Pioneers of Modern Spanish Architecture (4)

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Architecture as an integral work

Under the theme Architecture as inclusive work, this Congress focused on the analysis of outstanding modern architecture by architects born in and around the 1910’s and 1920’s who dealt with material from a totalising perspective, in which the project’s underlying idea and its physical reality encompassed the work as a whole, from the small scale ‒the details and the furniture, for example‒ to the relationship in the project with other trades and artistic work.

Pages  272
Language  Spanish, English
Format 17 x 24 cm, soft cover
ISBN 978-84-947421-5-6

Gesamtkunstwerk [inclusive or total art] started to become consolidated as a concept at the end of the 19th century with the first contributions by the English arts & crafts movement. This led to different manifestations of art nouveau in Europe, and after passing through the industrial filter proposed by the Deutscher Werkbund, ultimately picked up on the ideas of the Bauhaus.

Somewhat later, this modern concept was brought to an impoverished and little industrialized Spain, recently emerged from a civil war. Using the scarce resources available, large doses of ingenuity and widespread craftsmanship, projects imbued with this spirit strove to produce what could not be provided by a poor and unevolved construction industry. Architects were often given (or took) the liberty ‒especially in some types of public buildings‒ to consider their proposals in a holistic way and delivered buildings to their clients that were enriched with all sorts of unique elements or produced in collaboration with artisans.

This Congress, linking up with the Gesamtkunstwerk concept, was focused on the analysis of projects in which the architect was able to imagine, design and incorporate not only strictly architectural elements but also others from different disciplines, in each case aiming to construct architecture that could be regarded as a work of inclusive art. The Congress theme thus proposed the analysis of a work of architecture conceived as an inclusive whole, which did not focus on its equipment or the decorative elements added later on, but on the essential, intrinsic components that were inseparable from the work itself, placed at the service of the architecture in its totality.

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