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VIDEO: "Affairs in Blue" Mediterraneo House / Manuel Ocaña

Spanish architect Manuel Ocaña has shared with us an innovative video that explores his Mediterraneo House, in Alicante, Spain.

The view was produced by Taller de Casquería; Luis Rodriguez Carnero plays the protagonist. 

From the architect. Through travellings, point perspectives, a main character and a plot trick, the film creates a catalogue of experiences that open up a path to describing architectural spaces without conventional cliches, without still photos, and amplifies the importance of the human scale in the communication of architecture. 

The Recessionary Interviews: Spain's Manuel Ocaña

The Recession has provoked a variety of responses – disillusionment, frustration, woe. For those not inclined to wallow, however, it has also provided ample time to reflect on (and, if you’re Manuel Ocaña, rip apart) pre-Recession society. In our Recessionary Interviews, we talk to architects living and working where the Crisis has hit hardest. Last week, we spoke with architect Luis Pedra Silva, who offered us a realistic, and yet optimistic, take on the state of architecture in Portugal. This week, on the other hand, we bring you an outlook more incendiary than optimistic. Manuel Ocaña, the controversial Spanish architect behind the Manuel Ocaña Architecture and Thought Production Office, is far from impressed with how his home country has handled its economic boom and bust. “Spain,” he says, “used to be a sexy, fit and energetic country. Envy, inferiority complexes, greed, arrogance and pride soaked it in fat. It is currently suffering from moral obesity.” More on Manuel Ocaña’s take on Spain, including why Spanish architects are no better off than Vampires (or, worse still, MacDonalds employees), after the break…

Why Spain's Crisis Is the End of An Era

Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which inspired cities across Spain to get their own "Guggenheim," many of which now stand empty/unfinished in the light of the country's economic crisis. Photo via Flickr User CC Txanoduna
Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which inspired cities across Spain to get their own "Guggenheim," many of which now stand empty/unfinished in the light of the country's economic crisis. Photo via Flickr User CC Txanoduna

The Recession’s ripples have reached far. We, in the midst of a veritable architecture meltdown, can attest to that. But even our situation can’t compare to Spain’s, a country where “the mother of all housing bubbles” meant the Recession didn’t just land – it tsunami-ed onto her shores. The metaphor may seem overblown, but it’s not so far off. Spain, a country that once stuffed its cities with show-stopping cultural centers, airports, and municipal buildings, has been shocked still.The new Spain is populated with empty high-rises, half-finished “starchitecture,” and plans gathering dust. A quarter of its architects are out of work and about one half of its studios have closed their doors. Spain, once a beacon for architects across the globe, has hit a standstill.  For the first time in decades, thousands of architects are fleeing its shores. So what does this mean for architecture in Spain – and the world? Has the Recession signified the end of an era? Has the torch of architectural innovation been passed? In a word? Yes. Exclusive insight from some of Spain and Portugal’s acclaimed architects, after the break…

In Progress: Mediterraneo House / Manuel Ocaña

© Manuel Ocaña
© Manuel Ocaña

Architect: Manuel Ocaña del Valle Location: Benalúa Railway Station, Alicante, Spain Developer: Casa Mediterráneo Collaborators: Miguel Molins Jiménez, Karolina Kurzak, Adriana Cepeda, Paloma Montoro, María Ortiz-Muyo, BeDV Arquitectos Project Management: INECO Project Director: Marisa Guillamot Bernardo Built surface: 3,500 sqm Budget: 5,900,000 euros Photographs: Manuel Ocaña

© Manuel Ocaña © Manuel Ocaña © Manuel Ocaña © Manuel Ocaña