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Coderch 1940-1964

Carmen Andriani

5,00 €

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SESV Spazio Espositivo di Santa Verdiana
Florence, 7-21 Jun. 2002

publication year: 2002
paperback
150x150 mm, 48 pp.
45 colour and b&w illustrations

88-85957-97-8 Italian/English

“Architectures born from the search for a new modernity. A modernity – writes Carmen Andriani – deeply embedded with local variations, yet striving to cross the border, or at least look beyond it. Architectures inspired by the will to overcome the isolation of post-war Spain and by the desire to re-establish international connections. Withe the Mediterranean, with Italy.”

Done in collaboration with SESV Spazio Espositivo di Santa Verdiana, this volume devoted to Coderch’s work is the catalogue of an exhibition which, in addition to Florence, will be held in Pescara, Venice, Bari, Lecce, Naples, Genoa and Turin. With a preface by Carmen Andriani, it contains Antonio Pizza’s essay “Coderch: a domestic project between universalism and tradition”.

Born in Barcelona on November 26, 1913, José Antonio Coderch de Sentmenat was one of the key figures of post-war Spanish architecture. In the 1940s he is appointed municipal architect in Sitges and acquaints himself with the problems involved in the design of subsidized housing, an issue which will be at the heart of both his theoretical work and his professional activity. To this period date projects such as the OSH dwellings in Sitges and the Les Forques urban plan, as well as the start of his collaboration with Manuel Valls. In 1949, during the 5th Asamblea Nacional de Arquitectura, he meets Gio Ponti and Alberto Sartoris, on behalf of which he writes his first pieces for the Italian magazine Domus. 1951 is a turning point in his career: he founds Grupo R with Bohigas e Sostres, joins the Bienal Hispano-americana, works on the Ugalde House and the Barceloneta residential buildings and, most of all, participates in the 9th Architecture Triennial in Milan: the Spanish Pavilion he designs is awarded the Gold Medal, receiving world-wide recognition. He becomes a member of CIAM in 1959, and of Team X in 1960. He is awarded the FAD Prize for the dwellings on Calle Compositor Bach. After the disappointment of the ‘Torre Valentina’ residential project, which was never built, he receives the commission for the Tàpies House and publishes on Domus his most famous piece of writing, “No son genios lo que necesitamos ahora” (1961), where he sets out the ideals of ethical rigour and dedication that inform his architectural work. From 1965 onwards he teaches at the Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura in Barcelona. The enlargement of the school’s seat is his last project: it will be completed after his death, in 1984, by his son Gustavo.