Oddly enough, the Venezuelan architect who has been writing this blog for a year, has never posted anything about Venezuelan architecture.
The reasons for this absence escape my logic and understanding, but as it is never too late to start, I have decided to do it and publish a series with the buildings that, to me, are the best examples and the ones that make me feel proud of my country.
Whenever I think of the best examples of Venezuelan architecture, the ones that always come to my mind are the modern projects from the 50’s, particularly some large, public and social interventions which gave to our cities, and especially to Caracas, a new scale and a new spirit.
From my point of view, this was the best moment of architecture in my country, in which great architects such as Carlos Raúl Villanueva, Tomás Sanabria, Fruto Vivas, among others, gave true and palpable evidence that, in Venezuela, modernism was also present.
Much could be said about the life and work of these masters, but for those of you who speak Spanish, there are blogs such as propuestas in_consultas, Desde la memoria urbana, 800-Christy :: Desnudando Caracas and many others, that have done it before and certainly in a much better way than I could ever do it, besides, I don´t usually write about history but about my very personal, sometimes even distorted interpretation of it.
And, as if this distorted interpretation was not enough, I usually let my emotions flow in my essays and I concentrate more on what architecture makes me feel or how I manage to connect with it, than in the year of its construction, the amount of square meters it has or the frequent, highly intelligent and profound analysis of form and function.
This may be the reason why, what I write doesn´t fit the typical profile of the essays written by and for architects, at least in Venezuela; emotions and history rarely go hand in hand; so I have two options, either I start writing about something else, which is not very feasible because architecture is what makes me breathe in the morning, or I create a new literary style for architects who, like me, are not so profound (not true, I am sure that there are more of my type and that this literary style has already been created). Anyway, this is who I am and who I like to be…
So, knowing that history is already written, I decided to concentrate on the images that this group of architects managed to fix in my mind and the emotions they produced in me.
Thanks to these buildings and to others that I will publish soon, I understood modernism in a close, real and tangible way in my early days as an architect. Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto were my platonic teachers; distant beings that made me dream of a better world; but these great Venezuelan masters made me believe that this better world was not only in books or in my imagination; that all these dogmas and doctrines that our university teachers told us about, were much more than just that, that they were real and, above all things, they were inspiring…
It is likely that Venezuelans may think that my very summarized group of architecture from the 50’s is, well… very summarized, but I rather do it this way, small shots that prevent us from getting lost in a sea of images.
And for those who read my blog from other interesting and distant parts of the world, I hope you can, through my own experience, perceive, even a little, of what Venezuela has to offer the world.
… I will soon publish another small shot of Venezuelan architecture.
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