The park, designed by Bernard Tschumi, is a 125-acre expansive field in places so vast a person feels lost, even obsolete. However, when confronted with the red painted follies that are randomly placed throughout the park, or so it seems at first sight, one regains the sense of human scale and place.
After several of these exciting encounters (there are over thirty follies evenly spaced around the site), the organization of the place slowly reveals itself. The follies belong to each other. The red structures form an awesome point grid, a field of follies, but despite the fact that the grid is perceptible, it is never fully revealed.
I was really looking forward to seeing this residential building and I was not disappointed.
Torres Blancas were built by Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza in 1968. The aggregation of individual apartment units is controlled by the structural and circulation cores, vertically directing the cellular growth of the building. Repetition and mirroring are the primary modi operandi.
Disregarding the over-sized cylinders at the top of the Torres Blancas (a clumsy way to end the endless vertical repetition and give the building 'a top'), the image below illustrates the infinite growth and aggregation that are already implied in the project. The cylindrical apartment units are mirrored and repeated to form an endless undulating 'living wall'.
My visit to Porto only reinforced what I had already thought of Casa da Música prior to my encounter with the building - it is a beautifully sculpted object floating in space. Even the interiors are much more introverted, despite the architect's argument, luring one in with the seductive textures and colors.