giovedì 24 dicembre 2020

Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet

Tramp and Tom Waits / Gavin Bryars full Orchestra

"Una voce straordinaria, e la più associabile a quella di un barbone ubriaco, avrà pensato Bryars prima di telefonare a Tom Waits. Il disco è straordinario, unico, notturno, struggente. E natalizio."

da "Non mi ha mai tradito" di Luca Sofri, Il Post, Luca Sofri 

"A 26-second recording of a nameless rough sleeper began composer Gavin Bryars’ musical quest for the heart of humanity"

da "Anthem for the homeless: mystery at the heart of a contemporary classic", The Guardian, Bryan Morton


La voce di Tom Waits appare e scompare durante il brano, per  prendere poi il largo verso il minuto 10

Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet is a 1971 composition by Gavin Bryars based on a loop of an unknown homeless man singing a brief improvised stanza. The loop was the singer's recollection of the chorus of a Gospel hymn, by James M Black, published in 1911. 

Rich harmonies, comprising string and brass, are gradually overlaid over the stanza. When later listening to the recordings, Bryars noticed the clip was in tune with his piano and that it conveniently looped into 13 bars. 

For the first LP recording, he was limited to a duration of 25 minutes; later he completed a 74-minute version. It was shortlisted for the 1993 Mercury Prize. 

Bryars says:

"In 1971, when I lived in London, I was working with a friend, Alan Power, on a film about people living rough in the area around Elephant and Castle and Waterloo Station. In the course of being filmed, some people broke into drunken song – sometimes bits of opera, sometimes sentimental ballads – and one, who in fact did not drink, sang a religious song "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet". This was not ultimately used in the film and I was given all the unused sections of tape, including this one.

When I played it at home, I found that his singing was in tune with my piano, and I improvised a simple accompaniment. I noticed, too, that the first section of the song – 13 bars in length – formed an effective loop which repeated in a slightly unpredictable way [in the notes for the 1993 recording on Point, Bryars wrote that while the singer's pitch was quite accurate, his sense of tempo was irregular]. I took the tape loop to Leicester, where I was working in the Fine Art Department, and copied the loop onto a continuous reel of tape, thinking about perhaps adding an orchestrated accompaniment to this. The door of the recording room opened on to one of the large painting studios and I left the tape copying, with the door open, while I went to have a cup of coffee. When I came back I found the normally lively room unnaturally subdued. People were moving about much more slowly than usual and a few were sitting alone, quietly weeping.

I was puzzled until I realised that the tape was still playing and that they had been overcome by the old man's singing. This convinced me of the emotional power of the music and of the possibilities offered by adding a simple, though gradually evolving, orchestral accompaniment that respected the homeless man's nobility and simple faith. Although he died before he could hear what I had done with his singing, the piece remains as an eloquent, but understated testimony to his spirit and optimism."

Tom Waits

In April 2019, a 12-hour overnight version was performed in London's Tate Modern art gallery, directed by Gavin Bryars. Performers included two groups of homeless people (one vocal, one instrumental), together with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Southbank Sinfonia, and Bryars' own ensemble.

_ from Wikipedia

Gavin Bryars

sabato 7 novembre 2020

Intangible Reality

"XVII_model 1l" © Fabio Barilari

Should you like to see my lecture "Intangible Reality", here it is. Its main focus is on "Drawing" as a powerful act of self expression in (and out of) the architectural design process. 

Many thanks again to Prof. Bea Martin from Birmingham School of Architecture, for her kind invitation. Further amazing lectures will be hosted every Wednesday at 6pm (UK Time) on her ARCHIZOOM lectures series. 


Ecco il video della mia lecture "Intangible Reality". E' focalizzata sull'atto del Disegno come potente mezzo di espressione interno ed esterno al processo progettuale architettonico.

Mille grazie alla Prof. Beatriz Gomes-Martin di Birmingham School of Architecture per il suo gentile invito. Altre ottime lectures verranno presentate ogni Mercoledì alle 17:00 (ora in Italia), all'interno della serie ARCHIZOOM lectures 

Bea is a fully qualified British architect and urbanist with a set of skills and experience that fall in the practicing of architecture and urban design, as well as in the teaching of its theories, training, and enthusiasm for the built environment.

Bea is the founder of Archilibs, an experimental design lab exploring the visual construct in architecture. In her role as a visual theorist, the focus is on a conceptual investigation, digital and analog, of the apparatus of drawing, the challenging boundary of drawing as a work of art, in a research that is both architectural and artistic but never an end in itself. Archilibs questions and reiterates the mission of drawing through continuous research, intense interrogation, and devotion to craft. Exploring the graphic theoria, praxis, and poiesis of architectural verbalisation as a process for drawing. Her work is not limited by the normal conventions of architectural delineation, rather a representation of different types of explorations, material, connections, and notions; A body of drawings that transverses a wider visualisation and verbalisation of the inherent reasons underlying architecture and the built environment.


#archilibs #bcu_d3sign #architecturalreview #drawingarchitecture #designresearch #arqsketch #iarchitectures #architexture #architecturalnotation #dezeenmagazine #experimentalarchitecture #architecturedrawing #architectura #visualarts #domus #graphic #architecturetheory #drawings #frame #arch20 #designboom #singlehandedly_book

lunedì 2 novembre 2020

Intangible Reality _ Lecture


Wednesday November 4th at 6pm (UK time) (7 pm - Italy time) I will present my lecture "Intangible Reality", whitin the ARCHIZOOM Lectures series.

You can join the ArchiZoom Meeting following this link to participate:


Mercoledì 4 Novembre all 19 (ora in Italia), presenterò la lecture "Intangible Reality", all'interno della serie delle ARCHIZOOM Lectures.

Per chi fosse interessato, potete partecipare iscrivendovi al seguente link:


Thank you very much to Prof. Bea Martin from Birmingham School of Architecture, for her kind invitation.

venerdì 2 ottobre 2020

Architect Nina Maritz

Lateral Thinking in all its beauty and power. 

"Our practice philosophy can be expressed by the Navajo/Diné concept of “hozho”, i.e. environmental beauty, the happiness one experiences by being in harmony with nature. Architecture can only be complete when it works well – true beauty comes from a combination of the pragmatic, the aesthetic and the sustainable.

(...) Contextual response is crucial: appropriate approaches in a country like Namibia entail careful deployment of funding to achieve as much as possible without wasting resources. Thorough design and lateral thinking make the most of limited means. The aesthetic impact of using materials in unusual ways, exploiting their natural textures and colours, can push the boundaries of architectural design."

from Architect Nina Maritz - Ethos

All images are © Nina Maritz Architects

Video producer: Joris Komen & DNKMN Object Kinematics

domenica 27 settembre 2020


"Chiribiquete: la "Cappella Sistina" della pittura rupestre, in Amazzonia

Una città nel sud della Colombia ospita alcune delle pitture rupestri più impressionanti del mondo. Chiribiquete è conosciuta tra gli archeologi latinoamericani come la "Cappella Sistina" dell'Amazzonia. Questo parco nazionale è stato dichiarato patrimonio culturale e biologico dell'umanità dall'UNESCO nel 2018." 

"Nella lingua Karijuna, parlata dagli indigeni che abitavano la regione, Chiribiquete significa "collina dove è disegnata". Poco si sapeva di questo luogo, fino a quando Carlos Castaño, un archeologo e antropologo colombiano, dovette fare un viaggio nell'Amazzonia colombiana nel 1986. Lì trovò un tesoro perduto: più di 75.000 pitture rupestri raffiguranti la ricca diversità biologica della regione.

È una delle le più antiche manifestazioni culturali del continente: i ricercatori stimano che alcuni dei disegni potrebbero essere stati realizzati circa 20.000 anni fa."

_ da UOL

"Il parco di Chiribiquete si trova tra i dipartimenti di Guaviare e Caquetá. Ha una superficie di 4.268.095 ettari.

Per più di 30 anni è stato sotto il controllo di Pablo Escobar e recentemente dai guerriglieri delle FARC, un fatto che lo ha tenuto sconosciuto e reso impossibile la sua esplorazione. Ad oggi rimane uno dei territori più inesplorati del mondo.

Si ritiene che le popolazioni indigene abitino l'interno che si è isolato volontariamente dal mondo esterno, come nel caso della tribù Karijona, con la quale il contatto è stato perso più di un secolo fa.

Ha il più vasto complesso pittografico di arte rupestre del continente."


Chiribiquete National Park _ © Grupo Éxito, Fundación Ecoplanet, OFF The Fence

"Nel maggio 1943 il biologo americano Richard Evans Schultes descrisse per la prima volta l'arte rupestre della Sierra del Chiribiquete. Alcune di tali pitture rupestri furono fotografate per la prima volta dal geologo Jaime Galvis tra il 1986 e il 1987. Ulteriori ricerche furono realizzate da Carlos Castaños, ex direttore del Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia, e dal geologo e paleontologo olandese Thomas van der Hammen dal 1990 al 1992.

Nel 2014 il cineasta britannico Mike Slee e il fotografo ed esploratore colombiano Francisco Forero Bonell hanno fotografato e filmato le pitture rupestri sulle pareti verticali all'interno del parco

Il parco conserva oltre 75.000 petroglifi che risalgono fino al 20.000 a.C. ed altre tracce artistiche preistoriche, per un totale di oltre 600.000 opere."

_ da Wikipedia

lunedì 21 settembre 2020

Workshop di Disegno Urbano | Le pose della città


𝗙𝗮𝗯𝗶𝗼 𝗕𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗹𝗮𝗿𝗶

Dal 2 OTT, ore 18:00 al 4 Ott. ore 14:00
Piazza San Cosimato, 39

Ciascuno di noi riceve specifici stimoli ed emozioni dall'ambiente in cui si muove: durante il workshop impareremo a riconoscere e a trasmettere queste impressioni su carta, attraverso differenti tecniche di disegno e di colorazione.

D’altra parte il disegno è un mezzo di espressione primaria molto più antico della parola.
𝗣𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝘂𝘁𝘁𝗶 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗼 𝗰𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗼 𝘃𝗶𝗮𝗴𝗴𝗶𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗲 𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝗹 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗼 𝘃𝗶𝗮𝗴𝗴𝗶𝗼, 𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗴𝗹𝗶 𝗨𝗿𝗯𝗮𝗻 𝗦𝗸𝗲𝘁𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗲 𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗵𝗶 𝗮𝘀𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗮 𝗮 𝗱𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗹𝗼, 𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗵𝗶𝘂𝗻𝗾𝘂𝗲 𝗮𝗺𝗶 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗲𝗴𝗻𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗮𝗿𝗲: 𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗼 𝗲̀ 𝗶𝗹 𝗰𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗼 𝗴𝗶𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝘃𝗼𝗶.

𝗡𝗼𝗻 𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗼 𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗮𝗿𝗶 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗼𝘀𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘇𝗲 𝘁𝗲𝗰𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗲; il corso si focalizza principalmente sul disegno e la tecnica dell'acquerello.

𝗨𝗻 𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗸𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗹 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗲𝗴𝗻𝗼.
N° Posti: min. 8 - max. 15

Per ulteriori informazioni: 



Evento organizzato da
𝗢𝗙𝗙 - 𝗢𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗮 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗮

Il workshop è pensato e strutturato tenendo in considerazione le norme di distanziamento fisico e protezione individuale previste negli standard indicati dall’ISS: igienizzazione degli ambienti, ampi spazi di lavoro e uso di mascherine (a carico dei partecipanti) obbligatorio negli spazi chiusi.

Costo: 150€
Aperitivo introduttivo Venerdì 2 Ottobre ore 18

Fabio Barilari

Architetto, pittore e illustratore, insegna progettazione architettonica e disegno a Roma. Nel suo curriculum vanta collaborazioni con La Sapienza e le università americane Arcadia University, California Polytechnic, Cornell University e Iowa State University. Ha collaborato con numerosi studi di architettura e dal 2016 illustra le principali città tedesche per il Goethe-Institut. Nel 2018 ha ricevuto una menzione speciale a Lucca Comix dalla Bao Pubblishing.  

#illustration #workshop #art #design #school #trastevere #rome #event #exhibition #drawing #handmade #writing #play #share #workspace #stayhome #hom #childrenillustration #childrenillustration #book #comics #urbanphotography #urbansketchers #singlehandedly_book

domenica 30 agosto 2020


Honored to be invited to take part in this Fall series of lectures organized by prof. Beatriz Gomes-Martin FHEA RIBA ARB OASRS Architecture Level 6 Leader - DipArch MScUrbanPlanning MArch PGCE (HE)


Birmingham School of Architecture and

Many thanks to BeaMartin

#architecturalreview #drawingarchitecture #designresearch #archilibs #arqsketch #iarchitectures #architexture #architecturalnotation #dezeenmagazine #experimentalarchitecture #architecturedrawing #architectura #visualarts #domus #graphic #architecturetheory #drawings #frame #arch20 #designboom #singlehandedly #drafting #architecturedesign #visualarchitects #architecturelife #drawingarchitecture #designresearch #arqsketch #iarchitectures #archisketcher

venerdì 21 agosto 2020

Hobo Blues

John Lee Hooker _ Early Life

Hooker's date of birth is a subject of debate; the years 1912, 1915, 1917, 1920, and 1923 have been suggested. Most sources give 1917, though at times Hooker stated he was born in 1920. Information in the 1920 and 1930 censuses indicates that he was born in 1912. In 2017, a series of events took place to celebrate the purported centenary of his birth. In the 1920 federal census, John Hooker is seven years old and one of nine children living with William and Minnie Hooker in Tutwiler Mississippi.
It is believed that he was born in Tutwiler, Mississippi, in Tallahatchie County, although some sources say his birthplace was near Clarksdale, in Coahoma County. He was the youngest of the 11 children of William Hooker a sharecropper and Baptist preacher, and Minnie Ramsey. 
The Hooker children were permitted to listen only to religious songs; the spirituals sung in church were their earliest exposure to music. In 1921, their parents separated. The next year, their mother married William Moore, a blues singer, who provided John Lee with an introduction to the guitar 
Moore was his first significant blues influence. He was a local blues guitarist. 
Another influence was Tony Hollins, who dated Hooker's sister Alice, helped teach Hooker to play, and gave him his first guitar. For the rest of his life, Hooker regarded Hollins as a formative influence on his style of playing and his career as a musician. 
At the age of 14, Hooker ran away from home, reportedly never seeing his mother or stepfather again. In the mid-1930s, he lived in Memphis, Tennessee.
He worked in factories in various cities during WWII, eventually getting a job with the Ford Motor Company in Detroit in 1943. He frequented the blues clubs and bars on Hastings Street , the heart of the black entertainment district, on Detroit's east side. In a city noted for its pianists, guitar players were scarce. Hooker's popularity grew quickly as he performed in Detroit clubs, and, seeking an instrument louder than his acoustic guitar, he bought his first electric guitar.

martedì 30 giugno 2020

Ksar El Mourabitine



ksar El Mourabitine is a fortified granary (ksar) located in the Tataouine Governorate in southern Tunisia. It was built by Berber tribes to repel Bedouin attacks and to store grains and crops. The shape of the building is irregular rectangular and it consists of 180 rooms spread over several floors 
_ from Archiqoo

XV Sec d.C.

mercoledì 27 maggio 2020

Paul Klee _ Revelation

Paul Klee, Kairuan 1914 - cm 8,4x21,1 
"Color has got me. I no longer need to chase after it. It has got me forever. That is the meaning of this happy hour: Color and I are one. I am a painter. Everything vanishes around me, and works are born as if out of the void. Ripe, graphic fruits fall"

Paul Klee - 1914, Tunisia

domenica 17 maggio 2020

Covid's Mother

"Social distancing is a necessary evil in Covid world. Watching "Mother" reminds me just how irreplaceable the joy of being in a band is."

venerdì 8 maggio 2020

Architettura PostCovid19

Ringrazio molto l'Ordine Architetti Roma per il loro invito ad esprimere un'opinione sul settore dell'architettura post Covid.
Ho cercato di individuare alcuni temi tanto necessari per il paese, quanto carichi di potenziale per la professione.
Spero possano contribuire allo sviluppo di un dibattito molto concreto e finalizzato, più che teorico.

Many thanks to the Board of Architects of Rome for their invitation to express an opinion on the architecture sector, post Covid.
I have tried to identify topics that are both necessary to the country as well as a relevant opportunity for our profession.
I hope these topics can contribute to the development of a very grounded and objective-driven discussion rather than a purely theoretical one.

#ArchitetturaPostCovid #newsarchitettura PostCovid19. Fabio Barilari: «A Roma nuovi beni culturali a decomprimere il centro storico»

Leggi l'articolo della #redazioneOAR
#ComunicazioneOAR #architettiromani Flavio Mangione Architetti Roma edizioni ALOA Associazione Culturale Ordine Architetti Roma

martedì 14 aprile 2020

Drawing Campo de' Fiori _ Part 1

Video | Campo de' Fiori, Roma - © Fabio Barilari

Campo de' Fiori, Roma - © Fabio Barilari

venerdì 10 aprile 2020

Drawing Bernini

In the video, the evolution of the drawing studio of Gian Lorenzo Bernini's David

martedì 7 aprile 2020

Moving Architecture

(English text at the end of the article)

La Winton Guest House è un progetto di Frank Gehry del 1987.
Un progetto che ebbe un grande riscontro immediato per l'architetto che, all'epoca, era ancora in piena fase propulsiva di ricerca e sviluppo creativo verso quelli che sarebbero poi diventati i capolavori del suo linguaggio architettonico, a partire dal Guggenheim di Bilbao e la Walt Disney Concert Hall fino alla recente Louis Vuitton Foundation.

La Winton Guest House venne considerata da subito un capolavoro, pietra miliare dell’architettura residenziale americana. Per il progetto di questa villa, l'architetto trasse ispirazione dalle composizioni di oggetti di Giorgio Morandi: una lunga serie di dipinti essenziali e minimali, carichi di atmosfere sospese e silenziose, rese combinando tra loro semplici oggetti mobili, sotto determinate condizioni di luce naturale.

© Giorgio Morandi

© Giorgio Morandi

Nel 2007 la casa fu donata da un privato all’Università di St. Thomas (St. Thomas, Minnesota), affinchè potesse essere condivisa e vissuta dal pubblico.

In effetti la Winton Guest House fu salvata dalla demolizione da Kirt Woodhouse, un costruttore locale che acquistò la proprietà la donò all'Università di St. Thomas.  

Il rettore, si rese conto che la casa si trova in una zona isolata sul lago Minnetonka a 125 chilometri dalla sua università e per ovviare al problema venne deciso di tagliare la Winston Guest House in otto pezzi, portarla nella sede dell’università e riassemblarla.
Gehry dichiarò successivamente di essere soddisfatto al "93,6 per cento" del progetto che ha smontato la casa.

Salutando qualunque concetto di "Genius Loci" o di rapporto con il contesto, fu quindi smontata e inserita nel complesso accademico del Gainey Conference Center, nella vicina città di Owatonna, dove sarebbe potuta rimanere fino al 2020. 
In occasione della nuova collocazione, Frank Gehry presenziò all'inaugurazione tenendo un discorso.

All'avvicinarsi della scadenza per questo secondo spostamento della villa, nel Maggio del 2019 la Winton Guest House è andata all’incanto da Wright a New York, casa d’aste specializzata in design moderno e contemporaneo, con la specifica che il futuro proprietario si sarebbe dovuto anche far carico di trovare una nuova collocazione.


Avevo questo post preparato da tempo, da quando lessi del secondo spostamento in atto di questa villa. Mi è però tornato in mente questo progetto e la sua storia, dopo aver visto l'immagine del Papa, celebrare da solo, in Piazza San Pietro, la settimana scorsa.

Un'immagine così potente, drammatica e bellissima, che mostrava un uomo da solo di fronte ad una piazza completamente vuota, ma all'interno di un'architettura che nei secoli ha reso così drammaticamente simbolico quello spazio urbano: il colonnato di Gian Lorenzo Bernini, aperto davanti a lui. Un'architettura unica al mondo.

Bernini lo ideò e realizzò tra il 1657 e il 1667. Non si era mai visto nulla di simile prima di allora. Uno dei massimi capolavori della storia dell'architettura: realizzato in pieno Barocco, in grado di esprimere tutta la forza della Controriforma, ma che allo stesso tempo affondava le proprie radici indietro nei secoli, fino a raggiungere una profonda affinità e continuità con l'architettura classica dell'antica Grecia.

Con le parole che scrisse lo stesso Bernini: 
«la chiesa di S. Pietro, quasi matrice di tutte le altre doveva haver' un portico che per l'appunto dimostrasse di ricever à braccia aperte maternamente i Cattolici per confermarli nella credenza, gl'Heretici per riunirli alla Chiesa, e gl'Infedeli per illuminarli alla vera fede»  

Pochi giorni fa, in quell'immagine del Papa di fronte alla piazza, sotto la pioggia, quell'architettura si mostrava in tutta la sua potenza iconografica ed il suo carico simbolico.

In quel momento, in altri termini, l'architettura stava mostrando e rappresentando, con tutta la forza necessaria, un messaggio antico di 2000 anni di storia del Cristianesimo e più di 3000 anni di storia dell'architettura.
E non si tratta di scenografia, ma di un'espressione architettonica in grado dare sostanza e peso specifico ad una dimensione del divino, astratta e imperscrutabile.

Disegno di Gian Lorenza Bernini
Ecco, mi sono venute in mente tutte queste immagini.
Mi è venuto in mente quanto queste due dimensioni dell'architettura rappresentino due limiti estremi (non gli unici) entro i quali si muove questa disciplina: un valore assoluto in grado di arrivare a rappresentare un concetto divino, e un valore assolutamente relativo ma altrettanto necessario, che semplicemente accompagna i gesti quotidiani, piccoli; che possono prescindere dal luogo in cui ci si trova e che sostanzialmente vengono regolati da dinamiche totalmente pragmatiche. 

E non c'è davvero alcuna valutazione di merito in questo confronto.
Si tratta solo una considerazione nata istintivamente, vedendo le immagini recenti, trasmesse dalle televisioni di tutto il mondo. 

English text

The Winton Guest House is a 1987 project by Frank Gehry.
A project that had a great immediate response for the architect who, at the time, was still in the full propulsive phase of research and creative development towards what would later become the masterpieces of his architectural language, starting from the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall up to the recent Louis Vuitton Foundation.
The Winton Guest House was immediately considered a masterpiece, a milestone in American residential architecture. 
For the design of this villa, the architect drew inspiration from the compositions of objects by Giorgio Morandi: a long series of essential and minimal paintings, full of suspended and silent atmospheres, rendered by combining together simple mobile objects, under certain conditions of natural light.
In 2007 the house was donated by a private individual to the University of St. Thomas (St. Thomas, Minnesota), so that it could be shared and lived by the public.
The Winton Guest House was in fact saved from demolition by Kirt Woodhouse, a local builder who bought the property and donated it to the University of St. Thomas.
The Rector realized that the house was located in an isolated area on Lake Minnetonka, 125 kilometers from his university and to solve the problem, the decision was made to dismantle the Winston Guest House into eight pieces, to bring it to the university and to reassemble it.
Gehry later declared that he was "93.6 percent" satisfied with the project which dismantled the house.
Leaving behind any concept of "Genius Loci" or relationship with the context, it was so dismantled and inserted into the academic complex of the Gainey Conference Center, in the nearby city of Owatonna, where it could be left until 2020.
On the occasion of the new allocation, Frank Gehry attended the inauguration giving a speech.
As the deadline for this second move of the villa approached, in May 2019 the Winton Guest House went to auction at Wright in New York, an auction house specializing in modern and contemporary design, with the condition that the future owner would also be responsible for finding a new location.
I had prepared this post for some time, since I read about the second ongoing move of this villa. However, I also remembered this project and its history, after seeing the image of the Pope, giving his address and blessing, alone, in an empty St. Peter's Square, last week.
Such a powerful, dramatic and beautiful image, which showed a man alone in front of a completely empty square, but within an architecture that over the centuries has made that urban space so dramatically symbolic: the colonnade of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, opening in front of him. A unique architecture in the world.
Bernini conceived and created it between 1657 and 1667. Nothing like this had ever been seen before. One of the greatest masterpieces in the history of architecture: made in the Baroque period, it expresses all the strength of the Counter-Reformation, but at the same time sinks its roots back over the centuries, finding deep affinity and continuity with the classical architecture of ancient Greece.
With the words that Bernini himself wrote:
"The church of S. Pietro, almost the matrix of all the others, had to have a portico conveying precisely how it welcomed Catholics, in a motherly way, with open arms, to confirm them in their belief, as well as Heretics to reunite them with the Church, and the infidels to illuminate them with true faith»
A few days ago, in that image of the Pope in front of the square, in the rain, that architecture showed itself in all its iconographic power and its symbolic load.
In that moment, in other words, architecture was showing and representing, with all the necessary strength, an ancient message, bearing 2000 years of the history of Christianity and more than 3000 years of architectural history.
And it is not a matter of scenography, but of an architectural expression capable of giving substance and specific weight to a dimension of the divine, abstract and inscrutable.
So, all these images came to my mind.
It occurred to me how much these two dimensions of architecture represent two extreme limits (not the only ones) within which this discipline operates: an absolute value capable of representing a divine concept, and an absolutely relative but equally necessary value, which simply accompanies every day, small gestures; which can happen regardless of where you are and which are basically regulated by totally pragmatic dynamics.
And there is really no evaluation of merit in this comparison.
It is only a consideration born instinctively, from watching recent images, broadcast by televisions around the world.