Monday, 12 May 2008

Continuity: hermeneutic meets architecture

Norumbega is "an online feuilleton and news portal collected from a traditionalist perspective" (see here for an explanation of "Norumbega" and "Feuilleton"). Edited by Andrew Cusack, the heart of the publication is a series of readable, thought-provoking articles which will sometimes be controversial - but because they are original and intelligent, not simply because they set out to "shock".

Andrew Cusack sent me notice of a recent article: An Architecture of Continuity which looks at the Universidad Laboral, constructed from 1946 in Franco's Spain to provide a second level institution to teach vocational and technical skills, supported by communities of the Jesuits and the Poor Clares. of the architecture, Cusack comments:
The Universidad Laboral presents us with an architecture that is a continuation of history, rather than a rejection of history. Its components exhibit a classical symmetry but, like the human body itself, are arranged in a somewhat asymmetrical but nonetheless orderly form. It is the largest building in Spain but is broken up into smaller portions to prevent it from overburdening the inhabitants. It exhibits a natural hierarchy of forms, with the Church at its very heart. The Laboral is proof that there is another way of doing things: that one can be at once modern and traditional. That is a lesson that certainly needs to be understood by architects, but surely also by the rest of society as well.
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