablo said.

The building was called the Freedom tower, and it has a huge public lobby topped by a series of mechanical floors and 69 office floors. On the top of the building, there is a communication platform and a 408-foot cable stayed antenna. The designers included a reusable rainwater system and an interior daylighting system to make the building more efficient and sustainable. Its edges are chamfered back to form eight isosceles triangles with a perfect octagonal center. They culminate in a square. The light refracts in it like a kaleidoscope changing throughout the day. The tower number seven is an example of green architecture, being the first certified “green”


building in N.Y.C. “After the panic of the 09/11 attack, we had to make a new building to transmit security to users and other citizens” . –Pablo explained to me. “This building exceeds the city’s building code and requirements on safety with a redundancy of steel and a 2ft-thick reinforced concrete core. It also has an enhanced fire-proofing material , a water storage and a sprinkler system. The exit stairs are now 20% wider.” Pablo´s favorite part of the project is the façade, designed by James Carpenter. “it is incred-

ible the exquisite use of light, making the whole building into a blue lighting prism”

They had clear they wanted to have a building made of glass, so they designed an unusual courtain wall, with no metallic joints. They used blue gem LED projections on Podium and stainless steel spandrels on entry wall to transform natural light into animated bands of iriscend colour. Some of the green features this building incorporated was the ability to provide

direct daylight for more than 90 percent of the occupied space, and the totality of the demanded energy by the building comes from renewable energy. It also has a high efficiency plumbing systems that reduce water consumption by at least 30 percent. At the top of the building they made a rainwater collection system for irrigation of the nearby park and for the

The tower number seven is an example of green architecture, being the first certified “green” building in N.Y.C. cooling tower. This new complex is an example of how Architecture represents the pride of an entire country, who once fell on his knees, and now shows the whole world the strength and challenges of raising again, very much improved and with more environmental-consciousness. .



GREEN ARCHITECTURE Sanitas Headquarters Building Sanitas one of Spain’s leading private health insurances needed a building for their new headquarters, which would meet the company’s goals satisfying physical, social and environmental requirements. This is why they hired architects Iñigo Ortiz and Enrique Leon, experts in ecological design. Their building is known to be one of the first “green” buildings ever built in Spain. This article will explain how the architects used recyclable materials, energy saving technologies or organic designs and how could this help for future eco-friendly architects.


Sanitas headquarters is situated in the street Ribera del Loira in the outskirts of Madrid. The adjacent motorway and railway gives this area good communications to the city center. The building has a design of an ellipse. It is orientated in a north-south axis, so that the offices face these guidelines and the inner patios face east and west. North-south orientation helps to optimize energy aspects such as lightning and natural ventilation and reduce solar radiations of the offices. The building is surrounded of vegetation; it has terraces, roof gardens and courtyards. All filled with autochthonous plants and threes. The roof garden with nestled nooks for seating offers a quiet refuge for lunch, breaks or meetings. There is also a welcoming rock fountain leading to a pathway to the building entrance.Through its organic shape and its surroundings of vegetation it perfectly bends into the pre-existing topography.

One of the aims of the project was to ensure a 35% energy saving compared to a conventional building. They achieved this by a series of energy saving technologies. The glass faรงade and the atriums make the building completely transparent letting the light passes through. This natural light reaches all areas, including stairways and bathrooms. This light is coordinated with selective artificial lightning, which includes smart lightning control systems from siemens and low consumption lamps with electronic switchgear in the offices, which reduces the energy wasted.

8 materials, which means there was a high control of waste. Also most of these materials (stainless steel, concrete, glass, natural stone and wood of reforestation) are renewable and all of them are produced in Spain, which reduced energy in transport. The facade consists of a stainless steel construction and glass designed to be recycled. The technology for construction used is based on prefabrication, both in the structure of pillars and beams of reinforced concrete, as in the alveolar plates forged using a floating floor. This will facilitate future demolition, re-use or recycling of parts and energy savings linked to the demolition of these systems.

A 90% of the building was constructed of only SPARE SOME CHANGE


Wa t e r i s c o l l ecte d fro m the rai n for a ll t h e v e g e t a t i on a rou n d the b ui l ding. Wa t e r u s a g e i s mi n i mu m, tap s an d toile t c i s t e r n s a re l ow w a te r co n su mption. Wa t e r h e a t i n g i s re g ul ate d b y h e a t rec o ve r y c o n t ro ll ed b y 2 4 h o u r op er ating c o mp u t e r s . S e l ec ti ve fa l se fl oo r fl oodin g o p t i m i z e s th e a i r-c o n d i ti on i ng . The la t e s t g e n e r a t i on B u i l d i n g Ma n a g em ent S y s t e m ( BM S ) i s u se d for p e r ma n ent c o n t ro l o f e n e rg y an d co mfor t. B oth t h e ro o f a n d l ow er p a r ts of th e c a nop ie s a re f i l l e d w i th so l ar p a n e l s. All the p h o t o v o l t a i c i nstal l a ti on i s co mp o sed o f 3 6 0 p a n e l s w i th a c a p ac i ty of 3 5kw w h ic h p ro d u c es 36 6 0 0 K w h. P ho tovolt a ic l a m p s a re al so u se d al l a rou n d the la n ds c a p e . T h e c o o l i n g s yste m ca l cu l ate d b y t h e a rc h i t e c t s i s ver y co mp l ex b ut eff ic ie nt . F i s t , a par t fro m the a i r c o m ing f ro m t h e n a t u r al ven ti l a ti on , th e fresh a ir e n t e r s t h e atri u m throu g h th e l ower le v e l a n d i s p re c o o l ed b y e va p orative c o o li n g f ro m t he w ate r fea tu res a nd by a ss is t e d c i rc u lati on th rou g h th e b aseme n t c h a m b e r l ab yri nth . T h i s re d uces t h e a i r t e m p e r atu res i n su mme r. T he b u ild i n g i s a l s o p ro vi d e d w i th rol l er b lin d s a n d c a nop i e s o n th e e a st a nd w e s t f a รง a d e s , te rra c e s a n d p a ti os for d ire c t s o l a r p rotec ti on . Gl azi ng i s also t re a t e d w i t h u ltra vi ol et p ro te c ti on . The b u ild i n g h a s a h i g h th e r ma l ma ss due t o it s c o n s t r u c ti on mate ri a l s. Th e off ic e c e i l i n g s i nco rp o rate c o o l ra d i ant p a n e l s a s a n a c ti ve e n e rg y e ffi ci ent sy s t e m . T h e h u mi d i ty i n th e se roo m s is c o n s t a n t l y co n trol l e d ab ove th e dew p o in t t e m p e r a ture to a vo i d c o n d ensat io n .


The ventilation in the same way as t h e c o o l i n g h a s a c o m p l e x p ro c e s s . Due to its geographic location, the s t r a t e g y u s e d i s t h ro u g h i n d o o r p a t i o s l i k e a t r i u m s w i t h v e g e t a t i o n w h e re natural ventilation is encouraged. The a i r c i rc u l a t e s f ro m t h e l o w e s t l a y e r s u p t o t h e h i g h e s t l e v e l s w h e re i t i s extracted. The organic shape of the b u i l d i n g g i v e s a e ro d y n a m i c s f o r a b e t t e r f l o w o f w i n d . T h e ro o f h a s a s t a g g e re d d e s i g n , w h i c h i s a l i g n e d t o t h e s o u t h w e s t w i n d s . I n w i n t e r, i n o rd e r t o i m p ro v e t h e a i r q u a l i t y a n d t h e p a t i o v e n t i l a t i o n , t h e u n d e r g ro u n d p a t i o heating is turned on, so that the hot a i r r i s e s a n d t h e d e s i re d a i r m o v e m e n t i s g e n e r a t e d . T h e o ff i c e s h a v e m a n u ally operated opening windows on the lower and the upper parts of the faรง a d e s . T h e a i r i s re g e n e r a t e d t h ro u g h c o n v e c t i o n m o v e m e n t f ro m t h e l o w e s t w i n d o w s t o w a rd s t h e u p p e r o n e s . T h e building also has a double ventilated faรงade on the north and south ends, and the supply of outdoor air is based on the occupancy levels. A s w e l l a s b e i n g 1 0 0 % e ff i c i e n t t h i s building is also very practical and comfortable for people working in i t . T h e h i g h a c o u s t i c p ro t e c t i o n u s ing pine wood panels allows a silent a t m o s p h e re , w h i c h f a v o r s t h e h a rd working. Smoking is not allowed and a i r i s w a s h e d a n d f i l t e re d . To a c h i e v e a n e v e n b e t t e r i n t e r n a l e n v i ro n m e n t , c o m f o r t p a r a m e t e r s a re m o n i t o re d f o r m o re i m p ro v e m e n t s . T h i s b u i l d i n g h a s a l re a d y b e e n u s e d 1 0 y e a r s a n d o p i n i o n s o f t h e u s e r s a re m o re t h a n p o s i tive.

Architect Iñigo Or tiz said; “ we have tried to be respectful with the environment in both the process of construction and the final usage of the building”. They totally achieved it, designing this complete building, which mixes new complex technologies with old basic techniques for saving energy. Making an ecologically and aesthetically beautiful building, a ver y good example for young architects. This new generations of architects should example and keep improving “green” architecture until the per fect 0 emissions design is achieved.

By: Ildefonso Dupuy de Lome



LIVING FUTURE “You don’t build green because it’s a trend, but because if you live on five dollars a day you have to”

-Carmen Sinclair

The founder of Architecture for Humanity points out that if we want to do something with the global growing housing problem, building sustainable, self-sufficient constructions that don’t pollute their surroundings is a necessity.

Soe Ker Tie House / TYIN Tegnestue

planets for the whole world to keep the same pace. In 20 years there will be more than eight billion people on this planet, and it’s a young generation that wants the same prosperous future as their parents

We need to look to the growing megacities. The future is not going to be the skyscrapers of New York but something more close to the slums of Sao Paulo. Cities with no infrastructure and that are struggling with poverty and pollution. More With this said, open source collaboration is people are moving in to these cities and they a push in the right direction. Later I’ll give continue to grow. you an example of a house-concept that is environmental sustainable and completely self- To change this we need to be environmental sufficient by adapting to natural processes. sustainable. This is where open source With increasing needs and demands from an increasing population we are continuously confronted with new problems. If you traveled 50 years forth in time, or even 100 years, what story would you tell when you came back? What could you tell us about the housing conditions of a likely crowded planet? Humans produce an ecological footprint on the planet. This footprint is all the stuff and waste that goes through our life. In the west we produce, consume and discard as never before, and with the rate we are doing it in, it would require five


technology and sustainability comes in. Tools and systems of collaboration letting people work freely together and innovate. This creates results and opportunities to people with no capital.

Architecture for humanity was founded by Cameron Sinclair with the vision of getting architecture involved in humanitarian work, to make an impact. Open source architecture was developed and now they are over thousands designer, architects and engineers working together around the world, collaborating and

Constructing with cans on top of the foundation of tires filled with dirt and sand. Photo: Gøran Johansen

Inside of finished earthship. Photo: Gjøran Johansen

embracing innovative design to improve living to fit our needs, it adapts to the preexisting conditions for all. natural and viable resources on the planet. And for the design we always have garbage. So how An important part that makes this possible is the is this possible? developing nation’s license. This license makes it possible for people in any part of the world to “Why have a corporate or political “middle man” download a develope design and replicate it for between us and our energy needs? Our vessel (home) must be designed to sail with the forces free. that exist beyond human control and exploitation.” Essentially it`s a community where ideas can be uploaded, developed and tested in different settings an climates to create local solutions for local problems, and where any computer can plug in to and participate, utilize and review the designs. The fact that a person from Delhi knows more about Delhi than I do is indispensable, and we have to realize that to make good designs we need to let every party participate in the design process.

-Michael Reynolds

magine taking the planets ecological system and reducing it to fit the proportions of a house. That would be something like what an earthship is aiming for. Have you ever asked yourself how the electricity in your house is produced? Where the water comes from and what’s been added to it? Or where the sewage goes and how it affects the environment?

In an earthship there is no mystery. Water is caught from the sky on the roof, filtered for consumption and reused four times before it goes Earthships are sustainable houses able to back to earth without causing contamination. provide water, electricity and food all by itself. It also takes advantage of the sewage, instead of The earthship is not connected to a public flushing it into the ocean. The house also creates a comfortable environment in all climates. Essentially what you end up with is a house with no utility bills that instead of manipulating nature SPARE SOME CHANGE


sewage system due the grey water system that cleans the water in interior botanic cells for reuse. The water is used for flushing the third time and a fourth in exterior botanic cells. In a world with growing water shortage problems it is essential to be able to harvest and process water to extract more with less and leaving it without polluting. Food production is an important aspect of the earthship that adds another level to whole ecological system and independent living. This is where the grey water is recycled. It is purified through the indoor planters and then used for flushing the toilets. There are a lot of different plants and vegetables that can be used; it depends on the needs and desires of the householder. About a meter and beyond into the earth the temperature is more constant. In an earthship this stability is used to both maintain and vary temperatures. For heating it stores the suns

Photo: Gøran Johansen


energy in the mass and for cooling it blocks the sun letting the mass of the earth connect with the house. Electricity is extracted from the sun using photovoltaic panels. But because of the thermal mass system electricity for heating and cooling is not needed. If we could incorporate concepts like these into the growing cities and create an infrastructure that sustained itself, we could maybe peal of some of those garbage mountains that keep popping up, instead of adding another peak, and maybe there would grow more algae than plastic in the ocean. And finaly maybe we could enjoy the same goal William McDonough presented to the White House: “Our goal is a delightfully diverse, safe, healthy and just world with clean air, water, soil and power – economically, equitably, ecologically goal William McDonough and elegantly enjoyed”




REFERENCES IS ARCHITECTURE ALIVE? ANA CARRERAS References Interviews Carreras, F. (14 de 01 de 2012). Is Architecture Alive? (A. Carreras, Entrevistador) Mallo, M. (02 de 01 de 2011). Is Architecture Alive? (A. Carreras, Entrevistador) Melo, A. R. (07 de 01 de 2012). Is Architecture Alive? (A. Carreras, Entrevistador)

Riggs, E. (2011). House of the Week: Mushroom Home in Perinton, NY. Recuperado el January de 2012, de blog/2011-07-19/house-of-the-week-mushroomhome-in-perinton-ny/ Rey, Carolina. Google images. Dancing House. Viewed 24/01/2012. blog/2009/08/31/frank-gehry-caf/42-17381372/ FUTURE ARCHITECTURE: THE BIONIC TOWER - (15/01/2012).

Mora, E. (26 de 12 de 2011). Is Architecture Alive? (A. Carreras, Entrevistador)

- (16/01/2012).

Rijo Arquitects (12 de 01 de 2012). Is Architecture Alive? (A. Carreras, Entrevistador)

- Interview with MªRosa Cervera and Javier G. Pioz (Interviewer: Francisco - Astigarraga) (18/01/2012).

Books Leach, N. (2006). Camouflage. United States: MIT Press. Zumthor, P. (June 1, 2006). Atmospheres. Switzerland: Birkhäuser . Internet sources

Gehry, F. (2006). Dancing House, Prague. Recuperado el 2012, de buildings/dancinghouse/index.htm Pferdmenges, P. (2011). Alive Architecture. Recuperado el January de 2012, de http://www.


- Book `Arquitectura y Biónica´ by Rosa Cervera And Javier Pioz. RAW SPACES: A PLACE FOR EVERYONE Internet sources Are raw spaces creative places?: Raw spaces in Berlin (what raw spaces are): Transforming raw spaces into creative havens:

ming-raw-spaces-creative-havens Photography (except the big ones) Interviews Dario Gazapo: “Raw spaces, a place for everyone” Darya Von Bener : “Raw spaces, a place for everyone” THE OLD TOGETHER WITH THE NEW. EL VIENTO 10 -Caro, P. “La idea de Cordoba.” (2001). La Axerquia, 28-31. -“Carta para la integración de la arquitectura contemporánea en las ciudades Patrimonio de la humanidad”. Córdoba, Noviembre 2009 -Garcia, Lola. Personal and Email Interview. 04 January 2012. -Medina, Juan. Personal and Email Interview. 03 January 2012. COMPARING THE PAST IN THE FUTURE. Photos:

diz (Julio Malo de Molina) – 2007 - “Intervencion urbana y regabilitacion en el convent de Santa Maria – Cadiz” by Juan Espadas Cejas - 2008 THE SYMBOL OF A CITY -Interview: Pablo de Miguel Iglesias. Associate in SOM. Skidmore, Owings & Merryl LLP -The architecture of Adrian Smith, SOM : toward a sustainable future. Adrian smith,2007. -SOM Journal five, Hatje Cantz Verlag,2008 -Skidmore, Owings & Merrill : SOM dal 1936, Adam Nicolas,electra, 2005 LIVING FUTURE Architect Gøran Johansen Architecture for humanity, TYIN Tegnestue Earthship Landing Durango Colorado”

ARCHITECTURE BEYOND CULTURE - “Unas Casas De Cadiz” by ArquitectosdeCa-




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