For those who are not familiar with the city of Lima, it is kind of a South American London. The sky is always dull, grey, sad. The only difference lies in the fact that in London it rains much stronger. It is not Lima´s fault being grey and boring though. It was never predetermined to be, but most importantly stay grey. Lima is as it is because we have chosen to let it be colorless. What’s up with the obsession with white? Why are most buildings in Lima made in exposed concrete or painted white? We seem to live in a lie, in which we decide based upon everything but context.
For the past month I’ve been reviewing the book Architecture and Disjunction. It is a compilation of essays written by Bernard Tschumi from 1975 to 1990, and explores the architect’s eagerness to define “space”, and the contradictions and dualities that thinking about said definition creates. (Specially the paradox between built and ideal architecture that I mention often in older posts.) This week, an essay called “Spaces and Events caught my attention.
My Father was a lawyer. Nevertheless, he communicated me, his architect son, every small but interesting thoughts on space. I, however, never paid real attention to said ideas; Not to explore them, at least. I remember once he told me about a door-less house he had imagined: “I have always thought about a door-less house; One where you could find privacy without closing a door and find family without opening one”. Impossible, I thought right away. “How could I go to the Bathroom?”, was the first naïve question that eliminated the possibility of such a home from my mind. I was a first-year student, and I couldn’t be thinking about such nonsense.
Linked Hybrid. Courtesy Steven Holl Architects, photograph © Shu He. Obtainted from https://www.e-architect.co.uk/china/linked-hybrid
Hybrid Buildings have existed for a while. Hybrid Buildings are more than just a mixed use. Hybrid Buildings are usually the best investing option.
A new Project was started at the office a week ago. We discussed about the possibility of going for a hybrid building. Since the lot was located on an area that was not predominantly residential nor commercial, to conciliate both programs made sense. Municipal norms didn’t allow for it, and we found the resolution absurd. This led to the questions: Are the advantages of designing a hybrid building wide-known? Are regulatory entities open to re-think about the design rules that concern these buildings?
Part 3: Both-And and Crossprogramming
An architectonic element is often interpreted as an absolute in a universe of dualities, or even multiplicities. “Either-or” is chosen instead of “both-and”. For example, a space can be considered as an outside or inside space, but never both. For Robert Venturi, “An architecture which includes varying levels of meaning breeds ambiguity and tension.” (Venturi, Robert 1966, p.23) In consequence, space can have various interpretations, which change depending on the observer. “At one moment one meaning can be perceived as dominant; at another moment a different meaning seems paramount.” (Venturi, Robert 1966, p.32)