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Davide Turrini


Pietra, Luce, Tempo

Davide Turrini



Pietra, Luce, Tempo

Idee costruite in pietra 11

Piani orizzontali Solidi stereotomici Superfici tettoniche
Coordinamento Editoriale Editorial Coordination Antonio Carbone Progetto Grafico Graphic Design Maria Teresa Quinto Stampa Printing Centro Grafico Foggia / Italia Traduzioni Translations Paolo Armelli Crediti fotografici Photo credits Giovanni De Sandre per le fotografie de La Idea Construda e per i ritratti di Alberto Campo Baeza Roland Halbe (pp. 10, 19 a destra, 20, 63) Javier Callejas (pp. 12, 13, 77) Hisao Suzuki (pp. 15, 19 a sinistra, 68) Francisco Rojo (p. 75) Si ringrazia lAccademia di Belle Arti di Firenze per il prestito dei calchi storici Prima Edizione Settembre 2010 First Edition September 2010 Casa Editrice Libra Melfi / Italia

Pietra, luce, tempo ne La Idea Construda 27

Gravit e spazio, luce e tempo Un antiquarium per il design contemporaneo

Tre conversazioni con Alberto Campo Baeza 57

Un involucro di pietra, traforato e mutevole. Verona, 1 ottobre 2005 Travertino, pietra luminosa ed eterna. Lucca, 15 gennaio 2007 Un antiquarium e un allestimento in marmo di Carrara. Verona, 30 settembre 2009

Idee in costruzione Antonio Pizza 69 Bibliografia 91

Stone-built ideas 73
Horizontal surfaces Stereotomic solids Tectonic surfaces

Stone, light, time in La Idea Construida 79

Gravity and Space, Light and Time An antiquarium for the contemporary design

Three conversations with Alberto Campo Baeza 83

A drilled and movable stone wrapping. Verona, 1st October 2005 Travertine, luminous and eternal stone. Lucca, 15th January 2007 An antiquarium and a setting in Carrara marble. Verona, 30 th September 2009

Collana promossa da Production from Il Casone SpA Via Imolese 98 50033 Firenzuola Firenze / Italia Tutti i diritti di riproduzione, anche parziale del testo e delle immagini, sono riservati.

Building ideas Antonio Pizza 88 Bibliography 91

Il futuro dellarchitettura sta nelle idee. Negli architetti che pensano. In quelli che hanno idee e che sono capaci di costruirle. Dedica novi il tempo necessario.
Alberto Campo Baeza, Il futuro dellarchitettura nel pensiero, Domus n. 776, 1995, p. 79, (I ed. 1993).

Stone-built ideas
Horizontal surfaces According to Alberto Campo Baeza architecture is built idea. The history of architecture, not only a history of shapes, is basically the history of the ideas transformed in buildings. Shapes disappear with the passage of time; ideas, instead, are permanent and eternal1. Only stone, then, is destined to resist the flowing of time and becomes an unavoidable choice to be developed with continuity in the manufacturing of stereotomic masses and tectonic surfaces, that is to say in the materialization of those built ideas that Baeza interprets as absolute and eternal values. Even before giving shape to the concepts of gravity and lightness in full solids or box volumes, the stone material represents for the architect the medium through which he defines the limits and the coordinates of the creative act: he often creates with stone, in fact, the base surface of the architectural composition, or even gives physical presence to the ground line in the perspective of a studied and proportioned view; this line is chosen within the landscape in order to be positioned at the centre of the building. The horizontal surfaces of Baezas architecture are hence made of stone. This happens very frequently in interior spaces, where smooth and homogenous stone floors constitute the rooting base surfaces for candid walls immersed in the light; evidences of this projecting habit are the Drago School in Cadiz (1992), and the houses of Gaspar (1992), De Blas (2000), Asencio Pascual (2001), Olnick Spanu (2003), and Guerrero (2005). Outside, in the definition of public spaces for historical or contemporary cities, the qualities that delimitate and define the horizontal stone surfaces reach extreme intensity and can autonomously live as architectures without architecture, leaving aside the edification of three-dimensional constructions: illustrative in this case are the square of the Almeria cathedral (1978-2000) and the Entre Catedrales square in Cadiz (2000-2009). In the first case a large texture of cubic components made of Macael marble, a Spanish stone of a light grey-whitish tone, composes a neuter support base for a renewed perception of the Renaissance faade of the cathedral; twenty four palms, in addiction, punctuate the flooring in order to create new rhythms and directions in the open space. In Cadiz, instead, the same stone-flagged pavement made of marble and characterized by a squared texture is employed to create a podium set between two ancient religious buildings; the elevated surface, accessible by a long lateral ramp, protects some archaeological excavations and at the same time is configured as a belvedere oriented to the sea.
Scuola Drago, Cadice, 1992

Stereotomic solids In After being stratified horizontally, the stone material elevates in the creation of plastic and still masses, of elementary cubes and prisms able to give substance with immediacy to the idea of gravity very important to Campo Baeza. In this way, the architects works materialise stereotomic solids in which the opaque, heavy and geometrical weight of the stone is confirmed and presented in all its integrity to be successively cut up by deep cavities, created not to weaken the mass, eroding and voiding it, but to enforce its image of stability, making the solid sections and the deep thicknesses immediately sensible. The solids get enriched with courtyards and patios, introverted spaces often indicated by thick and continuous delimitation walls, defined by the large texture of floors and walls once again made of stone. As the process of excavation, the collocation of grids and of light and transparent tectonic boxes next to the stone volumes valorises for Baeza the solidity of the building. If the school complex in Loeches (1989), with its rustic walls manufactured with roughly sketched-out stone pieces, represents the first hermetical example of Baezas stereotomic architecture, its with the Orihuela Public Library (1992) that the architect fully develops and articulates the theme of a composition made of compact and pure stone solids. The building is made of two L-shaped volumes, rotated and juxtaposed in order to define a central courtyard: the first building has two existent historical facades in which the elements are completely elaborated in stone; the second one is homogenously covered in stone and stands clear with its vivid corners and its perfectly straight facades. The courtyard as well is entirely covered with stone, continuously stratified on the floor, on the high walls, on the props of the wide windows, on the free walls that obliquely invade the spaces sustaining the stairs. The library, built exclusively through the composition of stone solids and cavities, asserts with perspicuity the substantial stereotomic gravity emphasised by the contrast with the airy presence of a transparent tectonic platform that covers the courtyard and is sustained by thin metallic columns. The Balearic Innovation Technology Centre in Inca (1995) as well is a work that illustrates Baezas notion of stereotomic solidity. The building is composed of a large triangular footing, a pure, unitary and compact shape. The stone podium comprehends a thick and closed wall that stands on its peak underlining the entire perimeter. On the footing a large wall-delimited agora is created, a hortus conclusus open to the sky and defined by a homogenous covering of big plates in Roman travertine on the flooring and on the wall coverings. Inside the courtyard, the tectonic part of the building is a completely transparent crystal box



that is lightly based on the travertine surface. The syntax of Alberto Campo Baezas architecture is once again simple and clear: the building is made of stone and speaks the language of gravity; the centre and the top of the composition contain a tectonic core thought to emphasise the perception of the stereotomic solidity of the ensemble; the spaces, defined by continuous stone surfaces, are totally introverted and direct the view to distant and infinite perspectives. The great skill of Baeza in calibrating the dimensions and orientations of solid masses, void spaces and visual limits is reasserted in the new architecture hes realizing in Zamora, where the theme of the hortus conclusus - already developed at the Innovation Technology Centre in Incas as well as in other private residences - finds another vivid expression, made even more vibrant by the location into a dense and highly historical urban context. The building is the seat of the Castilla and Leon Assembly and is being built in the centre of the city, very near the cathedral and the Romanic church of Santa Maria La Nueva. A high wall, built with the same local stone the historical buildings were made of,

follows the line of the construction delimitating a secret garden; in the centre of the green space, rich in trees and aromatic herbs, there is a transparent block where the meeting rooms and the offices for institutional activities are located. The thick and massive partition wall constitutes a strong and definitive sign, and yet is commeasured to the highness of the surrounding urban context and to the dimension of the garden essences; in the continuous curtain the stone is stratified in close plates of big format, in which only few passages and studied openings are cut to allow the interior view on the monuments. The transparent building of the meeting rooms and the offices is surrounded by a double glass covering, equipped with extensible textile screens and able to actively regulate the heat flux according to the seasonal time; in this way, both in winter and in summer, the subtle and light crystal volume allows to percept in its integrity the friendly presence of the green space, and to interact with it in an osmotic relationship that becomes total in the fruition of the exterior garden and of the belvedere terrace collocated on the covering.

Tectonic surfaces In Campo Baezas architecture, stereotomic inertia, expressed by masses, walls and horizontal surfaces made of continuous and compact stone, is enforced by the contrast with the tectonic lightness of surfaces characterized by different levels of visual permeability. Using the terms from the Semper lexicon stereotomic and tectonic in the meanings accurately analysed by Kenneth Frampton in his essays Studies in Tectonic Culture (1995)2, the architect puts together his solid and opaque buildings with two-dimensional geometries imbued with light and air, in some tracts movable and changing, born to define and separate the spaces and, at the same time, to allow various visual interactions. The tectonic surfaces single or in a sequence of trihedrons or closed volumes, can be superimposed to the stereotomic solids or set into them as veritable luminous chamber. In order to create this light and airy surfaces, Campo Baeza once again employs the stone material (together with glass and metal): the stone is fractioned and re-united in schemes thought to catch the light, retain and convey it on the surfaces, and let it pervade the interior rooms, cutting them with net diagonal luminous rays or wrapping them with pervasive, amniotic and surrounding fluxes. In Baezas works the first important stone declension of the concept of tectonic surface is represented by the seat of the General Savings Bank in Granada (1992-2001), where the alabaster cut in small 20mm-wide formats is employed to create translucent screens. The building is configured as a stereotomic cube in stone and cement, into which the volume develops on different levels in a hall defined by the architect as a light impluvium. The hall space receives its main directional light from large louvers and is enriched with another luminous source: three of the walls of the big room are constituted by alabaster screens set on structures in steel and aluminium; the alabaster expresses its translucent qualities being passed through the external light and giving back to the interior room a widespread and homogenous luminous flux. Alberto Campo Baeza exploits in this case the properties of some stone materials as alabaster, onyx or crystalline marbles that, cut in subtle sections, catch the light and let it irradiate into their inner mineral structure, revealing previously hidden colours and images and activating a dense and tangible luminous atmosphere. Valorising this translucent quality, the architect exalts once again the stone in its inseparable relationship with light, giving it a double existence: the alabaster of those solid, iridescent and sensual screens shows its usual aspect when it is hit by the incident light but can also live a second nature, latent in its structural

code but revealed only through the filtering luminous energy. In this way the half-permeable tectonic box, contained in the stereotomic solid, becomes an active luminous source expressing colours and illumination qualities uniquely in the visual and tactile limit of its surface. With the enlargement of the seat of the National Medical Service in Almeria (1999-2002) the study of Campo Baeza on the theme of tectonic surfaces explores the potentialities of movable stone screens. The building is configured as an elementary volume totally covered with lumachella stone plates, both on the facades and the covering. In this work, the stone material compounds a subtle and changing functional box, constituted by fixed parts and schemes of movable plates put together to give life to a shadowing system. Baeza, in fact, designed pairs of 90x90m squared stone screens that, in correspondence of each window, can slide or rotate on metal props getting different orientations; as eyelids, they can be totally opened, half-closed or hermetically juxtaposed to regulate the natural luminous rays and to guide the look of the people in the rooms inside.

Sede del Consiglio di Castiglia e Len, Zamora, in corso di realizzazione

Biblioteca, Orihuela, 1992



Claudio Silvestrin. La verit ne La cava

In this case the tectonic surface gets a kinetic characteristic: from the inside the movable stone, graduated in different levels of rarefaction, modulates the intensity of light in the spaces; from the outside the positions of the storms-windows (opened, closed, semi-rotated) determine the formal tract of the architectural work in function of the exhibited shadow intensity. [] The stone surface gets the role, in this way, to express the relationship open/close, while the light through the shadow designs its project on the stone3. In the asset of total closure the tectonic box get the aspect of a stereotomic solid; in the configuration of intermediate or total openness it denies, more or less decidedly, the archetypical inertia of the stone. The manifestation of the ambivalent nature of the tectonic surface characterized by the kinetic point of view is evidently a central point in the development of Alberto Campo Baezas architectural poetics; the new offices and commercial spaces of the Benetton group in Samara re-propose this theme pushing it to results of particular refinement. The building, being realised at the moment, is located in the centre of the Russian city and occupies the space of an old building now pulled down. The structural grid of the building in reinforced concrete remains exposed with its net and simple perpendicularity materialised by the light grey tone of the cement; the first two commercial floors are protected by continuous and totally transparent glass surfaces, while the last three floors destined to the offices are screened by large plates in Carrara marble of vertical format, put together to fill in the structural grid. In the Samara building Campo Baeza upturns the traditional progression of architectural languages, from the opaque and closed ones of base levels to the open and transparent ones of the top; in fact on a base totally permeable to the sight he creates the tectonic movable palimpsest of stone plates, completely wrinkled and vibrant of chiaroscuro effects when the elements are open with different graduations; or compact, smooth and monochromatic in the whiteness of the marble if the plates are positioned in a fully closed asset.

1 Alberto Campo Baeza, La idea construda (1996), cited in Antonio Pizza, La ricerca di unarchitettura astratta. Alberto Campo Baeza p. 12, in Alberto Campo Baeza. Progetti e costruzioni, Milano, Electa, 2000, pp. 173. 2 About this see Pizza, op. cit., pp. 20-21. 3 Alfonso Acocella, Costruire con la pietra, progettare con la luce p. 64, in Vincenzo Pavan (ed), Nuova estetica delle superfici, Faenza, Gruppo Editoriale Faenza, 2005, pp. 157.

Piazza Entre Catedrales, Cadice, 2000-2009



Stone, light, time in La Idea Construida

La Idea Construda has already been used as the title of a recent Alberto Campo Baeza essays collection and is now the name of PIBA Marmis exhibition space conceived by the Spanish architect for the 2009 edition of Marmomacc exhibition in Verona. The link between mind, language and action concentrated in this title has actually been Campo Baezas main object of theoretical elaboration for several years, since his first didactical experiences in 1986 as projecting professor at Madrid Escuela de Arquitectura. So La Idea Construda becomes the expressive sign of a method repeating in elaboration after elaboration, work after work, and based on the assertion of a concept related to shape and light, and on the consequent construction of an idea in order to give life to a structure and a place. Each step in his career as a projecting designer shows, analyses and declares, like in a motto, the visions and models, often archetypical, that are the bases of his activity: light and gravity, hortus conclusus, contemplation of the sea, impluvium of light. In this context as well, PIBA Marmi new pavilion took shape starting from two fundamental conceptual inspirations/projecting themes: the valorisation of the relationship between stone and light through a dynamic and changeable luminous approach (eppur si muove yet it moves, according to Campo Baeza) and the composition of an archaeological antiquarium. The interior space of the structure appeared to the visitors as a void space for stopping-by and meditating, completely dominated by penumbra and signed by the slow passage of luminous rays on the natural surface of the stone. The setting showed in its outside the design elements by PIBA Marmi, disposed as in a wall gallery, like finds of an antiquity collection, and accompanied by historical reproductions of classic sculptures lent for the occasion by Florence Accademia delle Belle Arti. The interior space, cubic and minimal, expressed a sum of long elaborations operated by Campo Baeza on the relationship among the gravity force of the stone, pure geometries, luminous static or dynamic energy, and the perception of time flowing; the collection of antique and contemporary memories added a further degree of interpretation of the relationship between the work of men and the temporal dimension, in a mosaic of refined poetic shapes and proportions. Yet facing a project characterized by a transient nature as an exhibition pavilion, with La Idea Construida Alberto Campo Baeza once again gave us a deep reflection about the timeless values of thinking and realizing architecture. In contrast to the pervasive spreading of seductive but fugacious architectural images, the rigorous proposal of the Spanish architect for PIBA Marmi pavilion got corporeality starting from two themes inextricably linked to the archetypical themes of gravity, space and time, on which architecture has always grounded its bases.



Gravity and Space, Light and Time Gravity builds Space, Light builds Time, gives reason to Time. Here are the central topics of Architecture: the control of Gravity and the relationship with Light. The future of Architecture will depend on the new possible comprehension of these two phenomena.1 Alberto Campo Baezas relay on the timeless value of Gravity and Light in architectural construction is strongly and repeatedly stressed in his works as well as in the numerous theoretical contributions published since the end of the 70s till nowadays. Gravity force and luminous energy are considered decisive and fondant factors of architecture; these elements are transferred to contemporaneity thanks to the deep awareness of History, that, according to Baeza, is a vivid and inextricable presence to be valorised in a process of continuous deconstruction, analysis and re-interpretation of its archetypical elements and languages. Among the various models which the architect recalls, the Pantheon in Rome is cited several times as an absolute reference (also in the case of this pavilion), appreciated for the peculiarity of its oculus that allows the continuous passage of the solar luminous flow; a natural, changeable, dynamic light filters through the big opening constructing a huge sundial that makes the dimension of Space and the progression of Time comprehensible. For Campo Baeza, then, the idea of Gravity is linked to the presence of Stone, and even when he doesnt employ stone materials, his architecture remains conceptually stereotomic; it is originated in the mass and from the mass, and its time after time dug, cut, fractioned in big formats, being conceived anyhow as architecture of gravity and delimitation; the assertive purity of his constructions even if elaborated for lightenings, entailments or perforations has always been clearly readable in the net standing of filled solids or empty prisms. Also the stone chamber of La Idea Construida brought all the characters described above; temporary work of little dimensions but not less complex than the Spanish architects other permanent works, it was instead thought as a dense synthesis of its compositional poetics; the tints and the material textures of the marble took the place of the blinding total white of Campo Baezas buildings, and light in its various manifestations horizontal, vertical, oblique was more than ever supreme principle of architectural structure and space qualification.

An antiquarium for the contemporary design If museums have a closed and controlled physical dimension, punctuated in a rational and sequential way, the antiquarium indoor or outdoor can have an open structure configured more as an aesthetical event than as a syntactical narration. 2 Sparse fragments from different ages are disposed in the antiquarium, generally as a wall setting; parts of sculptures, plates in relief, architectonical elements removed from ruins or collected in archaeological expeditions, find their own place of conservation, in front of which the visitors can taste a privileged relationship with unusual findings that they otherwise couldnt have the occasion to see. Accumulation and redundancy are indeed the keywords in order to comprehend the concept of antiquarium as a dispositive depositary of memory, as storage of the stratifications of recalling, multiple relays of objects that are disposed in varied, crossed or inverted series. More than for its museographical project, the antiquarium is interesting for us for its strong significance of perceptive experience focused on the vision of details in a palimpsest of elements, through which the activation, even occasional, of figural, typological and symbolic relationships based on analogy or contrast can be realised. As a style linked to cultivated collectionism but also to merchants interest in the commerce of art pieces, the antiquarium started to spread during the 17th century and reached the peak of its diffusion between the second half of the 18th century and the first decades of the 19 th, with the affirmation of classicist and historicist culture in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and successively in the United States. Emblematic example of this apogeal moment is the antiquarium at John Soanes house museum in London, realised by the English architect and archaeologist between 1808 and 1837. Soanes consistent antique collection, that contains original finds but also numerous reproductions in chalk, covers the walls of different rooms of the house concentrating in the double-heighted big space of the Dome, projected exclusively to spectacularly accept the core of the antiquarium collection. 3 In the dense and apparently confused commixture of pieces, everything is calculated according to criteria of dimensional and proportional assonances: the architectonical elements dont follow the dispositions they had had in the original buildings because of exigency of composition and symmetry; sculptures arent disposed in chronological order because of the will of creating an astonishing horror vacui, in an emotional setting that must be appreciated not only for the preciousness of the single

elements composing it but also for the visionary and poetical intensity of the ensemble. Soanes masterpiece allows us to fully reach the value of the antiquarium as a powerful instrument of visible communication susceptible of multiple compositional, geometrical or material interpretations; Alberto Campo Baeza distils the traditional characters of this expositive implant in La Idea Construida pavilion, creating a mosaic of antique and contemporary pieces perfectly equilibrate in shapes, proportions and chromatics. He fully valorises the historical casts and the contemporary design elements, selecting and disposing them in a harmonic palimpsests according to a sapient dialectics of contrasts and assonances contaminating sculptural arts, craftwork and design; for Baeza, the incursions of the Antique in the Contemporary, and vice versa, materialise with immediacy and evidence the dimension of Time, basic principle as seen before of his architectonic poetry. The pieces of marble design transmit once again the idea of substantial massive presence; their elementary solids are deliberately animated by minimal asymmetries and by incorrect oblique axes; their surfaces are accurately textured and put together smooth and silk-like drafts with rough and veined developments. An Etrurian antefix, a metope from the Parthenon or Hercules vigorous and sensual torso present full masses and deep cavities, more or less profound reliefs of limbs, drapes, vegetal ramifications. Thanks to this unusual and suggestive figural world, and sublimating the aesthetical performance, the architect leads the exhibition choice to a subtle and merely visual syntactical game, made not of chronological succession or symbolical recalls, but uniquely imbued with links between plain or linear shapes and full-relief volumes, with chiaroscuro gatherings and rarefactions of lights and colours: in this way, with the sobriety and the refinement that have always characterized him, Campo Baeza demonstrates that, for such a project of contemporary setting, the antiquarium is the only possible choice.

Alberto Campo Baeza, La idea construda (1996), cit. in Antonio Pizza, La ricerca di unarchitettura astratta. Alberto Campo Baeza p. 12, in Alberto Campo Baeza. Progetti e costruzioni, Milano, Electa, 2000, pp. 173. 2 See the considerations in Pier Federico Caliari, Museografia. Teoria estetica e metodologia didattica, Firenze, Alinea, 2003, pp. 231. A critical essay about Joan Soanes house-museum (see below in this article) can be found in the same volume. 3 For a first approach to John Soanes work see John Summerson, David Watkin, Tilman Mellinghoff, John Soane, Londra, Academy Editions, 1983, pp. 123; Margaret Richardson, Mary Anne Stevens (a cura di), John Soane architetto 1753-1837, exhibition catalogue, Milano, Skira, 2000, pp. 317.



Three conversations with Alberto Campo Baeza

A drilled and movable stone wrapping Verona, 1st October 2005 Davide Turrini: The Spanish Medical Service building in Almeria is shaped as a compact volume totally covered with stone, both on the facades and the covering. In this work the stone materials shape movable plates for the creation of a shadowing system that modulates the presence of light in the rooms inside the building. Why have you chosen stone to create these subtle, drilled and changing screens, when contemporary architecture is more and more characterized by the presence of involucres made of glass, plastic, ceramics or metal? Alberto Campo Baeza: The building was conceived as the enlargement of the old original structure of modest architectural quality, in a part of the city of marginal importance. Ive immediately thought of creating a sort of theatrical landscape, which somehow valorises with its presence the tone of the urban surroundings, with the stone of the local constructive tradition. Its the lumachella, a sedimentary lithotype rich in marine fossils that I used to transmit a series of values very important to me and linked to the genius loci, and to the construction and duration of architecture. I needed an authentic, solid, opaque material, with a chromatic nuance and a material grain of particular softness. The stone material was the only one to guarantee all these qualities; hence I chose stone also to create the movable parts of the architectural wrapping. In this way the building appears sober, radical in some aspects, it is all-stone and its characteristics are those of stone, I added nothing to that. Glass and metal wouldnt have been so sincere and generous. DT: Lets talk about the process that led to projecting and building these movable stone screens. ACB: The work, which occupies completely a long and narrow space, is configured as a stone box open on the north side thanks to subtle engravings that give light and air to little service rooms, and on the south side thanks to larger windows for which I studied a system of screening made of stone plates; these plates move thanks to a metal connection that fixes them and change their positions, modulating the illumination inside the offices. Ive studied myself this system, elaborating the executives in strict collaboration with the very skilful blacksmith from Cordo-

ba that subsequently manufactured it. After some first drawings made in my studio, the artisan proposed a way to improve the project and then we made further corrections. The most delicate problems to be solved concerned the integration between the stone and the fixing system and the dimensioning of the metal connections in order to let them sustain the weight of the stone plates. In the end weve reached an optimal result, an efficient and essential mechanism that allows stone to move rapidly and very precisely. So the faade is characterized by an external continuous stone covering and by an inner surface where the transparent shutters are collocated. It is a thick faade, between the two surfaces there is the space where the stone plates are located when theyre completely open, together with the cupboards and the other furnishing objects that can be used from the inside in the offices. DT: Lets get back to the lumachella stone. What are its characteristics? Where are its quarries? ACB: The lumachella is quarried near Alicante. It is a splendid Mediterranean stone, a marine limestone rich in fossil inclusions, in seashells evident in the texture of the stone and Almeria, as well as Alicante, is a sea city. Im very affectionate to that stone, very widespread in the architectures of Cadiz, my hometown, located between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. DT: In your projects you always assign a very important value to the material and light qualities of the interior spaces. Among the numerous buildings I recall the Savings Bank in Granada, in which the light proceeding from above or from lateral sources plays a fundamental role. Whats the meaning of the concepts of mass, light and introverted space according to you? ACB: Effectively mass, light and introverted space have a significant meaning in the definition of my architecture and I constantly focus on them. I always try to create central spaces strongly characterized by the presence of columns, pillars, walls, lights and shadows: I think to the Bank in Granada but also to the Library of Alicante. Nevertheless its not always possible to create works that, for their dimensions and their functions, can express such a highly evocative spatial meaning. The offices in Almeria are a little service building, a functional building, yet Ive not renounced to a careful study of the light in relationship with the spatial qualities of the interior spaces and to the visual limits of the outside. I projected a transparent belvedere on the roof, the only point from which one can see the



sea and the horizon. I thought to a system of movable stone plates that open, half-close or completely shut down as eyelids, in several graduations that regulate the illumination and guide the look of the people living the rooms inside. Surely there will be a less spectacular, less theatrical light, but it still remains one of the fundamental themes of the project. Its not to be forgotten the importance of the strict relationship among light, space and architecture, History tells us so and its our duty to consolidate it time after time in the contemporary projecting. Travertine, luminous and eternal stone Lucca, 15th January 2007 Davide Turrini: In Campo Baezas work the use of travertine, stone of ancient archaeological remains but also of the architectures by great contemporary masters as Mies van der Rohe and Louis Kahn, is very recurrent. Why do you employ this material so frequently? Alberto Campo Beaza: As a 3rd millennium architect, I defend the role of stone as material of the contemporary age. Before me masters as Le Corbusier, Mies and Kahn, my points of reference, engaged in this defence, visiting the ruins of the Greek and Roman antiquity, surrounding themselves of stone, touching, evaluating, shaping and re-proposing it in their works. Architectures as the Barcelona Pavilion, Farnsworth House or Kimbell Museum demonstrate that stone is ageless and that the travertine in particular reunites the Ancient and the Modern, becoming synonym of gravity destined to resist the flowing of time. I often employ the travertine because, more than any other stone materials, it can give a long duration to my creative act, I use it I particular for the floors, in big formats with important thickness, for I believe men live forever and will live forever on a horizontal floor made of solid and resistant stone. In Inca, at the Innovation Technology Centre, besides a large floor, I realized in Roman travertine the walls of the building that Ive imagined as a hortus conclusus, open to the sky and to the exterior space. The travertine, in addiction, extraordinarily interacts with light: in the Bank in Granada Ive made a travertine flooring in the big hall, so the zenith rays entering the building and hitting the horizontal surface activate in this stone an authentic chromatic and material symphony. The travertine is therefore a luminous eternal stone, it belongs to the past, the present and, above all, the future.

DT: And is there still some stone in the most recent Campo Baezas architectures? ACB: Im realizing a house near New York for two very cultivated and intelligent clients, theyre the Olnick Spanus that wanted a residence facing the wide horizon of the Hudson river. For them I elaborated a solid and compact podium in cement with a transparent covering volume in order to look at the landscape and the sky; the horizontal surface on which all the architecture is based and on which all the light converges is once again made of travertine. A kindergarten as well, that Im projecting in Treviso for Benetton, will have a hall with a stone floor conceived to collect light. In Zamora, instead, Im involved in the project of a building set in the historical centre of the city and Im elaborating a new declination of the hortus conclusus theme; I imagine, in fact, a garden limited by a high and thick stone wall, built with the same local stone the nearby medieval cathedral is made of. DT: You faced Roman travertine, Italian marbles, but you also work with the stones of your country in order to connect your buildings with the genius loci; about this, youve just talked of the project for Zamora, but I also think of the Alicante library or to the Medical Service offices in Almeria. ACB: Spain has several high-quality stone materials: slates and granites from Galicia, Andalusian limestone, black and white marbles. Ive employed several times in my works the Macael marble, very common in Spain, cheap and resistant, or the golden and warm lumachella stone. I dont think about quality or beauty primacies among the stones of the different places, I think every project needs its stone. If a Spanish project needs a Roman travertine I dont hesitate and I employ an Italian stone in an Iberian country, or vice versa. Each architecture precisely needs the characteristics and the meanings of one single stone, or of maximum two stone materials that can adapt to the specific case. All the stones have the same dignity and they must be respected and valorised in their own nature.

An antiquarium and a setting in Carrara marble Verona, 30th September 2009 Davide Turrini: the project for La Idea Construida pavilion, signed by Campo Baeza for Pibamarmi at the 44th edition of Marmomacc exhibition, is characterized by the theme of the antiquarium. Why did you choose to exhibit contemporary design pieces as they were archaeological findings in a gallery? Alberto Campo Beaza: Ive made this choice because I believe the antiquarium dispositive is extremely fascinating and powerful; I had in my mind the antiquarium at Capitolini Museums in Rome that had always hit my attention for its composition of big marble fragments, of colossal head and limbs of the Constantines statue collected in front of the visitors in a little space very dense in visual memories and suggestions. So I decided to give life to a previously unseen antiquarium that wants to valorise contemporary stone design pieces together with refined reproductions of ancient statues lent by Accademia di Belle Arti of Florence. The result of this palimpsest of pieces allows to watch the stone very closely and to clearly perceive the dimension of time. Stone and time, two fundamental elements of my architecture. DT: In this setting there is the reproduction of the light brought by the sun in order to dynamically illuminate a chamber completely covered with Carrara marble. ACB: Yes, I thought once again to an Italian image, that is to say the Pantheon with its oculus in the covering from which the solar rays enter and mark the passage of time on the floor and on the walls. So I wanted to create a chamber caved in the stone, disposed to receive the caresses of the sun reproducing the universal relationship between light and stone materials. The Carrara marble was the only material able to fully create this exercise of stone and light; its an historical material, of sublime quality, a warm, rich-coloured and luminous one, able to accept solar light and give back marvellous tints and reflections. The image of the whiteness of the Carrara marbles, fixed with high frequency in the tradition, actually hides an extraordinary richness in variants of colours and textures: these materials can be white, with more or less intense cream or blue-grey nuances, reaching in some cases the stronger tints of the dark grey; the textures can be lightly or decidedly veined. For the pavilion I employed the Lavagnina White, quarried in Carrara in the homonymous cave of the Colonnata area on the slopes of Cima di Gioia. This marble is characterized by a homo-

genous light grey tone with darker veins; I used it in big square formats, composed to continuously cover the walls and the floor of the chamber; for the surface I chose a silk-like finishing, soft to the touch and to the straight light, smoothed but not lucid. A Greek white marble, compared to this, would have been too homogenous, too artificially perfect, it wouldnt have been so brilliant in being caressed by the flowing of luminous rays. This Carrara marble owns a splendid and stimulating variatio, with its subtle veins, with its soft and elegant grey nuance, with its natural grain, I think its incomparable. DT: Whats the role of stone in the 3rd millennium architecture? ACB: Talking about contemporary architecture, people often get wrong: they think that creating contemporary buildings simply means employing new, breakthrough, strange or bright-coloured materials. But the true architecture has a very long time, or maybe it is timeless, and stone is the only material that lives an outer existence, parallel to the strictly temporal dimension; stone registers and reflects the flowing of decades but survives at the same time, becoming every time stronger and more sublime. Stone is not old, or classic, or completely contemporary. Im a contemporary architect, projected to the future, and I employ stone. Each architecture on my design desk or in my construction sites at the moment is made of stone: Im projecting a box in Carrara marble for a building in Samara; Ive recently completed a big marble horizontal surface that looks to the sea for a square in Cadiz. I keep believing that stone is able to materialize all the architectural ideas, from the simplest and most archetypical to the most elaborate and advanced. So, how could I be a contemporary architect if I didnt use stone?




Alberto Campo Baeza, Architectura sine luce nulla architectura est, Domus n. 760, 1994, pp. 86-89, (I ed. 1992). Alberto Campo Baeza, Il futuro dellarchitettura nel pensiero, Domus n. 776, 1995, pp. 78-80, (I ed. 1993). Kenneth Frampton, Colette Jauze, Campo Baeza, Rockport, Rockport Publishers, 1996, pp. 131. Alberto Campo Baeza. Casa unifamiliare a Sevilla La Nueva, Casabella n. 681, 2000, pp. 6-11; con un saggio di Ral del Valle Gutirrez, Continuit e natura: unopera recente di Alberto Campo Baeza, p. 8. Giovanna Crespi, Un cubo di luce ai piedi della montagna rossa. Alberto Campo Baeza, Sede centrale della Caja General de Ahorros, Casabella n. 697, 2002, pp. 12-21. Alberto Campo Baeza. Progetti e costruzioni, Milano, Electa, 2004 (I ed. 1999), pp. 173; con un saggio di Antonio Pizza, La ricerca di unarchitettura astratta. Alberto Campo Baeza, pp. 7-23. Gabriele Lelli, Centro Balear de Innovacin Tecnolgica a Inca, Maiorca, pp. 440-443, in Alfonso Acocella, Larchitettura di pietra. Antichi e nuovi magisteri costruttivi, Lucca-Firenze, Lucense-Alinea, 2004, pp. 623. Alfonso Acocella, Costruire con la pietra, progettare con la luce, pp. 64-85, in Vincenzo Pavan (a cura di), Nuova estetica delle superfici, Faenza, Gruppo Editoriale Faenza, 2005, pp. 157. Alberto Campo Baeza, La idea construda, Madrid, Atlantida, 2006, pp. 110. Alberto Campo Baeza. Casa Guerrero, Casabella n. 754, 2007, pp. 80-85; con un saggio di Giovanna Crespi, Penombra luminosa, p. 81. Alberto Campo Baeza, Casas, Melfi, Libra, 2009, pp. 80.