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MOMENTUM

#2 SELF, SHELL, SHELTER

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The understanding of the architecture of spaces as places for protection and perpetuation of human beings is a point of view that has been present explicitly throughout history. From Vitruvius’ De Architectura description of human activities and collective structures, to Marc Antoine Laugier’s Primitive Hut and Essai sur l’Architecture (1753), to many other contemporary architects, this position has appeared repeatedly when designing new spaces. From a utilitarian vision, architecture is presented as a response to a dangerous and savage external natural habitat, as a mediator between humankind and nature. Functionalist reasoning can be found in this approach, where structure precedes space, building anticipates rhetoric, and pragmatism is held ahead of rituals. Architecture is merely a shelter.

In our opinion, we should ask ourselves some questions about this conception that the architectural discipline is about sheltering. Is this the pure and primal intention of buildings, or does this view appear linked to design in a undetachable way? So, the question becomes whether the sole action of delimiting and characterizing spaces enables the apparition of refuges that often have protection as their main function, or if any space can be appropriated by us and transformed into a mental shelter where we find ourselves comfortable and, of course, safe. It is possible to sum up everything in just a single question–what is first, architecture or shelters?

It is precisely there, in the psychological interpretation of spaces, where we can classify all these architectures that somehow invite us to introspection, to be part
of them once, then again, when they stimulate our senses and make us experience pleasure inside them. These personal experiences gained through our sensibility and character, enables any architecture to become a potential shelter.

It is furthermore interesting to understand that following this reasoning, every space, ambitious or minimal, big or small, is equalized, bringing personal interpretation to the foreground. There are no refuges in our life but the ones we create. We would only ask you the last question:

Where is your shelter?

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