Stiloguedes is my most idiosyncratic style
- my royal family as it were. It is a bizarre and fantastic family of
buildings with spikes and fangs, with beams tearing into the spaces around
them, invented as if some parts are about to slip off and crashing down,
with convulsive walls and armoured lights.
The plans of the Stiloguedes buildings
are simple, quite straightforward and functional. It is the sections that
are contorted, decorated and full of exaggerations. It is the sections
and their reflections on the facades that are the architecture. They stretch
the mysterious relationship between plan, section and facade and turn
these works into strange apparitions.
As a student I had painted most of the
time. Early influences were Riviera and Oroxco. To these were soon added
Picasso, Miro, Arp, Dali and Tamayo as well as most post-impressionists.
On all of these I improvised and made variations but Miro and Picasso
were the dominant influences of Stiloguedes. I summarized my very eclectic
attitude of those early days when I later wrote 'In the beginning I
was all others'.
By the time l finished at Architectural
School I had been drawing and painting furiously for five years and could
no longer tell the difference between painting, architecture and sculpture.
I felt that there had been some ghastly and wrong turns somewhere in the
recent past and that I had to go back to the beginning to find my own
way out of the labyrinth.
From Dali I had learnt that all artists
(and therefore all architects) "..must become carnivorous fish,
swimming between two kinds of water — the cold water of art and the warm
water of science". Another of his statements which made me feel
quite giddy and which I interpreted as a rejection of the international
style (the white, flat-roofed, box manner of CIAM ) was: "..for
one thing is certain, I hate simplicity in all its forms" - and
so do I most of the time.
My last design examination was a complex
of buildings forming a steep square with deep colonnades. It was somewhat
like a stage set out of Chirico's painting of Gare Montparnasse
otherwise known as The Melancholy of Departure.
Later when I submitted my dissertation
there was a manifesto to go with it. It went like this: "I claim
for architects the rights and liberties that painters and poets have held
for so long. Architecture is not apprehended as intellectual experience
but as sensation - an emotion. Buildings must become presences - be like
vast apocalyptic monsters or gently floating albatrosses. Buildings should
be so invented as to be remembered forever like the temples of India and
the pyramids of Egypt.
I have asked nature to invade architecture
exuberantly as if it were a ruin. I have sunk buildings into the earth
as if they were grottos and remembered..." - and so on.