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Drawings by Enric Miralles

MAPS. THE ARCHITECTURAL PLAN AS A MAP. DRAWINGS BY ENRIC MIRALLES.

Today we want to share an article about our favorite Master, Enric Miralles and his particular way of drawing.
Miralles (with Pinos first and later with Tagliabue) needed to invent his own language, in order to develop his architecture and drawing was his main tool.

For example the drawing lacks heirarchy. Miralles has no interest in establishing a clear heirarchical reading of the drawing. There is no variation in line weight (although occasionally, he doubles lines closely enough to approximate a thicker stroke)… Knowing and understanding their language and therefore their way of drawing, is basic to enjoy a fascinating architecture.

THE ARCHITECTURAL PLAN AS A MAP
The architect that creates the most expressive ambiguity between the architectural plan and the map seems to be Enric Miralles (1955-2000).

As architects, we unconsciously tend not to associate necessarily the plans we draw with the notion of map. However, both of those two objects register in the same process of cartographic creation and, in this regard, use a two dimensional language in order to create space.

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What strikes in Miralles’ plans is the importance of the line. That might seem a peculiar thing to say as lines are what characterize primarily architectural plans, but few architects actually express, via their plans, the power contained in those same lines.

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Like a funambulist, it mainly insists on the process of unfolding of this power once the line becomes a wall. Here Miralles, not only manifests this concretization of the line but also celebrates its pictorial power and his plans thus become an architecture in itself. One might even argue that his built architecture is paradoxically serving the plan rather than the usual opposite.

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One hint that could backup this intuition lays in the observation of architectural elements embodying the line such as the numerous pipes of the Parc Diagonal Mar in Barcelona or the Pavilion in Toyama (Japan) as much as the brises soleil on the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

Following this intuition, this would probably be what makes Miralles’ (along with his successive partners, Carme Pinós then Benedetta Tagliabue) architecture so unique: his buildings are the retroactive representation of the plan when every other buildings are the represented object of their plans.

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The article is an extract from The Funambulist magazine.

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