About our guest:
Juan Sala is a founding partner of Sala Hars. The practice was founded in 2017 together with Douglas Harsevoort while studying at Harvard University. Sala Hars' understanding of architecture is deeply rooted in the firm belief that building must be an act of cultural production, and therefore, be evolutionary as well as revolutionary. They believe in an architecture that is rooted in the lineage of history but that at the same time has an unmistakable contemporary expression. They see no contradiction between a dialogue with the past, and the birth of a refreshing and individual new voice; seeing tradition as an act of fueling the fire, and not preserving the ashes. The office is currently working on projects in the United States, France, Switzerland and Mexico.
Image credit: © Wikimedia Commons
About the topic and author:
In their utmost expressions, Modernism rampantly evolved to the dissolution of historical reference, and Postmodernism -in particular its American deviation- in satire by deploying architectural tropes in a manner that often finds comfort in the caricaturesque. Can there be a third way? Could one resolve this serious dualism by being both recursive and projective in approach? In short, how can one surrender to authority while fighting all the way, so to speak?
'Hide and Seek' will be framed through a text published in Oppositions 9, 1977 by Jorge Silvetti, titled 'The Beauty of Shadows', written in a decisive moment in architecture with the reclamation of recursive authority by the architect. Rooted in this essay, we gave form to a matrix that allows to dissect and analyze the operative techniques of projective recursive projects, building an active repository that serves as a working document for our work, operating as a matrix that encompasses Abstraction and Figuration, and the Hermetic operations so closely associated with Mannerism antagonic to the Mythological deployment of symbols, often uncritical in the Postmodern.
Through a brief contextualization of this discussion across history, and a glimpse at Sala Hars' current projects, a case towards a reconciliation of the conflict between figuration and abstraction as a pressing positioning for a young practice in the Americas to situate itself at will be open.
Words by Juan Sala.
© Sala Hars
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