Ms. Mª de las Mercedes Bosch Roma’s Thesis Lecture

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01Sep

L’ARQUITECTURA, VEHICLE DE MODERNITAT. El seu arrelament en un indret de ponent

Author: Bosch Roma, Mª de las Mercedes

Directora: PhD. Martínez Duran, Anna

Codirector: PhD. Rovira Llobera, Teresa

Date:  5th of September of 2017

Place: Hall of Degrees

Tribunal: Ph.D. Víctor Pérez Escolano, Ph.D. Magdalena Mària Serrano and Ph.D. Núria Martí Audí

Abstract: In the late 1950s and early 60s, an isolated place in Terres de ponent  (lands of the west in Catalonia)- Balaguer – hosted an architecture that responded to the site with the creation of buildings of great quality and dignity that, with local means, contributed to this city, far from international movements, the characteristic elements of the modernity in architecture.

Architecture was presented as a vehicle capable of bringing new cultural tendencies, accelerating the development of the constructive process, of motivating the illusion of the different levels of society and of making the inhabitants’ lives pleasant.

The arrival of this new architecture was materialized in seven housing buildings: the Tartera house, the Pijuan building, the houses on the Cadí street, the buildings Sant Lluís and Almatà, by the architect Damià Solanes; and the buildings Campàs Delsams and Pare Sanahuja, of the architect Marià Gomà.

The preexisting of the site is presented as the intrinsic starting point of the investigation, understanding as place, the territory, the means and their people. At the same time, the study of the preliminary context of these works – with regard to the architecture of the house- reveals how this decentralized place of the West also witnessed what happened in the 40s and 50s in other places in Spain.

The investigation of the seven works reveals the specific features that are reflected in all of them, which reaffirms their selection and which brings them closer to recognized works from the time which the investigation pays attention to. But, mostly, it outlines how this architecture was filtered through the territory, the means and the protagonists until it was rooted in this place.

The same isolated character, unrelated to its impact on the ethical and professional service of the state, has meant that these works have not been valued, and that they remain susceptible to being replaced or reformed with criteria other than the place, mimetic everywhere. What has been set here is to give a sense of identifying, analyzing, disseminating, valuing and protecting these buildings, and showing how they occupy a stage in the evolution of modern architecture in the lands of the west –Terres de ponent.

The thesis presents an inductive investigation, from the particularity of buildings, of a place and of its people; unravelling a small, bounded and not-known area; with the freedom that the tabula rasa gives; and with a clear question to start off: what caused the rooting of an architecture that arrived in this land of the west of Catalonia?

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