A reflection of good luck

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During my internship in the firm Mallol y Mallol Arquitectos in 2005, I was walking by this building one afternoon, when I got to capture this rare moment of sunset reflection…

I didn’t take it too seriously. It was also taken with a little compact digital camera. But I remember then, when my design chief J.C.S. saw it, that he just fell in love with it.

I got the opportunity afterward, to publish it on the firm’s monograph book, as well as in other little magazine’s publications, together with other photos I took of the same architecture firm’s works, which were also exhibited at the Architecture Congress of 2005.

Funny how a “casual”, vanishing moment of reflection, can sometimes transcend into good, longer lasting work…!

 

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When the streets layed mainly on the ground

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During the Real Estate boom, Panama City grew up in a crazy way. The traffic begun to be impossible through specific joints of infrastructure.

This view from Paitilla neighborhood doesn’t exist anymore. A highway bridge was built over the street, and more buildings came out like mushrooms in front of us. More “brutalities” had to come after this.

When both the tide and the sun go down

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Amazing view towards the Panama Canal and Puente de las Américas, during sunset and tide down, taken from Casco Viejo (Old Town), Panama City. Smokincoffee sits in contemplation, too.

During that time, we were studying photography and used to go very often through all over the city to find special places where to take photos. This particular spot is part of one of our favorite suggesting places in Panama, Casco Antiguo (Old Town).

A continuous research for apparently invisible beauty of Casco Viejo spots, started in 2005 and is still a “work in progress”.

 

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Speaking of foggy days…

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Another day of luck. Site visiting before throwing out ideas for an academic excercise. A project for a new waterfront. Or for a new lake park. Yes, there’s a lake in the background. Lago Ceresio. Better known as Lago di Lugano. And this is the communal waterfront park of Agno, a little town next to Lugano.

I got a lot of inspiration after seeing the atmosphere above.

…and this is what happened next….

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An addition of eco-friendly spots for simple, both traditional and alternative activities, to create integration between people. Like the Japanese tea houses. In a park that probably should just remain the way it is now. It would have been very different to see this place during summer, full of people reading, playing, listening to music or bathing.

A foggy day in Vicenza

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There are some days during fall, where it’s not raining and neither it’s sunny. It’s just cloudy. Kind of boring. Then one of those days, you wake up knowing you have an academic trip and for some reason, you just wish there was something else going on with the weather during the visits to historic places, so you wish there was fog all day, to give some mysterious atmosphere to the photographs.

For some reason, I got that fog during that day, through the whole region I visited. I’ve had been wishing for a foggy day for a long time, only to take photographs. I guess I’m a romantic.

The trip in Veneto was for sure very interesting, but mostly focused on Palladio’s architecture and the city of Vicenza.  During the visit to the city, I strongly felt like if I was walking into a theatrical set. Everything was willful, perfectly illuminated and the streets were kind of empty, due to the weather, I think; it was only us, the students, following the professor with his explanations, and maybe there were other people but we didn’t notice: we were concentrated on the speech and the beauty of the places we were seeing.

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Florence architecture: a different perception

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During a quick visit to my cousin in Florence, after having already seen the city and the important historical sites of it, we went to visit the church of San Giovanni Battista, designed by architect Giovanni Michelucci.

Also called “chiesa dell’Autostrada del Sole” (“highway church”), it reminds us of a tent, where you can stop by, during long trips. The site is located in the middle way between Rome and Florence, to commemorate the worker deceased during the highway construction.

I was impressed by the design of this church, since it’s a very sophisticated and contemporary construction from 1960. It has a deep connection with nature and a particular organic shape, as well as a lot of interesting little details. Every single concrete element has visible “veins” marked by the wood  used during concrete laying, and each view has a meaningful element to show. Lighting effects are also very suggesting.

I could really feel the sacred atmosphere of the place, and the deep meaning of every detail.

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Berlin: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas) by Peter Eisenmann

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Visiting this site was quite an experience! Arriving at it, I first got the small perception of its full extension and variety; then, as you start exploring it, you start feeling the sense of “compression” and disorientation and the real dimension of every element.

Paths and slopes change levels and width, blocks change in height and dimension, bringing me at a point where I could easily feel lost, had no idea at what level I was standing at, or how long my way out would take.

After walking through the different paths, thinking of the heavy meaning of this monument, I started then taking other shots with a different perspective, where I tried to transmit less weight on suffering,  focusing more on the composition of the elements in relation with the surrounding landscape and the special lighting situation i was living, where the rays of light were weakly passing through the clouds.

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