Herzog & de Meuron o la (renovada) mimesis de la naturaleza
Other Titles: 
Herzog & de Meuron: The (Renewed) Mimesis of Nature
Proyecto arquitectónico
Herzog & de Meuron
Architectural Design
Herzog and de Meuron
Issue Date: 
Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
Quesada-García, S. (Santiago). "Herzog & de Meuron o la (renovada) mimesis de la naturaleza". Ra. Revista de Arquitectura. 20, 2018, 118 - 129
La Naturaleza era uno de los modelos de imitación premoderna. Su canon cayó en desuso con la Ilustración, cuando el hombre comenzó a imponer su dominio técnico sobre el medio natural. Sin embargo, con la crisis de la post-modernidad emerge un nuevo tipo de imitación racional, consciente y libre que retoma a la Naturaleza como modelo. Este artículo analiza algunos proyectos de Herzog and de Meuron como ejemplo de esa renovada mímesis. Para mostrarlo expone en qué consiste esa imitación contemporánea, por qué la Naturaleza es un sujeto que suscita un deseo incoativo de emulación y cómo interviene en la praxis de proyecto de los arquitectos suizos.
Nature was one of the models of premodern imitation. Its canon fell into disuse with the Enlightenment, when humans began to impose technical command over the natural environment. However, with the crisis of post-modernity, a new kind of rational, conscious and free imitation emerged. It is an intersubjective praxis that occurs between two subjects, not between object and subject as in the premodern era. The action of architectural design is based on different materials; these can come from architecture itself or from other aspects of reality, such as art, landscape or nature. Reality provides materials to be used over and over, which require an architect’s skill to organize. This concept of ‘design material’ leads to the idea of a project as the construction of a new order from elements, models or time-tested examples through experience. When the design process is understood in this way, the abstract concept of nature as a subject can be considered a model – a dynamic and living subject oriented towards the future that, with its structural principles and rules, proposes a procedure: the desire and rational action of its use as reference material by the subject-architect. The thesis is not that the process of architectural design is an autonomous act or a consequence of a creation that emerges from a vacuum, but that architecture always refers to certain models, prototypes or memories that rise up in the architect to generate rational, free and conscious imitation. One of these models is nature, as Herzog and de Meuron exemplify in their work. This article analyses some of Swiss architects’ projects as examples of this renewed mimesis. To support this point, it explains what this contemporary imitation consists of, why nature is a subject that provokes a desire for emulation and how it influences the practice of Swiss architects.

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