Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Madrid: Class Two

Today we started at the Prado museum, home of Velazquez's Las Meninas as well as a collection of Goyas. Rembrants, Grecos, just to name a few. Our assignment to analyse the structure of Las Meninas lead to an in depth discussion amongst our group of the painting's irony. We also visited the BBVA office tower by Francisco Javier Saenz de Oiza, which looks deceptively uninteresting, however, getting a closer look, the public space is carefully designed between the sidewalk and entrance to the building. The structural system is also very unique, almost like a concrete tree structure, with a center core and then concrete branch structure supporting every four or five floors. We then visited the Telefonica office park, which is more like a small city. It contains not only the offices for the Telefonica workers, but also the residences, shopping centers, and all the other services that come with home. The public spaces in this center are what really intrigued me. The change in materials in surfaces and the altering ceiling levels create a wide variety of indoor/outdoor spaces. In this space we had to do a series of five sketches showing a sequence of spaces. A couple of quick stops at two public housing projects by MVRDV, which were well thought out but due to the low budget given to the housing, fell short in their upkeep and functionality. At the end of the day, our group went to the Parque de Juan Carlos for a picnic dinner, spanish style, where we saw the most amazing views of the city.

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