Own publication
2011
Building Skins

Mies van der Rohe used to say that God is in the details. Mies was a man of presence and resounding phrases, of which, perhaps, his Less is more is the best known. Although the American architect Robert Venturi, with all malice, used to answer him that less, most of the time, it is usually simply less. And he was not mistaken … Rushing the first aphorism mentioned, we would dare to say that, many times, it is the detail that ends up giving us the solution, not just constructive for the project, but formal as a whole. Because the architect’s work does not go from the inside out like someone who molds clay, nor from the outside in, like someone who sculpts stone: the architect’s work goes in both directions, from the large scale to the small scale and vice versa. Because if the details are the explanation of how to solve the construction problems that are presented, we would simply speak of construction and, nevertheless, these two sister books that we present here speak of Architecture. You have to use the violin to play music, not learn music to be able to play the violin… Architecture is never a question of layout, but of concept. I never tire of repeating it to my students. Basin, helmet, halo, that’s the order, Sancho.

The skin of a building is what we see that speaks to us of what we do not see. Like the face, mirror of the soul. It’s not right when interior and exterior do not fit and do not match; when what we will not find later is announced, when crossing the threshold. That is why I have never understood the difference between interior and exterior architecture, because both of them are sides of the same coin. However, it is fair to recognize that the skin is what makes us attractive, a body or a building. Although a building needs structure, facilities, vertical transport, interior finishes, as a body needs, in turn, bones, viscera and blood flow. All organs are important, all are essential … a bad digestion is enough to cause a headache and make us feel bad, as it is enough for a pillar to collapse for a structure to collapse. But none of this is really important. The important thing is what is not seen, the important thing is the mystery (Einstein said that in the mystery was the key to true science and art). In bilingual Spanish / English.

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