Text description provided by the architects. Tactile perception in “the Garden of the Silhouettes”
1. Tactile perception in architecture
If the eye "is the organ of distance and separation", touch is the one “of nearness, intimacy and affection". The eye "surveys, controls and investigates", whereas touch "approaches and caresses." 1.
2. Tactile perception in childhood: a scene for the action.
A child experiments a new discovery when the action of his hands and his feet is leaving visible traces: his fingerprints in the material thing.
3. Tactile perception in The garden of the Silhouettes
3.1. The main door
A certain point of time exists in the architectural work definition where the outdoor space skin and the indoor space skin come together: the main door. Rhythm slows down and the feet then seem to pause, the man’s skin and the building’s skin touch each other.
3.2. Rhythm is also a tactile experience
The skin breakup produces rhythm. All around the perimeter of the Garden’s skin it is taking place the multiplicity of ‘the silhouettes’.
The artificial lighting of that space offers the same vibrant, sequenced character throughout the night just like the day, by using thin luminaries inside the vertical joints of the ceramic pieces.
3.3. The material skeleton of The Garden of the Silhouettes.
The Garden of the Silhouettes operates in front of three gradual levels: the scale of a child, the scale of Man and the scale of the building and the environment.
The folded floor
Folding the floor in order to define the heigth of a child, with his small scale, make possible we could perceive space like ‘an embrace below’: ‘space is able to hold us in its hands’.
The Garden of the Silhouettes, as a space of light and an illusion time, has been conceived for being experimented, as Juan Ramón Jiménez wrote, like “Nature, childhood beach for children and for men who have not forgotten that they can be children again”2
1 PALLASMAA, JUHANI.The eyes of the skin. Architecture and the senses. Chichester (West Sussex), Wiley-Academy, 2005, p. 47.
2 JIMÉNEZ, JUAN RAMÓN. Tiempo y Espacio. Fragmento 3. Madrid. Biblioteca Edaf, 1986, p. 84.