Joyful Simple Free Gestures of Architecture
Casa Blanca – Oficina de Arquitectura
Who influences you graphically?
We are influenced by everything that surrounds us, the country where we live (Mexico), its traditions and ways of doing, the natural landscape, everything that touches our senses, even what we eat or read.
We could be more specific by saying we have been influenced by Italo Calvino’s magical narrative and his capacity to describe spaces where the atmosphere is almost palpable, the spiritual necessity of linking arts with what’s unknown with a feeling that could awaken some connection with the divine or the self (Mathias Goeritz), by breaking habits and adapting to the circumstances in new ways of representation (Mattisse). In enhancing the landscape or giving clear intentions of atmosphere and depth to the image. (RCR Arquitectes) and the joyful simple free gestures where an entire universe could fit (Hans Arp, Jean Legros), etc.
It’s like our own unconscious library, where as we continue to grow, it proportionally accumulates knowledge as the research of the different projects goes by, each project brings with itself new characters that nurture our influences in this early road that we’ve just begun.
How does the collaging of masterpieces as those of Hockney impact the image and the way it is perceived?
The clients (La Floresta School) knew the site very well, they have given different uses to it, from a house to an old institution, we wanted to give them a new look, to shift their perception, as a child discovering the place for the first time; by making a new narrative related to the project, almost if it were a remembrance of a dream.
So then, we found very suitable the ability of Hockney to capture the power of an atmosphere in this case an almost whimsical magical wood representing in a childish (suitable for a child) colourful way by his paintings of the Woldgate Woods which we found like what we had in site.
Consequently, we immerse ourselves into that world, and used those elements and its colour/texture palette to place and compose a new piece in this case an architectural one, giving the image and place a new meaning.
To what extent is the format of the image dictated by the proposal or vice versa?
In our point of view, the final format of the image is always dictated by the project, we don’t think the format is a conditioning and it should never be a limit since we mostly work with digital tools, but, since not everything is absolute, we believe there is a thin gap were the initial format during the creative process could influence unconsciously the resulting image.
Although you feature people within the images they are never in the forefront, what is the effect and purpose of this?
Using people seems a little bit of a habit when creating a perspective for architecture, we don’t want to force the use of human scales on an image just for the mere fact of using them, rather the placing of people would be determined by the project conditions, scale, intention, spectator. We also noticed that by not putting people on the image it obtained certain nostalgia, this liked us since we interpreted this as a yearning to inhabit the space. By not having a direct visual idea of certain activities, we do not create limits between the image and our observer’s imagination/appropriation of space, giving to the image the power of emptiness and its endless possibilities.
How would the inclusion of people in a more inclusive perspective view help inform the viewer with the atmosphere and function of a space?
We know this is very important and it must be managed in a very precise way, since we could mislead on what we are proposing to our clients. Our short experience has thought us that the first thing they see are the people placed on the image, we think this conditions the project at first stage, once we get to know a lot more about the client and understand its passions or habits, it becomes a very powerful tool to express that usage by creating certain situations (position of the persona, time, objects placed) including people on space so they can relate to it, giving them a feeling of appropriation an identification with the image atmosphere. They know its their space, and they crave it.
Casa Blanca – Oficina de Arquitectura is an architectural practice led by Fernanda Antillón and Mariano Rodea, based on the Mexican state of Guanajuato. It aims to reestablish the connection between the city (society) and nature (spirit) through its sensitive/haptic organism (skin) and atmospheric/materic condition (space).
Instagram / @casablanca.oficina