Moneo, Rafael José (1937-), Arquiteto espanhol:

Museu Nacional de Arte Romana (1980-1985), em Mérida;
Banco de Espanha (1983), em Jaen, na Espanha.

When you visit a building by Rafael Moneo, you are intensely aware of the architecture. But you are equally aware of yourself as a presence within this architecture. You find yourself turning and climbing. You emerge onto a high bright overlook, or descend into a darker cave. You feel yourself to be traversing a path, a path that is never fully mapped out but instead offers choices. Having to choose, you explore, you witness, you quest.

When Moneo writes of his buildings, he behaves like a novelist. He tends to establish a point of view from which the experience of the architecture is perceived. The point of view is that of the visitor to the building, a fictional character imagined by Moneo. Seldom does he describe a building as an autonomous artifact. Instead it is an event in the life of a witness, or more likely a sequence of events. For example:

At the Davis Museum: "The stair becomes the home of the viewer...inside the stair, the viewer becomes the owner who possesses the collection."

At the Miro Foundation: "The visitor following [the entry path] will be surprised to find a beautiful, ample square. From here he can go on to explore the garden."

But Moneo's tendency to create fictional character goes beyond this invention of an observing consciousness. The building, too, has feelings.

Of the Miro Foundation: "Sharp and intense, the volume ignores its surroundings or, better still, answers with rage the hostile buildings that have worn down the previously beautiful slope."

Of Davis: "And indeed, this Museum tries to reflect on, and to give testimony, to, this particular collection."

Finaly, writing about the Museum of Roman Art, Moneo describes "the wish of enclosure that is always present in the architecture of the Museum."

In this architect's mind, what is taking place is a social and intellectual encounter between two characters, the building and the visitor. They meet, they exchange glances, they inquire of one another.

And like all meetings, this one occurs at a particular time and in a particular place.

The embodiment in architecture of time and place is Rafael Moneo's deepest concern. It is not a fashionable concern today. To many designers and students, the idea that a building should respond to the past, or to its physical surroundings, is regarded as passé. We live in a single worldwide culture, it is argued. A new scale and a new kind of architecture are required. Indeed we may think of ourselves as existing not in time and place at all, but rather in cyberspace — that electronic universe of signals and impulses which, ideally at least, is both timeless and placeless. Being so, it must also, of course, be immaterial.

Moneo is perhaps the single most important figure on the opposite side of this question. For him, architecture does not exist except as built of sensually apprehensible materials. A Moneo building is deeply embedded in its time and place and is expressive of them. Architecture thus becomes a way of knowing. Again, the best way to illustrate is to quote the architect, whose writings are among the most eloquent by any artist of this century.

"News, films, TV, advertising — everything pushes us towards a life understood as a continuous consumption of information received through images. No wonder that architecture, in today's world, no longer represents power. The media are the vehicle of power."

publicado por LUCIANO às 09:39