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1.DRAWING AND REPETITION: MANUAL PRESENCE OF ENRIC MIRALLES IN THE PLAN FOR UTRECHT TOWN HALL

Author:Contreras, JF

Source:RA-REVISTA DE ARQUITECTURA,2017,Vol.

Abstract:When, in February 1997, Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue won the competition for the renovation of the Town Hall of Utrecht, they were confronted with a building that had been under construction for centuries, at first as a set of medieval houses, later on as a continuous adaptation and remodeling of these houses to the uses and functions of a public building. The archive of the Miralles Foundation in Barcelona conserves 479 original drawings of Enric Miralles for the project of the Town Hall of Utrecht. Most of them are floor plans made on onionskin paper, whose size ranges approximately between DIN A5 and DIN A3, mainly on 1/400 and 1/200 scales. When Enric Miralles, through successive drawings, begun to develop a new structure for the City Hall of Utrecht, an incorporation of his way of drawing to the geometry of the floor plan occurred. The evolution of the project shows a progressive differentiation from the architectural character of the original building, passing the floor plan of the project from having a structure built by history to having a configuration defined by a way of drawing. Miralles drew and designed: by hand, on onionskin paper superposed on the previous version of the floor plan, on small scales when searching for the overall configuration, on progressive increases of scale to define with precision the geometry of the project and its constituent parts. The repetition of this process over time produced a manual presence in the floor plan of the Utrecht project. The notion that the repetition of the same idea at different moments produced different instances would serve Miralles to explain that the geometry of his architecture was linked to the execution of multiple drawings in the design process, as a mechanism to get rid of the departing conditions in any project.
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