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  • Juan Almarza Anwandter

I must admit that I like weapons, in general, and bows and arrows, in particular. Why? It is such an admirable simple combination of elements, conceived for fulfilling a clear purpose: to hit a target located at a certain distance, with maximum precision. Each component of the system is carefully designed in order to achieve this purpose...nothing is superfluous or excessive. Form, materiality and function are absolutely congruent. This is what elegance means. As an architect, I want to design buildings that follow the same principles. Clear, simple and elegant...like a bow and an arrow.

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  • Juan Almarza Anwandter

I come from Chile, a land in which snow is mostly confined to the Andes, the extreme South and Antarctica. It is not part of our "Lebenswelt", neither plays a main role in the articulation of our cultural landscape. So, experiencing this phenomena is still something rather unusual and extraordinary for me. Somehow I see it with the naive eyes of a kid. Analyzed from this perspective, what appears to be interesting is the fact that snow covers everything. It doesn´t "discriminate", and in this sense it can be related with other natural phenomena, like the sunlight, the rain and the wind. But the main difference is that, although being ephemeral, snow leaves traces, and allows us to leave traces on it as well. It transforms the city into a big white canvas. It also has a particular "tempo": the snowflakes do not simply fall following a linear, gravitational trajectory like a rain drop, but they seem to float, wandering around, so to say. They gradually cover the ground, and paradoxically, make it appear, revealing its presence, which usually goes inadverted. The asphalt is certainly less appealing. Snow blurs limits and distinctions, bringing things back to a primordial state of unified wholeness. Maybe this is why it it communicates a certain sense of peace.

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  • Juan Almarza Anwandter

"Architecture is the only art in which the great struggle between the will of the spirit and the necessity of nature issues into real peace, in which the soul in its upward striving and nature in its gravity are held in balance (…)"


Georg Simmel, "The Ruin", Chapter I, 1911



"Architecture means building art [Baukunst], uniting two concepts in its name: the expertise, the mastery of the practical, useful discipline, and the art of abstract beauty (...) We have gone through times when they stood almost for opposite meanings. We have this time behind us"


Peter Behrens, 1901



"To look upon architecture only from one angle, such as the rational-constructive or the purely artistic, is a simplification and impoverishment"


Theo van Doesburg, "Die neue Architectur und ihre Folgen", 1925



"Not only the technological and not only the aesthetic, not only reason and not only sentiment, but the harmonic synthesis of both should be the architectural aim(...)"


J.P. Oud, "Holländische Architektur", 1926



"Life is what matters in all the fullness of its spiritual and concrete relations"


Mies van der Rohe, from a letter to Walter Riezler, 1926



"Architecture is the art above all others which achieves a state of Platonic grandeur, mathematical order, speculation, the perception of the harmony which lies in emotional relationships. This is the aim of architecture"


Le Corbusier, "Vers une Architecture", 1926



"The building art can only be unlocked from a spiritual center and can only be comprehended as a living process"


Mies van der Rohe, "The preconditions of architectural work", Lecture, 1926



"Fulfill the Law to gain Freedom"


Mies van der Rohe (around 1950)




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