Before the wig and coat were the rivers, arterial rivers: were the mountain ranges, in whose weary wave the condor or the snow appeared unstirring: was the thickness of the humidity, the unnamed thunderclap, the planetary pampas.
Before the architecture it was the place, the center from periphery, the obtuse angles and the vibration of the breathable atmosphere. Before the nothingness, the emptiness, the ecstasy, the argument. The emotion and the words. The time with no name or numbers since the impregnated altars of our gods.
Before architecture it was a turn around and look with a different perspective… It’s what the architect Jesús Castillo Oli and this writer did when we undertook the experiment of La Ruina Habitada (The Habitated Ruin), a space accommodated to reside inside the structure without the ambiguities of an architectural ruin. And I say it with the epic verse of the Canto General (General Chant) because the poet, Neruda, inspired everything I possess of America in his cursed house of Isla Negra, through a long conversation I had with his last wife, Matilde Urrutia, in the summer of 1980.
How to spin oneself and the circumstances around to know what ground we’re standing on. How to defy the Euclidean principle of three dimensions so that the perspective, at the same time, is the contrary. Or impossible at a different time. What to do before architecture, as a hotel promoter and as an architect of course should question themselves about their project.
What should be done that no one else does. What should be seen that no one else sees? Where to get inspiration from to find the geniality of the place no one looks for because the tourism industry frequently urges us to be alienated of the wigs and coats. And then comes what comes. Houses look like ships with portholes with no horizons to be seen. That today’s epoch is yesterday’s epoch, and tomorrow’s epoch can’t be seen around the corner. We have become accustomed to limp, incoherent or insipid projects, or in most cases, mass produced.
A hotel of senses, as many times we have devised, blossoms from turning around and looking from a different perspective. Which hotel of the many on our horizon emerged from an introspection of “before architecture” at the start of its endeavor?