Architecture and war are not incompatible. Architecture is war. War is architecture. I am at war with my time, with history, with all authority that resides in fixed and frightened forms. I am one of millions who do not fit in, who have no home, no family, no doctrine, no firm place to call my own, no known beginning or end, no “sacred and primordial site.” I declare war on all icons and finalities, on all histories that would chain me with my own falseness, my own pitiful fears. I know only moments, and lifetimes that are as moments, and forms that appear with infinite strength, then “melt into air.” I am an architect, a constructor of worlds, a sensualist who worships the flesh, the melody, a silhouette against the darkening sky. I cannot know your name. Nor you can know mine. Tomorrow, we begin together the construction of a city.
My first gaze upon the Eiffel Tower
Champ de Mars, Paris, France
When I was in college, a professor of mine suggested that if we were to visit the Eiffel Tower, we should take the train to Champ de Mars and walk a couple of meters north of the Seine River.
And so we did. I deliberately avoided looking at the skyline when my sister first saw the Eiffel Tower from afar while we were entering the city. After getting past the last building on the right, a thick canopy of trees shroud the Eiffel Tower. The silhouette of the famous tower is noticeable until finally, the canopy opens up and reveals the majestic Tour Eiffel. It was my third day in Paris when I finally saw the tower.
Plaça de Sant Felip Neri
Barri Gotic, Barcelona, Spain
The walls of what used to be an orphanage were scarred by a bomb that fell on the plaza during the Spanish civil war. The ceiling of the building fell down after the blast, killing a lot of orphaned children inside. The site is one of the few reminders of the atrocities committed during Franco’s regime.
Today, beside the former orphanage stands a nursery school where the children would use the plaza as a playground during their playtime. Their laughter would drown the deafening silence of the haunting screams by the ghosts of the past.