Superposición: literal y fenomenal. La influencia del Anni Albers en el gran almacén de BijenKorf de Marcel Breuer
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Superimposition: literal and phenomenal. Anni Albers's influence on Marcel Breuer's de Bijenkorf department store
Transparencia fenomenal
Phenomenal Transparency
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Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
Arcaraz-Puntonet, J. (Jon). "Superposición: literal y fenomenal. La influencia del Anni Albers en el gran almacén de BijenKorf de Marcel Breuer". Ra. Revista de Arquitectura. 19, 2017, 105 - 110
El artículo considera el gran almacén De Bijenkorf como un hito en la carrera de Marcel Breuer. El edificio representa un cambio desde la superposición literal a la fenomenal en lo que respecta al tratamiento de las fachadas. Esta evolución solo puede ser entendida a través de la influencia de Anni Albers en su obra. La estrategia de estratificación superficial como resultado de la cualidad de la superposición fenomenal permite al edificio adquirir su presencia característica. Un fenómeno ocurre cuando las diferentes capas se combinan en una imagen que alude a un tejido y confiere al edificio su materialidad. Entonces, solidez y transparencia se mezclan: Sol y Sombra.
The article considers the De Bijenkorf department store as a milestone in Marcel Breuer’s career. The shift it involves can only be understood through the discoveries made in surface superimposition by his Bauhaus colleague Anni Albers. Her influence involves her evolution from 1936 onwards, following her first trip to Mexico to gain a first-hand understanding of Mayan textiles. This learning involved the transition from a design based on the structure of the fabric to another more spontaneous one in which figurative motifs were superimposed onto the structural background. Anni Albers’ progress inspired Breuer’s Dutch project. The strategy of surface superimposition in the field of architecture made façades the subject of study. Concerning this issue, there are three main stages in the architect’s career: the first began in the 1940s, and was based on the literal superimposition of sunshades, which finally led to the vibrations of the different planes of glass used; the second was initiated in the 1950s, with the Dutch projects built in stone, and based on the notion of phenomenal superimposition as determinant; and the third was that of the 1960s and 1970s, in which stone gradually gave way to the larger scale of prefabricated concrete, enabling him to play with the project’s sculptural features. The example studied here illustrates the transition from the first to the second stage. It is characterised by planar stratification. Firstly, the main volume was established as a background in gestaltic terms. The restaurant’s long, deep apertures emphasized the volumetric treatment. Secondly, the volume’s external planes were also addressed in superficial terms, not as the surface of the volume in itself, but as a fabric superimposed on it. In turn, this fabric was composed of different layers. The pattern of loophole windows and the texture of the travertine slabs need to be understood as transparent and superimposed. In the latter case, the pattern varied from one façade to the other due to the different shapes of the stone slabs. This enabled the architect to play with distinct vibrations that would be perceived from different distances. The strategy of planar stratification as the result of the quality of phenomenal superimposition enables the building to acquire its characteristic presence. A phenomenon occurs when the different layers blend into one image that alludes to a textile and gives the building its materiality. Solidity and transparency then merge: Sun and Shadow.

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