12.04.2007 | what’s on
by Museum of Finnish Architecture Suomen Rakennustaiteen Museo
The Colombian architect Rogelio Salmona (born 1929) is one of the great
names of South American architecture together with Luis Barragan and Oscar Niemeyer. In his youth he lived in Paris, where he also worked in the studio of Le Corbusier. The majority of his work is in Colombia. In 2003 he was awarded the Alvar Aalto Medal in Finland.
The exhibition presents Salmona’s projects from the 1960s to the 2000s. His work shows a deep concern forpublic and collective spaces and respect for tradition. His modern but simultaneously timeless brick architecture is humane and warm, reflecting an ethical and social view of life.
To Rogelio Salmona, the essential pillars of the architect’s profession are ethics and social responsibility. His modern architecture, which seems to have a timeless quality of its own, is warm and human, and has at its heart an awareness of community spirit and the dignity of Man. Salmona’s architecture has an important message for the present day, when too much emphasis on individual ‘star’ architects and a focus on showy ‘WOW’ architecture is all too typical.
Visitors to the exhibition will be able to study Salmona’s oeuvre from the last fifty years. A total of 28 buildings from his extensive output are on show including the handsome group of high-rise buildings in Bogotá known as Torres del Parque, the National Archives and the reorganisation of the Avenida Jiminéz thoroughfare, also in Bogotá, and the Presidential Guesthouse in Cartagena on the north coast of Colombia. Residential architecture worth mentioning includes La Casa Riofrio near Medellin and the Altazor and Altos del Chicó housing in Bogotá. Current projects on show in the exhibition include preliminary plans for the main building of the Universidad Pedagogica (the teacher training college) in Bogotá and offices for the Fondo de Cultura Económica de Mexico in Bogotá. The buildings are not arranged chronologically, but are divided into five themes – townscape (Urban Counterproposals), historical awareness (Trace and Memory), spatial planning (Composition, Path and Surprise), and topography and openness (Topographies). The exhibition includes not only original drawings and enlargements of photographs, but also models and audio-visual material.
The exhibition was first shown in Bogotá last spring and began an international tour in Lisbon in the autumn. In Helsinki the exhibition will be opened by Fernando Alzate Donoso, the Colombian ambassador.
There is a publication in Spanish, linked with the exhibition, Rogelio Salmona: espacios abiertos/aspacios colectivos (colour, 100 pp.).