The last few days have been very exciting. I was unable to post last night due to a few problems with graduate school applications (yes, I’m trying to wrap them up in Spain!) Yesterday we had an awesome tour throughout Seville. First off, we started in the old parts of the city, driving by the Navigator School, where many of the great navigators, including Columbus, Magellan, among others studied. We then proceeded to the King’s Palace, which illustrates the type of cultural mingling exhibited in Seville; the Muslims were wealthy builders, the Christians the workers, the Jewish people bankers, and the gypsies jewelry makers. Throughout the trip, I’ve tried to focus on form and design rather than photographing the places. I’m relying on hand drawings to aid in this endeavor. In the Palace, the ground floor served as the summer home, being dark and cool due to the large glazed ceramic walls. An interior courtyard with water and plantings served to create a microclimate in the space. After this visit, we walked to the Spanish Pavilion of Expo 1928. This pavilion excellently integrated a narrative of Spain with the architecture, incorporating a number of outdoor “library” spaces each with glazed ceramic tiles of the cities in Spain; each city had a place in this Spanish plaza.
After finishing the group tour, we walked to the Spanish Expo of 1992, where we visited Calatrava’s bridge, noting its tension cables and connection details. From far away, the bridge is iconic, a symbol of Seville and of Spain. From close up, however, you can understand how the tension rods penetrate a gigantic beam, welded in one part, and holding up another at a right angle. You can see the cables comprised of long tubular sections, each joined at regular intervals. You can note the graffiti on its sides, the “slide” tourists make of its slope, and the slightly awkward flashing at its tension rod connections. At one scale, I see symbol; at another, I see the work of many men towards a common goal.
We arrived at Granada from a two hour train ride. The country side of Espana rolls, with rows of trees accenting the hills, with few, if any, farmsteads insight It is quite lovely, especially as the snow comes down and falls among those places between the rows of olive trees.
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