two days in Valencia

Along the streets of Valencia you can see the legacy of many architectonic styles from the gothic, renaissance, baroque, neoclassic, modernist, to bauhaus, constructivism, brutalism, and… well some things by Calatrava too.

The city seems big but not too big, modern but not too modern, opulent but not too opulent, burgeois but not too burgeois. It has it all but nothing becomes invasive. It may be that it is January, but Valencia still seems to belong to its citizens and not to the tourists. And I long with melancholy for this to stay this way, despite being an impossible act of balance in a world of seismic schockwaves of tourism.

The defensive Torres de Quart in the west-end of the old city of Valencia were made for one clear purpose. Being there you cannot help but imagine soldiers loaded with bows and quills hurrying upstairs, dropping boiling oil through the outlet above the doors, atop the towers scouting the horizon with squinted eyes under the sun of the afternoon.

The building of the Lonja de Valencia feels at the end game of commercial opulence but still displaying its former functionality: the polished by use floor tiles, twisted solomonic columns, gothic arches. A photographic feast indeed.

Fagus Werk, Walter Gropius, Alfeld

a meeting of purpose and the Fagus-Werk

three exceptional persons met in time and place in Alfeld, Lower Saxony in 1910 to create and build a dream; the Fagus-Werk. In one side the experienced 52 years old Carl Benscheidt believed that people’s feet deserved healthier shoes, in the other side Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer on their late twenties believed that architecture must and can enlighten the job of people and organisations. These people seemed to me as leaving reasons of profit aside and focusing on better health for everyone, and enlightment for the those who will design and produce the lasts to make the shoes.

Being within these Bauhaus styled premises, one feels that economical success is a consecuence rather than the motive of this project that emerged from these three outstanding persons together and ultimately brought better feet health to mankind.