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Las viviendas concebidas por el Movimiento Moderno implicaban siempre, segiin Marti, una idea de ciudad bien definida tedricamente. ‘The dwellings conceived by the Modern Movement, according to Marit, always bore inherent in them a theoretically well defined idea of the city. 8 Noviembre-dciembre 1995 AV Monografias 56 Carlos Marti La casa y la ciudad, realidades inseparables The House and the City, Inseparable Realities PESAR DE que ha transcurido ya més medio sigo desde 1s conclnsién de lo que sueledenominarse, sin ecuric apenas ala hipésbo- le, la “época herica’ det Movimiento. Modero, sigue causando uns admizativa estpefaccién lad de ideas, peopuestas, debates y zealizaciones Sobseel tema de laresidencia ue durante ese breve petiodo fe capaz de genera ie cultura arguitect- nice. Asf, noes de extrafiar que, una y otm vez, se vwuelva la mirada hacia esa relevant experiencia historic, ys que sigue consityyendo unareferencia indispensable para quienes hoy se ocupaa del tena de ta resdenciacoletiva Pasa comprender cabalmente las causes que hi- sieron posible, lo argo d los afos weintey tents, se clima de efervescencia propositiva en tomo a los problemas residenciales, es preciso haces el esfuerzo de imaginar cusles era le condiciones de Dbitabilidad que se daban, por reg general enlas ciudades europeas durante cea époes, Y al tratar 62 evocar esa imagen, nos damos cuenta de que la ciudad conta queel Movimiento Mademo tuve que confrontarse no era ya Ia ica ciudad tradicional =e in que apenas quedaben algunos vestigie alls onde se habs consoidado un sistema cepitalista svanzado—, sino, pr el conte, la ciudad dejuda ‘en berencia por el desarrollo industrial decimoné- nico: una ciudad mareada par la especulacin, co YOS teidos residencies eetchan experimentand> los efectos astixiantes dela compacidad, el amasijo yo desorden, y en Ja que se babfa daiado, de on ‘odio inepsrable, el dificil equilbro ene ediien cin y espacio libre quo estaba en la base de Ia ‘omposicia interna de a ciudad tradicional La principal tares que afronts el Movimiento ‘Modem en relacin al feta de laresidencia colec- tiva fue To eleboracién de una altrativa global a losmodelos de carte especulativo,defniend as, ‘uevas propuestss a partir de una critica radical a los principios de construccign de la ciudad indus tal, Por ello, les propuestas resideniales de la culsra modems contienen siempre, de un modo implicit, una dea de civdad bien defnide desde el [nto de vista teri que, sin embargo, noha sido lievada ala prictica mis que de wn modo fagmnen- ‘arioy ocasional. La casa ya ciudad son vsts, por los maestros modermos, como dos reatidadesinse- parables que establecen entre sf vinculos de nacsi ‘dad y complementariedad. De ahiel enorme poten cial trnsformador de esas propuestas: pasar en 1a fase comporta pensar en ls ciudad y ataar el pro- blema del abtar bumano equivale a sett las bases de una refondacign de In estructura urbane. Colonizador frente a arquestogo Hoy podemos contemplar esa experiencia desde tuna perspetiva eta, pero no deja de impresio- aenos y seducfnos la voluniad de sccién le confianza en Tos propios recursos que revels la ‘ctitud de ls protagonistas de la cultura modem En In actual, aunque se haa pecteccronado los instrumentos técnicos y de gestién, nests apaci- ad operatva resulta ser mocho ms limita, Pesa sobre nosotros el escepticisma que se deriva de Ta confronaciGn con una realidad conplejsimo, ames nude indesciffabley ea: siempre ingobernabe. La cultura urbana del Movimiento Modern, en ‘1 afin de prefigurar globslmente los parsmetos {isis de a nueva ciudad, parece invocar el pare 4igmia de a colonizaciSn. El colonizador ve ante si tun mundo inexploredo, un teritorio virgen que ‘pusée conformarseen su totaled siguiendo pastes hhomogéneas y universalesdictadas por una Yolun- 1d unitria, AS es como, por rela general, conse bie el Movimiento Modemno sus propuesas pare Ia residencia y I eiudad. Hay yanoesposibleentender el entero poten- sialmente urbano como vn dmbito que pueda ser ‘cupado conprocedimientos de coloizacicn, ebm sisetrataradeun espaci sin hella sin identi [La ciudad no erece sobre un terrene neutr oinfor- ‘me sino sobre un lugar Jagamente roturado, un lugar que posee yuna forma y que, comotal, puede sertransformado pero no ereado ex nove. Porelio nosotros, enel final del siglo XX, en vez 6 adoplar a esiategia del cotonizador tendemos a identfcaros om Is estatagia del arquedtogo, en tendiendo por t a guien percibe la realidad como una superposicin de esate, todos ellos relevan- tes; a quien trata de reunir los diverse fragmento: ‘encontrados,recomponiendo a partir de ellos una estructura con sentido: a quien rabaja apecando an estrato mi, que debe superponerse alos vestigios del pasado, Tanto elcolonizador como el arguesto- ao interpretan Ts realidad: el primero concibe e) presente como un punto de proyeccién desde el cual sabre en abanico el fauros para el segundo, el presente se define, ante todo, como desilacign ¥ actualizacin del pasado. FE espacio sobre el que hoy se constiuye Ja ciudad contemponinea noes oto quel perifera (si ex que puede bablarse de ella en singular asimilsn- dla aun categoria genéria): es deci, cl espacio de la indeterminacién, la heterogeneidad y Ia ‘mentacin. Bn cualguier cas, la petifeia noes un Aimbito vacto y externa, sino un territrio que ha sido apresado, mediante el fuego enzado de las HHOUGH OVER a half-century has pasted sce the end of what, without exaggerating, icon called the ‘heroic oge’of the Modern Move rent, there i sill much atve for the avalanche of ideas, proposals, debates end realizations ou the theme of housing that architectrel cultwe was ‘capable of generating during thar brief period. [is therefore navural tbat, rime and again, the world yoke back a his historic experience, asf contin- atesto be antndispensable reference forthose whore concern is w tactle the theme of collective housing. Fora fullunderstanding of the factors that node such a climate of effervescence possible in the ‘course of the 20: and 30s, one must cry 10 imagine the general conditions in whick people lived a tre time in European cities. We then reatize thatthe cy ‘which the Modem Movement had 10 congior® was no longer theidllic traditional city, races of which ory remaine in places wherean advanced capi rolls sytem had consolidated. Instead it four the city of 19th-century industrial development: a city wounded by speculation, ts residential fabrics su fering the suffocating effects of compactness, ‘squalor and disorder, with irreparable damage Udone-to the precarious balance benveen built do main and open space tha: lay a he very base ofthe Uradiional city’s imternal composition. ‘The main task of the Modem Movement ix the ‘area of mass housing was to elaborate a global alternative to the speculative models, defining the new proposals onthe basis ofa radical etique of ‘he industrial city's building principles. This ex: plains why she residential propoeale of moders culzure abways contain within them an idea ofthe city, mplcily expressed but well defined from a theoretical viewpains; wjornuately the idea has been puto practice only eecasionalls ana in fras- ‘meus. The house and the clty are seen by the ‘masters of the Modern Movement a two isepare: ble realities thar need and complemen: each oer Thus the enormous transformative potential of there housing proposals: 1 think ofthe house is 10 think ofthe eit, and t0 grapple with the probiem of Iuman habitation ie to 2et the guidelines for 2 refrbishad urban sructue Colonizer versus Archacologist Though we can now contempiate the experience from acritical perspective, weareno lessimpressed and seduced bythe optimism and self confidence of tmedem culture's protagonists. Tod. despite per- fected technical and managerial Instruments, our ‘operational capabities are muck more lites. We Apertura LV Dulten, viens en un bro planiendo por Henrik Pets Belge, Amsterdan, 1919. 1 Jon Wi, cojonio Paper, La Haya, 1928, 2 Tacos 1P. Oud, bara on Boek van Hella sgn 1927 Opening Van Dulher, partment Block a guavter penned by Heyrh eras Berage. Amsterdam, 1919. 1 Lan Wis Papovertf comes, Te Hague, 1920, 2 lavobus LP. Oud garter Hol van Holand e197, are weighed down by the skepticism that results rom coping with exremely complex realities, often Indevipherable and almost abways ungovernable In its zeal 19 prefigure the global physical pe: rameters of the new city, the urban cule of he Modem: Movement seems to invoke the paradign of colonization. The colonizer sees before him an ur explored world, virgin teritory that cam Be an formiy colenized by following homagencons and universal guidelines. In general, this is how the Modern Movement conceived its propasals forthe ‘telling and the city ‘But its 10 longer possible 1 visualize apoten- Hialiy urban territory as something 1 be setted in 2 colonizing manner asiftis were a space entirely ‘levotd ofmarks and identity Th ctv doesnot grow ton neutral or wiformed terrain, but on long Broker tip ground, a place hat has a shape and tha here {fore can be transformed but not erected ex wove. Ths, atthe close ofthe 20kcentury, rather than adapting the etrateay of the colonizer we tend to Identify with that of the archaeologist. By this we ‘mean one who perceives reality asa superpasiion ES BA RS ener of strata, all of them relevant; who tres to piece together the exsavated fragrant, reconstructing @ ‘Woe that makes sense: who when working ads a new layer superposing ison she vestiges ofthe pas. ‘oth the colonier and the achovologistinarpret eon: the firm conceives the present as a point From which o open the fan of he fur; the second defines the present, above al as a dilaton and updating ofthe past. The territory over which today's contemporary city arising sna ther than theperiphery (granting swe ca speak oft in the singular assigning i 0 a generic category): tha is, he terior ofthe unde fined, the heterogeneous, the fragmented. In any case, the periphery isnot ax empty exerral space, but a territory dha has been hemmed in by the crossfire of social and economic reletions end Irned into an urban contrivance af « polycentric nature, 118 not a Blank page, bur a blurred and broken text thar one mast be able fo decipher in order ro write over Residential proposals for the contemporary cirymust necessarily address ihe cul- ture ofthe periphery, and ahs requires paying eten AV Monographs 56 NovemberDecember 1995 9 relacianes sociales y econémicas, en un dispositiva urban de crdcter policéntico; noes unapéginaen blanco, sino un texte borroso y entrecatedo, que hay que saber descifrar para poder reescibir sobre 4. Por tanto, as propuestas residenciales para iz ‘ciudad eontemporénea debon confrontacse,necesa- samen, coa acultura dela peifera yelloimpica I atencin & los estratos preexstetesy la capaci {ad de incorporaral propio proyecto todos aquellos aspectosde le ealidad que, ain siendo opareieno spares banales, puedan paricipar de la nueva extrac, ‘La residencia como elemento activo Las diferencias cultural que hoy nos separan del Movimiento Modemo, ain end sustanciales, 10 dcberfanimpediznosseguirexteayendo lecciones de su formidable legado conceptual y aristico. Elo es prticularmente cierto eno referene alas formas de la residencia, sobre todo en el momento actual, fen que parece que el problems dela vivienda hays Sido abandonad a su suerte por unabuena pare de Te aruitectrareciente, que se preveupa 219 00, de incorporar uns dimensién meremente cosmstce ‘los adocenacos productos que irmponen is condi cones de mercado, Parece,en efecto, inaceptable le pasividad con la fue viene siendo tatade el tema de Ia resdencis colectiva: como sielespacio de a habitacisn hum na pudiera ser redusido a una masa blanda y ac9- ‘modaticia que, simplemente, adquiere la fora que leprestactrecipiente urbanoen que es vertida, Para Alesloquear esa situscin regrasva se requiere re superar de nuevo aquella somprensién que los ‘maestros del Movimiento Modemo tenian de Ia 10 Noviembre-ticiembre 1995 AV Monograffas 56 ciudad y de la casa como dos reatidadesinsepars- bles e intensamene interaciivas, comprensin i, pporcieno, se dabs también de un modo evidente en Ie ciudad wadicional (ya sea la ciudad antigua dela civilizeeiGn grecolatna, la ciudad mercantil euro- ‘pea ola ciudad del mundo iskmica), Se hae pre iso otorgar de nuevo ls cass un pape activo en J formacign del tej urbano: so a vsignsinul- ‘nea de ia casa y fa cluded permit avanzar en ia irecisincomects, Por ots prt, ls elaboraciones recientes sobre la residencia han estado com frecuencia dominates, por un contextalismo unidimensional que debe Superase. El ddl acomead al contexto se ha con- vertdo en una priordad casi absoluta de algunas Propuestss, como sila forms de la casa pudiese sluir ots exigencias mas lgadas a su lgica in- tema, La casa deberia recobrar su propis ee y hacers ofr ene bllcio de os dems ingrediontae urbanos, estableciéndase asf un juego elaléctica cute ipo y lugar, entre principio general y aplice- cin parcular da mmo, Para que esto ocura, se require prestar una ‘mayor etencialosaspectosocultos, noaparentes, de Is arquitectura de 1a casa, etudiando lo que cabris denominar su equipamiento ténico y les Implicasiones que éste tiene en Ia organizacion de la-vivienda yen ss cosas de produccién, Adem, hay que volver a reflexionar sobre Ia easa como extructure que, sin desmentr su permanencia, esu!~ ta sensible Ta modificecia de los modos de vida Y de loshabitos sociales. Es fundamental, porejem= plo, encontrar respuestas adceuadas a progresiva, Incorporecn del wabajo al fmbito dométivo, ex Dlorando ls eisponibilidad de la casa para acoger 1 Bruno Tan, colonia Hleisen, Best Srt, 1925-1927 2 Gusorg Gol conju residence paseo Ravchshaya, hosed, 1936, 5 Alexandr Nikos, Maciay Bors Eades enquera ‘roméico para el exterior de un ico de vias, Ceningrado, 1997 41 Waler Gropins, otnia Teton, Desou, 1926-1928, ‘otros usos que amplicn los Vinites del habit hum no, En definitva, debemos ocuparmos de las ideas fue permiten generar la casa y no séio de sus seabados. Coma confirms as principales propoes tas residencisles del Movimienta Modem, no bas taconel gest refinadoy laimagen fotogénice para hacer una verdadera aportacin ala argitecture de laeasa Laegresin que padece la viviendla como tema arguitectGnico se hace patente, asf mismo, en el ‘modelo de ciadad que invoean algunas propuestas residenciales recientes, as cnlesplantezn in etar-" no deelarado alas formas urbanas del siglo XIX. En se sentido, result paradsjiea que la sociedad ae tual, una de cuyas aspiraciones mis ampliamente compartidas es la de establecer une intense Vineu- lacidn con le naruraleza, acepte de buen grado el retomo a la cluded decimonénics, es decir, ala ciudad que, desvistuando el tejido urbano de la ciudad tradicional; sancions la soperacin entre re sidenciay espacio libre y condo un empeors- rniento generalizado de las condiciones de habit bilidad. Dats impresin de que cusnto mss énfesis se pone al enarbolar Ia handers de las cvestiones medioambientales, ms nas vamos aejando, en el terreno de los hechos, del logra de una rclacién ‘quilbrada entre ciuded y naturleza Por otca parte, la posibilided de afrontar con ‘coherencia estos problemas no depende tan slo, ‘como es natural, de la lucider y el empetio dela cultura arquitectonica. Depend tarsbiea, en gran ‘medida del papel que las administeaciones pbicas estén dispuestas a jugar en fa detiniciin y gastin e Tos modelos residencials. En este sentido, es necesario recordar que muchas de las is signif catvas realizaciones del Movimiento Modem en cl compo residencial no son el fate de una Yépica {& mercado, ni poditn serio: son ol resultado dela colaboraciGn entre un deterninado frente culsraly luna instancias polticas dispuestas a incorporst slgunas de sos propusstas a su programa de scci6n Elmercado,entonces como ahora, puede servic para ‘utorregular los procesos econémicos pero, por st solo, dffcilmenteservré para construir wna eiudad ‘que exprese las aspiracionescoletivas Fl mercado ssehe convertido para muchos en la nueva panacea Pero nuestro oficio nos ensefa que para dr forma ‘ala ciudad y ala.casa no se puede prescindi dela energfa potencial que genera el proyerto Coro Mert, auitcto y profesor de ta Escuela de “Anptecara de Barcelona ear del Hor Ls oes ‘de resiencenfcod ose 1 Beano Tan, Hafiz colony, Bevin Bre 195.1927. 2 Guenteui Gali, housing 2 Rouchstayapromemoie Moscow, 1936 3 Alenandr Nios, Maria and Bovis Ender. chromatic principle forth etrior ofa housing complex ening, 1977 {Waller Gropius, Torte colon, Dessau, 126-1928 tion 10 its preexisting strata anda capacity to incor. porate all haze aspects of reality tha, albeit sem Ingly or teahfully disparate and banal, can form par of te new structure “The Residence az an Active Element The cultural differences that now separate us from the Modem Movertens, no matey how substantial, do not diminith its conceptual and artitc legacy ‘nd should not prevent us from contnaing 1 ear “From it. This is particularly $0 when it comes to the Format aspects ofhousing, expeciallyaratime when the problem of housing has beer abandoned bythe _grecer part of the profession, more preoccupied with incorporating @ merely cosmetic dimension the vulgar produecteimpoved bythe marker. Such passiveness a the rearnen: of mass hous ing is wiforgivable: as ifthe space of human hab tavion could be reduced to soft mass thai sy takes on the shape given i bythe wrbar container ‘thas Been poured into: To remedy this gressive situation itis important to recover the moder mas ters" interpretation ofthe city ond the house as two inseparable and intensely imeractive reales, ¢ way of understanding them, incidental, thar had algo characterized the tradiional city (whether of fancient Greco-Latin civilization, mercaniilst Buropeor Islan). The house must be given back ts active rol inthe formation ofthe urban febric:on!y the simulsancous vzion ofthe house end ine city wil allow progrese in the right direction. (On the other hand, recent residential develo iments have frequentiy been dominated by a unix ‘mensional contextuais: tha oughtto be overcome, ‘The docile compliance 10 context has become a early absolute prionsy in some cases, 08 (f the Shape ofthe house could elude other marershaving more to do with ite internal Tole. The house mast fnce again have a voice of ts own ond make itself hheond in the din of other urban ingredients, thereby ‘establishing a dialectic between type and place, benveen general principle and specific application. For this to happen, we meus pay more attention tothe hidden aspects ofdomestic architecture, stud) ‘what we could cal its technical equipment and the Implications thar tis as on the layout ofthe dwelt lng and onthe costs incurred in building Purtier ‘mor, iis important to reflect on the house as @ siucture which, without denying its sense of per Imanence, is sensitive to ever changing ways af life ‘and social habit. For instance its fundamental co {find answers to the progressive incorporation of Dprafessianal work into the domestic sphere, 10€°~ |maussieanmardectnetrton 4 lore the capacity ofthe house to stretch the ope (of human habitation and make room for other uses Finally instead of iiing ourselves to mere finish ings, we must nurture ideas harmate i posible to generate the house. As the key proposals of the Modem Movement confirm, refined gestures and photogenic images do not sufice 1 create a true ‘contribution 1 domestic architecture “The regression of housing as an architectural theme is also evident in the ety muode invoked by some resentprepozale, which som tofavoraretam 0 19th-centiry urban forms, Itwould be paradoxi- ‘al for today’s society, one of whose aspirations ts fo establish strong links with nature, 10 willingly accept a rere to the 1th-cennurs city, that i, the tity which adulterated the fabric ofthe traditional tig, sanctioned the separation betweor residence ‘and open space, and brought about a generalized worsening of living conditions. Seemingly, the more {eniphasis we place on eistng the banner of en rormmentl issies, the farther we in fact are from achieving @ balance Denween ety and nature Onthectherhand, the passibliesofaddressing these problems with any degre of coherence do not only depend on the lcldness and determination of ‘arhitechural culture. Te also depends to a large fextent on the role that public administration is ‘willing t0 playin the defation and implementation of residential models. Here we must remember that many of the most significant ackieverenis of the ‘Modem Movement in the field of housing were not the frit of any rearket logic, nor could they have been. They were the result of the collaboration enveen a certain cultural faction and pottical sectors willing io incorporate some ofthe proposals into their programs. Themarketauto-regulateso- omic processes, but on its own hardly serves 10 Il @ oy that expresses collective aspirations. The market is seen by many as anew panacea. But our pression teaches us that i: onder o give shape to the city and the house, we cannot do away with the potential eneray tht generate the projec. Cals Moet 2 Spanish hie! andere the B= Colona Schoo of Architecture, se uot of dhe book Tas fom dea residence eadad mera. AV Monographs $6 Novernber-December 1995 11 ata tion tots preexisting strata anda capacie to incor orate all hose aspects of reality tha, albeit seem ingly or trutifullydisparote and banal, can form part ofthe new siuctie The Residence as an Active Element The cultura differences thet now separate us from the Modern Movement, no matter how substantial do not diminish its conceprual and artistic legacy, ‘an should not prevent us from: continuing to earn from it. This is particularty so when it comes fo the Jornal aspects ofhousing especallyatatime shen ‘the problem of housing hasbeen abandoned by tre {eater part of ihe profession, more preoccupied with incorporating @ merely coometie dimension to the mulgar products impoced by the marke. ‘Such passivencss in the weaoment of mass house ing is unforgivable: as f the space of human tation could be reduced to a soft mass dhat simply fakes on the shape given it by she urban containe’ it has been poured ino. To remedy this regressive situation itis nportant to recover the modern mas ters" interpretatian ofthe city and the house as 0 Inseparable and intensely interactive reatites, way of understanding them, incidentally, that had also characterized tte vaditional city (whether of ancient Greco-Latin civilization, mercantilst Europe or Isl). The house mast be given back ts ‘active role in he formation ofthe urbon atric: ay the simultaneous vision ofthe house andthe city will cllow progress in he right dlvection. On the other hand, recent residential develop. iments have frequentiy been dominated by a wv: mensional contextuaisn thar oughttobe overcome. The docite compliance to comest has become a nearly absolute priority i some cases, as if the shape ofthe house could elude other waters having ‘more to do with its intemal logic. The house must ‘once again have a voce of ts oun and make ise? ead in the din of ether urban ingredients, hereby establishing a dialectic benveen te and place, between gencral principle and specie application For this to happen, we mst pay more attention ‘othehiddenaspecs ofdomesticarchutecture. sui) what we could cal its wchnicl equipment cb the Implications that tis has on the nyo ofthe vel. ing andon the costs incurred inbuilding it. Further. ‘more, itis important to reflect on the house as structure whick, without denying its tense of per- rmanence, is sensitive to ever changing ways of fe ‘nu social habits, For instance ii fundamental Jind answers 10 the progressive incorporation of professional work into the domestic sphere, tex plore the capacity of the house to siretch the scope ‘of human habitation and mae room for other uses. Finally, instead of limiting ourselves ro mere finish ings, we hus earture ideas thar make posible generate the house. As the key propesats of the Modern Movement confirm, refined gestures end Photogenic images lo nor sufce t0 create a tte ‘contribution to domestic architect: The regression of housing as an architectural ‘heme is also evident in the ity model invoked by some recent proposals, which emo favera return ‘0 18th-century wrban forms. Iewould be paradox cal for today’s society one of whose aspirations is 10 establish strong links with nature, to wilingly accep a return 0 he 25th-century ety, that i, the city which adulterated the fabric ofthe traditional city, sanctioned the separation between residence and open spece, and brought about @ generalized worsening ofliving conditions. Seemingly the more emphasis we place on hoising the banner of env ronmental issues, the farcher we in fact are from ‘achieving a balance Between city and nature Ontheomerhand, the pessbiltes ofaddressing ‘these problems with any degre ofcoherence do not only depend on te lcidneer and determination of archivecswal culture, It also depends to a large extent on the vole that public edminisirdion Is ating to play in he definition and implementtion ‘of residential models. Here ove must remember that ‘many of the mest significant achievements of the ‘Modern Movement inthe feld ef housing were not the frit of any market log, nor could they have been. They were the result of the collaboration Denveen a certain cultural faction and potitcal sectors willing incorporate some ofthe propasale ito their pragrams. The marta auto-regulates eco. nomic procestes, but on its own hardly serves to build @ city that expresses collective aspirations The market is seen by many as anew panacea. Bu) ‘our profession teaches usthayin onderto give shape to the city and the howe, we cannot do away with ‘he potential energy that generates the project. (Cislos Mart» Sparish artct an ecre tthe Bae ela School of Archiacare, isthe stor of te ook {as formas dela eden ene cuted moderna