Guide The Writings of Josep Lluís Sert

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For the government of the Republic, Sert and Luis Lacasa formulated an eminently modern and anti-monumental pavilion which responded to its role, content and the programme it was to house, as well as its transient nature.

Both constructed mechanisms were based on a simple lattice of horizontal and vertical lines with large, free space to display artworks, and, with the exhibition layout in mind, the access and circulation around the building was via interior staircases and outdoor ramps. As a number of photographs testify, Picasso visited the pavilion while it was under construction and became of aware of the space reserved for his work — Guernica was installed on one of the smaller walls on the ground floor, which looked out on to the courtyard.

Unable to work as an architect in Spain once the Civil War was over, in Sert took up exile in the United States, and that same year he and Paul Lester Wiener founded the Town Planning Associates studio, which was in operation until His office specialised in urban planning and completed numerous commissions for the US Government, designing urban redevelopment plans for different cities in Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia and Cuba.

Architectura & Natura - The Writings of Josep Lluís Sert

This, it seems to me, should be one of the highest aspirations of both architects and city planners. We hear very frequent and justified critical comments on life in cities—their inhuman scale, the traffic congestion, the air pollution, the overcrowding, etc.

By contrast, we are presented with the better living conditions in the suburbs and more rural areas. Reacting to these conditions, the last generation of planners has tried to solve the problems posed by the city by turning their backs on what we can call the city proper. There has been much more suburbanism than urbanism.



All means have been devised to get away from the city as an undesirable place to live in, bad for children and bad for grown-ups—the children get run over, the grown-ups get drunk. Figures indicate that a great number of cities in this country have now reached maturity. The explosive growth period seems to have given place to more normal, slower growth; the attitude of the people toward their cities has changed lately.

They have become conscious that bigger does not necessarily mean better, that it takes more than size and population to make a beautiful city. It is time to pause and reflect.

Observatorio Cervantes - Harvard. Legado de Lluís Sert y su contribución al debate arquitectónico.

One of the greatest challenges for architects is the carrying out of the large civic complexes: the integration of city planning, architecture, and landscape architecture, the building of a complete environment. This is a vast and ambitious task.

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We should be aware of that fact and of all the barriers and limitations that lie in between—such as inflated land values, great vested interests, etc. But, on the other hand, it is increasingly evident that, as conditions in central areas of cities become worse, these same vested interests will eventually recognize that drastic changes will result in benefits to the city as a whole and will help to stabilize and protect land values. The moment to plan has come.

Pavelló of the Republic (1937-1992)

It is a joint job that is required—a teamwork job, where both architects and city planners need the advice and the technical help of many other specialists. Up to now, contemporary architecture has produced at best a few scattered good examples of isolated buildings. But much of the more recent work—like that of the twenties, which I had an opportunity to review in Europe after the last war—will be absorbed by an overpowering, hostile environment: the chaotic streets, the creeping blight and slums of our cities.

José Luis Sert

Perhaps it was his talent that enabled Sert to have both principles and a fluid approach to architecture. He had the creativity, one of his clients said, to listen - and then create the plan for the place. Josep Lluis Sert was not a man to latch on to some idee fixem at the expense of a working building or a humane city.

He was, as McCue went on to say, ''one of the foremost humanists in the field. Already a subscriber? This website uses cookies to improve functionality and performance. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Josep Lluis Sert: Father of Urban Design and Peabody Terrace Complex

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