The Smithsons

Whatever your views on The Smithsons and Robin Hood Gardens, this is worth a watch. I also really want Alison Smithson’s silver shirt/jacket. Shacket? I love a good portmanteau but that's too much, even for me. 

Some choice quotes:

‘We may be asking people to live in a way that is stupid. They maybe just want to be left alone.’

‘The site has been split like a kipper.’

‘And the building also explains its use in that wherever you need to take hold of something, or move around some woodwork or concrete element, then there is a smooth, rounded corner.’


Luis Barragán - 'Beauty, inspiration, magic...'

Beautiful Barragán

Barragán has had a profound influence not only on three generations of Mexican architects, but many more throughout the world. In his acceptance of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, he said, ‘It is impossible to understand art and the glory of its history without avowing religious spirituality and the mythical roots that lead us to the very reason of being of the artistic phenomenon. Without the one or the other there would be no Egyptian pyramids, nor those of ancient Mexico. Would the Greek temples and Gothic cathedrals have existed?’

Further, he called it ‘alarming’ that publications devoted to architecture seemed to have banished the words: ‘beauty, inspiration, magic, spellbound, enchantment, as well as the concepts of: serenity, silence, intimacy and amazement.’ He apologised for perhaps not having done these concepts complete justice, but said ‘they have never ceased to be my guiding lights.’ As he closed his remarks, he spoke of the art of seeing: ‘It is essential to an architect to know how to see—to see in such a way that vision is not overpowered by rational analysis.’