Stephen Bates + Fernando Villavecchia Lineage and Legacy. A certain Modernism in Cadaqués

Source: Stephen BatesSource: Fernando VillavecchiaPublisher: Quart PublishersYear: 2021Shop: La Capell
Date: April 26, 2023 Category: Books

Since we met in 1989 – Stephen an intern, Fernando an architect and teacher – we have both been drawn towards a domestic architecture of quiet comfort, refined simplicity and deep connection to place. A number of houses in Cadaques seem to have achieved that elusive balance. And, as our dialogue on architecture has been a recurring theme of our friendship, it felt natural that this book on domestic architecture would also include the relationships between the architects and clients who made it happen, which Fernando had witnessed growing up. This is our modest homage to this particular architecture of Cadaques, and a celebration of the relationships that brought it about. (Preface, pg.1)

As Xavier Moneys says, modern architecture, as recorded and catalogued by official historiography, has left many things in the margins – which are usually an interesting place Cadaqués is one of those places. These houses epitomise an architecture of simplicity and comfort that encapsulates the history of the village and its relationship with the wider warid in ways that continue to inspire us. We hope it may inspire others, too. (Preface, pg.1)

This book investigates a particular kind of architecture that thrived in the 1950s in Cadaqués, a small Spanish fishing village on the Costa Brava. It explores a number of holiday houses built between the mid-1950s and 1960s by a group of architects who shared bonds of friendship and architectural affinities, as well as connections with the international Modern movement (including José Antonio Coderch, Lluís Clotet, Federico Correa, Alfonso Milá, Oscar Tusquets, Manuel Valls). Observations on the common threads that link eight case studies are enriched by a photographic essay by David Grandorge and by detailed architectural drawings on a number of significant projects of the time. An interview with the authors Stephen Bates (Sergison Bates architects, London) and Fernando Villavecchia (Liebman Villavecchia Arquitectos, Barcelona) provides a background to their shared fascination with Cadaqués. A timeline contextualises the projects against the backdrop of historical events and the milestone in the lives of the clients and architects who made the village a unique locus in the history of architecture.

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