Gestation: “Royal Collections Museum” by Mansilla+Tuñón

Do you recall the first building that made you realize – in a very particular way – that it wasn’t just about the “project in the abstract, in drawings, but something more physical and tangible”?

Emilio Tuñón: I recall that in the Zamora Museum, our first building. When we built the roofs of the museum we realized that they were the real fifth façade of the building. In fact, it was the only visible façade, and the one that organized the whole construction, working with a single section of skylights which was arranged with different orientations, heights and widths. At that moment, we realized the roof of the museum made the construction appear to be something that evoked the ploughed fields nearby, but above all permitted the presence of equality and diversity, the real soul of the building.

Normally are your expectations towards a building exceed? And if so in which phase of its development does it happen?

Yes of course… During the construction process the building accumulates layers of visualization, or doors to understanding, which on one hand open up space to different interpretations and on the other – perhaps most important – create links between them, like secret threads. From our point of view, construction is not only a way of bringing together the forms and ideas of the project but, above all, it is a way of summoning the unexpected and inhabiting that desired place where one can be surprised and recognize life. For us construction as a transformation is an expression of life.

With time, is it easier to predict how the building will be or is it always a surprise?

Many times the construction of the building is a real surprise. We think that all creative activities ends up lingering around a rational work system able to contain – as a vessel does – a certain degree of surprise to avoid caging the project; a set of mechanisms able to include external elements that are incorporated from a place beyond our creativity; a way of summoning transformation – a continual transit between objects and ideas, ideas and objects – that is capable of solidifying thoughts and revealing the brilliancy of matter, whose quality can lead us to an unexpected spot, continuing the process without losing its track.

In your opinion what is the importance of this kind of record?

These records are always very interesting since they are able to establish a precise and dense landscape of works in process which permit the discovery of new possibilities of thought and action.

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