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David Chipperfield, the museum surgeon

The architect extends the Royal Academy of London, which turns 250 years the project, which runs away from the spectacular, has cost 64 million requests to enter my study have fallen dramatically by the Brexit, says

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David Chipperfield, the museum surgeon

The heart of new Royal Academy (RA) was actually re for 150 years, beating buried by cement. David Chipperfield (London, 1953) has excavated an auditorium of wood and metal that is in essence same that can be admired in a nineteenth century engraving. The new space is at number six of Burlington Gardens, a building that was headquarters of University of London and Anthropological museum before architect restored it to connect it with headquarters in Picadilly Street of RA, institution that embodies Establishment of British art and that from now on will be able to better play its tourist asset.

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  • More rooms for collection and for temporary exhibitions at Royal Academy

Chipperfield began working 10 years ago in an intervention that is more surgical than spectacular. With a cost of 64 million, it increases by 70% The space available for exhibitions and for permanent collection. The result will open to public next Saturday, day of a certain royal wedding and 250 º anniversary of founding of eccentric Academy, composed and directed by artists from first responsible, painter Sir Joshua Reynolds.

The auditorium functions as a metaphor too good about work of Chipperfield, a reference in contemporary architecture of museums thanks to projects of new plant like Jumex of Mexico and more than anything to his successes in remodeling of Neues Museum of Berlin (1997-2009), famous for serving as a home to Nefertiti. In his restoration-based work it is never entirely clear where new and old ends, and respect and utility are always placed in center.

In this case, usefulness of word. The RA did not have a suitable place for conferences, which were dictated in costly spaces of renting in central London, as explained during a visit to work Kate Goodwin, chief curator of architecture. There, between heat of trades, dust and haste to meet deadlines, Chipperfield proudly showed bridge that links old building with new and aspires to be icon of future of museum. He also spoke of "difficulty of contenting all": The 80 academics of "strong opinions", including himself since his entry in 2008, workers and tenants of studios of artists that are between building and now remain at Vist to public. "The decisions were taken in a similar environment," joked architect, "to Yugoslavia just before war."

Enlarge photo Simon Menges

Later, without helmets or boots of work, Chipperfield recalled during an interview with country that "when I was a student saw RA like a place full of grumpy lords of 70 years unhappy with how y had treated m life and criticism of art". "It was an outdated institution and today, although it has changed in demographic, gender and racial terms, it is in some ways still." He also spoke of challenge of culminating a company so emblematic in city that saw him born, but has been rar rácana in recognition of his career. "The problem is that architecture is in London in hands of private initiative, more or less since Thatcher killed state. And my trajectory has been based on field of public projects, "he says. In spite of everything, in United Kingdom it has two successful museums dedicated to artists: Turner (in seaside town of Margate) and Barbara Hepworth (in Wakefield).. .

Think city

A visit to South City office of David Chipperfield Architects — which has nearly 300 workers and or venues in Milan, Berlin and Shanghai — suffices to see that horizon does not show a change in neoliberal spirit of city. From windows of building you get an exemplary view of new London, with its glass skyscrapers and those apartment buildings that seem only within reach of Russian plutocrats. "I don't like what's going on," says Chipperfield, who will move his studio across Thames to an old factory of LP reconverted into a place of shared work. "We don't think about planning and urbanism here. In London triumphs termism. We have a terrible housing problem and we use urban space for millionaires flats. It's crazy. That's why he beat Brexit. Those who supported it seek deregulation, free market. "

And how will EU's output affect British architecture? "The or day I saw foundations of a European contest that warned British architecture firms that were prepared to leave process in next two years, as it were. My study is also seeing effects: more than 60% of workers are foreigners, but employment applications are dropping dramatically, and rightly so. Who will henceforth want a position in a firm of a politically and economically isolated country? "

Chipperfield is a good example of this conception of architecture as a transnational trade. After a start in 1980s when lack of work made him take refuge in housing bubble in Japan, he worked hard over next two decades in Europe. In Germany, yes, but also in Spain (City of Justice in Barcelona, a block of apartments in Madrid or controversial sailings and Ventes, in Valencia, charged with heat of America's Cup). "In ir country those were years of excesses," he recalls. "But y had ir good things. They made social housing, cultural equipment, things like that. Also things like City of Culture. I'm ashamed to be an architect when I see that. After boom, investment has shifted to private, and this is detrimental to social purpose of architecture. "

Of Guggenheim of Bilbao, icon that has become a measure of all things museum, thinks that "is a good building". "I'm not one of those architects who criticize you for sport. Frank] Gehry was very intelligent and rational. That always makes him a very rational building that puts a funny thing on him. Anyway, I do not think it would change museums as did Pompidou [Renzo Piano, Paris, 1976], which is a very radical building. The Guggenheim didn't change museums as much as look. "

Among its next projects, temples of art continue to have a prominent place, although in its case it is not in Middle East focus ("that bubble of buildings, almost all of Jean Nouvel, will pass"), and yes in new York, where it was elected in 2015 for renovation of Metro Politan, a company that budget cuts left two years ago in fallow. "In this time, we have never ceased to work in shadow. And after talking with newly appointed director [Max Hollein] I can say that sun shines again on project. "

A foundation for future of Galicia

David Chipperfield has spent more than twenty years in summers in Galicia. Even a house was built in Locality Coruña de Corube. His involvement with area took him last year to launch a foundation called RIA (Arousa Innovation Network), which works with universities, fishermen's associations or local authorities to think about future of region. And we're not just talking about architecture. "The discussion must draw a triangle, between architecture, nature and economy."

"For example," he says, "it is essential to protect water. The future of Galicia is re. The Galician people have lived accustomed to get rid of waste in sea and extract fishing without worrying. There was a time when that didn't matter, but it's not like that anymore. We also work on mobility. Cities are ruined by parking lots. And at same time region has a mobility problem. Why not start a bus system that works on demand? So you won't get one every hour, but only when you need m. There is a lot of talk about cities, but no one is thinking about rural areas. "

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