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Creative Influences

Alvaro Siza’s Leca Swimming Pools are a dramatic example of architecture in the landscape. Cut directly into the stone around the ocean the pools have an extraordinary view to the sea. The entry to the pools is interesting because as one steps onto the ramp at the entry the view to the street and the ocean are both cut off and as one emerges from the singular path the dramatic view of the ocean unfolds beyond the pools.

The Igualada Cemetery is an example where the relationship between the architecture and the landscape is undeniably powerful. The cemetery exists on an old quarry, while both sites involve cutting into the ground, one is a place of removal of the earth, while the other is a place of return to it. The project exhibits the temporality of life throughout through the material selection from rusting steel, to rotting railroad ties, to weathering concrete.

All these ideas regarding the temporality inherent in nature and life convey meaning around the cemetery’s programming; a place to lay the deceased to rest. It is also interesting that the project conveys the idea that under an unexpected event things can be interrupted: Miralles intentionally creates areas that visually appear incomplete such as the walls of the terraces that are built of stone and surrounded by a rusting rebar screen as though the wall has yet to be completed. Ironically construction on the chapel intended for the site was begun, but was never completed.