2011-Fabio Alvino-Roca, Alcañiz, Spain
THE FRAGILE HOUSE
My site was the Spanish desert – rural, now abandoned, a site of nothingness. For three weeks I lived in a cabin made of stone. As I lived in this modest dwelling, no larger than a small room in a Manhattan apartment, I studied the enormous site and put my building methods to the test. This is a short narrative of the things I built with my hands.
In the desert, the present becomes the past; these structures are both witness to and evidence of such a process. My site visit yielded a proposal for the appreciation and regeneration of this process—the exploration of a fragile culture of obsolescence, varying in function, form and history. Each structure audits the role it will have at a new point in time. Each structure is essentially a literal ruin, devoid of function. They are seen, therefore, not as objects in the landscape, but as objects becoming the landscape. And as landscape, they are ready to be claimed and possessed by the individual. The structures stand alone, each of them presenting a program, function, philosophy. They are not created to last an eternity, but only as long as the materials they were constructed will allow. Collectively, the structures comprise the program of house, ‘The Fragile House.’
To smell, hear, taste, see and feel what the chosen site had to offer was essential for these creations to be more than just forgotten dreams. I have come to realize that for a project to be loved by its creator or persecutor, it cannot just be a study. It needs to be sensed, to become a marriage of the body and mind. My travel experience allowed me to fall in love while continuing my pursuits.