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Types of White: the Work of Fran Silvestre

Types of White: the Work of Fran Silvestre
Types of White: the Work of Fran Silvestre, © Fernando Alda
© Fernando Alda

There are many kinds of white, all have no color but they are very different from each other: some silent, others deafening; there is the white of absence and also the one of eloquent presence; neutral white is very common, which one day may be painted with other tones; but there are also things born to be white, which could not be of any another color. Fran Silvestre’s architecture is composed of few essential signs, lines, planes and volumes thought and built with great geometric control.

© Fernando Alda
© Fernando Alda

The candid monochromaticity is not a marginal aspect; on the contrary, it is connected to the creative process, it is constituted as part of an architectural language and exalts its character: it allows greater control of space, unifies forms and improves its understanding.

Residência Hofmann / Fran Silvestre Arquitectos. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
Residência Hofmann / Fran Silvestre Arquitectos. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

This white is not only accurate - as Alberto Campo Baeza defines it - but also fragile because it does not admit errors. It can be made of plaster, stone or ceramic, placed on site without interruption, each responding to a specific function.

It is not a dress or a fashion. This white is configured as a skin that hosts (sometimes conceals) the devices and facilities that a contemporary building must possess, emphasizes space and its content, creates a scenery for life. It comes from the fundamental idea of architecture, it is the result of a careful and deep research and it materializes itself through a meticulous and detailed project.

Casa "Entre La Pinada" / Fran Silvestre Arquitectos
Casa "Entre La Pinada" / Fran Silvestre Arquitectos

If in the absence of color reside ancient values (meanings common to Western and Eastern cultures, such as freedom and purity) in Fran Silvestre's architecture, white also reflects a Mediterranean poetic. The sharp geometry is oriented depending on the visuals of the landscape; with its Euclidean order, the construction is superimposed on the rocks and in them it finds its roots. The pure, naked volumes rise in the air, dance intimately with the light of the sun in a spectacle of moving shadows. 

Pavilhão de Convidados / Fran Silvestre Arquitectos. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
Pavilhão de Convidados / Fran Silvestre Arquitectos. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

The Mediterranean light animates and sustains these buildings: rigorous and severe when the sun approaches the zenith, when the protruding parts protect from the warmer light; delicate and light at sunset, when the horizontal light changes the color of the white walls.

There are many kinds of white, but the white of this architecture lives from the light, changes with it and in it find its origins and reasons.

About this author
Cite: De Marco, Paolo. "Types of White: the Work of Fran Silvestre" [Tipos de branco - a obra de Fran Silvestre] 08 Jul 2019. ArchDaily. (Trans. Erman, Maria) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/920230/types-of-white-the-work-of-fran-silvestre/> ISSN 0719-8884

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