Rafael Moneo. Auftaktveranstaltung: Bauten für amerikanische Universitäten

Feduchi, Luis (2010). Rafael Moneo. Auftaktveranstaltung: Bauten für amerikanische Universitäten, Ins Leere gebaut - Built into the Void, , Instituto Cervantes, Berlin, Germany.

Author Feduchi, Luis
Title Rafael Moneo. Auftaktveranstaltung: Bauten für amerikanische Universitäten
Institution Instituto Cervantes, Berlin, Germany
Seminar Series Ins Leere gebaut - Built into the Void
Publication date 2010-02-16
Total pages 1 Event presentation and coordination
Language spa
Subject Curated or Produced Substantial Public Exhibition/Event - Exhibition/Event
Abstract/Summary The opening talk of this series had to be categorical insofar as introducing the ideas implied in the title Built into the Void. The possibilities that opened up in Berlin once the odd decision was made to dismantle the Palast der Republik, and add its absence to the pre-existing void on the other side of the Spree, added to the appeal of inviting architects capable of carrying out projects of such scale. By then, Rafael Moneo had just completed the work Zocos in Beirut, and similarities to the Berlin lot abounded: its reconstructive nature, its scale, its complexity, its historical importance, its location. Yet the aim was to make the work, and not the architect, speak about the possibilities of such a place, so Rafael Moneo ignored the obvious parallelisms, and presented the recent work he had carried out in the US. I understand the term void either as a functional space – the clean room of Harvard; or as something that pre-exists and needs to be rescued – the gym in Columbia; or as the opportunity to sort out an entire urban setting – the Providence site. Moneo engaged in a multiple reading of the topic and came up, as he always does, with a unique and insightful response for each place. We hope this text can translate Moneo’s ideas as convincingly and clearly as his talk did. The US campus is often an urban refuge in the de-humanized American city, doted with attributes of the historic city. As a succession of interventions in time that allows for new approaches, the campus appears in the three projects as a place that is foreign to the idea of reconstruction, and is in fact closer to the idea of interpreting the circumstances of a given moment. Using a very un-Kahnian quotation by the very Kahn (“to design is to adjust to or assimilate circumstances”), Moneo seemed to set the boundaries to the two trends into which the city of Berlin appears to be divided. The quotation seemed to emerge in a distancing of, on one hand, the historical circumstances of certain positions regarding the reconstruction of the city as an era, and on the other, of the utopian dreams of a future city that seems to be too closely tied to the dictums of certain “star” architects.
Additional Notes English translation: "Opening Event: Buildings on American Campuses". Published in "Spanish Architects ABROAD / Arquitectos españoles en el extranjero", Verlag für Architektur.JOVIS 2011. ISBN 9783868591088; 3868591087.

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Created: Tue, 13 Dec 2011, 11:18:33 EST by Luis Feduchi on behalf of School of Architecture