“The expression of weight” by Luís Martinez Santa-María - Fundació Mies van der Rohe

“The expression of weight” by Luís Martinez Santa-María

In the day of the 35th anniversary of the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion reconstruction, we present a book that has its starting point with the intervention “I don’t want to change the world. I only want to express it” made by Luís Martinez Santa-María realizada and Roger Sauquet, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary.

Architecture was born to solve the problem of a ceiling, of something heavy and significant that accompanies and makes the human possible experience since ancient times. The floor may be the most ancient architectural element, but the ceiling, due to the difficulty of its construction and the significance imposed by its permanence, requires an invention that goes beyond technique. With the problem of weight solved, architecture, despite all the restrictions imposed on it, becomes a victory; architecture has won because it has turned construction, all the difficulty and improbability of construction, into an art. What carries load, rests, what is pondered has become imponderable, certainties are faced with a halo of uncertainty, the causality is put into crisis, and a suspension of meaning makes its way. From Greek to Gothic architecture, from Baroque architecture to the most admirable works and projects carried out by the pioneering architects of the Modern Movement, unusual examples arise. The expression of weight shows the various paths that challenge constructive practice and the imperative logic of gravity. And it is extraordinary that architecture, which does not have the same freedom as painting or sculpture, or literature or music, shows, within the same narrow margins that limit it, the value of the challenge it defies and the paradoxical freedom that belongs to it.

Luis Martínez Santa-María

Madrid, 1960, Architect (Madrid School of Architecture – ETSAM, 1985). PhD, 2000. Training Grant for Teaching Staff and Research Personnel in Spain, 1987-1990. Professor of Architectural Projects at ETSAM since 1990