Emmett Zeifman Travel Blog

Rome, Florence, Bologna, Milan, Lyon, Barcelona, Madrid, Tarragona, Valencia, Granada, Seville, Cordoba, Lisbon, Porto, Santiago De Compostela, Gijon, Bilbao, London



Jun '10 - Aug '10

  • Barcelona

    Antoni Bonet i Castellana is something of an aberration amongst his contemporaries in Spain, one of the few architects who consistently worked back and forth between the Americas and Iberia, though he was primarily based in South America. His architecture has a lightness and an international flavour that is distinct from the major practitioners of the time, the closest points of comparison being perhaps Rafael de la Hoz (more on him to come) and Alejandro de la Sota.

    The Meridiana dog track (1962-1963), tucked away in the north-west of Barcelona, was one of the most surprising projects I saw. The lightness of the steel structure, the massing, and the arrangement of program and functional elements are all exemplary, as are the overall effect of the stark black and white finish and the odd little details, such as the slanted columns at the points of bow-shaped pavilion. The track itself has been converted into a park, with the pavilion slated to become a contemporary arts center.









  • Tarragona

    If Cabrero's Trade Union Building ( signifies the re-introduction of the modern into the official architecture of Spain, Alejandro de la Sota's Civil Government Building in Tarragona (1957) is its full-fledged acceptance. It is...

  • Milan

    On a rainy day in Milan, we stop into the Palazzo Citterio. The Fondazione Nicola Trussardi is operating inside of it as a contemporary art gallery. We wind our way into the exhibition spaces in the basement. They are in finely poured but unfinished concrete, with shafts disappearing into the...

  • Madrid

    A few preliminary images from Italy on scale and style. Rossi's cemetery in Modena was at once less than, more, and exactly what I expected it to be. It coincides with his representations in a wonderful way, fragmented, always begging a one-point perspective. My favourite moments are where it...

  • Madrid

    Finally made it to Miguel Fisac's Iglesia de Santa Ana (1965) today. There will be more Fisac to come, but I wanted to put this up. Of the major figures of post-war Spanish architecture, he is perhaps the most clearly related to the Scandinavians, whose work he'd seen in person. Asplund is...

  • Madrid

    Between Italy and Spain a two-day pit-stop in Lyon to visit La Tourette, the building I most wanted to see in the world. It is in the midst of restoration, much of it under scaffolding. The restored plaster is incredibly white. Over the past couple of days in Madrid I somewhat inadvertently saw a...

  • Spain

    Sorry to begin halfway through. I spent the first six weeks of the summer in Italy, in Rome, drawing on a Yale program, and then moving through the north to see work by Moretti, Rossi, Terragni and others. In a sense it was a foundation, in something much more familiar to me as a student at Yale...

  • Thirty-Six Hours

    Wake up in Lyon at 6:30 for 9:30 flight to Barcelona. Should be landing at 11:15. Take subway (two trains) to the airport shuttle bus. Airport shuttle bus to the airport. Wrong terminal printed on the e-mail confirmation. First sign of trouble. Easyjet terminal is packed. Going to miss the flight?...

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About this Blog

His research is focused on the diverse and shifting positions of architecture within Francoist Spain (1939-1975). It pursues a number of related questions, examining the relations between institutions of architecture and the regime, the function of architecture at the intersection of totalitarianism and an increasingly free market, and the evolution of architecture in Spain in the void left by the post-Civil War rejection of international modernism.

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