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The architecture that sews the landscape

Studies redefine their businesses to be more sustainable, with a transversal and armored vocation in the face of crises

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The architecture that sews the landscape

That Alejandro Aravena took landfill of Garraf to last biennale of Architecture of Venice — of which he is a curator — speaks so much of values of Chilean Pritzker (audacity, sustainability, responsibility) as to where architecture is coming in This century. The authors of reconversion of landfill in a park — cemented in sound and reorganized waste —, Enric Batlle and Joan Roig, have 36 years combining landscape and architecture to culminate an urbanism in which nature is useful, not only decorative, and Individual is protagonist, in front of architectural icons.

In midst of specialization, this Barcelona study decided to work on all scales of construction worrying about all its effects — impact of a building in a neighborhood or maintenance of an urban park. This breadth of sight has consolidated m as one of largest national studies — 90 employees — at a time when, swimming between forced emigration and vocational craftsmanship, a good part of this profession arises what it means to be an architect today.

Batlle himself, who picked up last week Medal of Higher Council of Colleges of Architects of Spain (CSCAE) in Royal Academy of San Fernando, says that his study is "a contemporary version of ancient architect, who flees from specialization" "To focus on transversality." This Union of parties is guiding thread of many of its projects that — as is case in environmental recovery of Llobregat River, urbanization of Ebro River front in enclosure of Expo of 2008, new cruise Terminal of port of Barcelona , Barça Miniestadi or Toulouse Exhibition Park where y work with Rem Koolhaas — sew landscape with cities.

Centro Cultural Daoiz y Velarde de Rafael de la Hoz. ALFONSO QUIROGA

But re's something else. This collaborative philosophy has as an effect a solvent business operation, something rare in a creative environment such as architecture in which to talk about price of projects was badly seen until recently and comment on difficulties of Maintenance of a building was considered a little elevated conversation. This solvency has earned Batlle I Roig a reputation for rigorous. And it has allowed m to consolidate, according to Roig, "an architect model impervious to possible crises". What is this anticrisis model like? "Hard," y respond in unison. "Capable of dealing with all edges of architecture because in city everything, landscape, urbanism and architecture, are connected, affect each or, cannot be considered watertight compartments". That integral vision is what has led m to build "millions of kilometres of bike lanes" or to raise offices for Inditex group. Also to say that parks of 21st century will be more useful than contemplative.

The or winner, Madrid study of Rafael de La-Hoz, with 80 employees, also represents a model of solvency and architectural management. The authors of headquarters of Telefónica, Repsol and Popular University of Alcobendas in Madrid export 40% of how much y build: The Cancer Research Center in Bogotá, Rabat Tower in Morocco, NH How Hotel in Frankfurt or skyscraper One Ninety Seven in Sydney. De La-Hoz has shown concern for sustainability, ability to dialogue with heritage and versatility when combining se concerns with luxury of floors of building of Gasca 99, in so-called "golden apple of Madrid".

Both de la-Hoz and Batlle I Roig defend an architecture without surprises that values control over improvisation. Perhaps that is why y have no problem in telling how sector crisis halved m ( Madrid study) or almost a third (in case of Catalan). In 2014, y started comeback. "Our recipe was to focus on bringing architecture to areas that architects had renounced," Batlle says.

Unlike or awards, se medals awarded by CSCAE from 2010 point to roads and, at same time, serve as a rmometer. They are seldom granted to active architects, rar recipient who helps architecture: mayors, Foundations, schools and, this year, two great Spanish studies, because y point to a path for architecture and at same time a profitable and responsible business model.


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