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IDEOLOGY

1.  “To follow the development of Ferrater’s work is at once to sense the absorbing of outside influences and the emergence of crucial themes. His commitment to a concise functional approach and a vocabulary founded on structure place him, broadly speaking, within the ‘rationalist’ lineage, although the virtual reality headset utilitarian is clearly conceived as a basic discipline in the search for an art of proportion, space, color and light.”

William Curtis (1989)

 

2.  “When we saw his 1980s buildings, the l’Estartit houses, the ones in Barcelona’s Calle Bertrán, and the sports center in Torroella de Montgrí, there was always a relaxed way of organizing the floor plan, of setting out the spaces and of utilizing multiple sightlines; there was a skillful and even astute way of getting the most out of low-cost materials and ingenious and simple technical solutions.”

Ignasi de Solà-Morales, “Tiempos modernos” [Modern Times] in Carlos Ferrater, COAC/ACTAR, Barcelona, 1995

 

3.  “And so the experience of the three blocks is strictly urban, as in the Plaza Real in the historic city center, as a result of the varying size of the horizontal and vertical fissures, which group the different enclaves around a single great opening for each apartment. These at once private and public interiors confer on it the quality of a unique interpretation of the city block as a historic contextual unit, together with a potent, austere and eloquent contemporary instrumentality.”

Miguel Ángel Roca, Arquitectura del siglo XX. Una antología personal, Summa Libros, Buenos Aires, 2005

 

4. “The extended set of experiments the Ferrater team has carried out on the Ensanche puts the enormous adaptability of the geometric conditions of the city blocks proposed by Cerdà to the test. It also demonstrates their unwavering commitment to innovation, to showing how new programs must find new typological responses but, above all, to concerning themselves with how a different breakdown of the city block can institute distinct compositional forms. And this on the basis of the forms that define special morphological choices which, notwithstanding their singularity, maintain a high level of coherence with the monumental typological deployment the Ensanche is the historical bequest of.”

Joan Busquets, “Redescubriendo las morfologías del Eixample” in OAB. Carlos Ferrater & partners, ACTAR, Barcelona, 2010

 

5. “Carlos Ferrater distils the ideas and themes of his architecture with aphoristic precision; without rhetorical exhibitionism he isolates the thinking that goes with each building in order to express it synthetically and with maximum concreteness. Time and again, the primary nucleus, generator of each project, grows out of the command of the relationship between space, volume and light, and not from intentions bearing on language or style, which lead to logical and natural conclusions. Trust is not placed in theory but in the reasoned description of a procedure that assigns fresh elements of his personal search to each work. The question reality asks of the architectonic construction is the indispensable prerequisite for confronting each project.”

Eleonora Mantese, Carlos Ferrater. Editorial Munilla-Lería, Madrid 2000

 

6. “[…] With today’s technical means and the enormous variety of resources and materials that are available it is extremely easy to succumb to stridency and ostentation. That is why a beautiful and at the same time sober building is to be welcomed. A genuine exercise in sobriety. Spectacular architecture has never interested me. Not just because it often involves an odd mixture of technical boastfulness and banality, but mainly because building itself sits badly with the very essence of the spectacle which, to become so, requires a limited length of time. A spectacle can please us greatly, but always on condition that it lasts but a short time. A building is too lasting for such a purpose. […]”

Ernesto Páramo Sureda, Parque de la Ciencias. Granada. ACTAR, Barcelona, 2008

 

7. “The vernacular cities and towns of Europe as well as the work of architects like Gaudí, Coderch, Barragán, Chareau, Aalto, Lewerentz, Corbusier, Fehn and others continue to hold our attention, despite the passing of time.
The great architect Luís Barragán said, ‘Any work of architecture created without mental serenity is, from my point of view, a mistake and when the serenity has joy it is definitive.’ In this case the winning project, the Triginer House, is in keeping with Barragán’s words. […] This house, above Barcelona, has a flexible patio and spaces aimed at capitalizing on the perspective views and the breeze. The architect has created a platform on the first floor that articulates the main spaces and makes the solution appear simple in the most complex of locations. At all events, simplicity is the other face of complexity. […] This is a modern piece of work that passes the test of time. It is a serene, sober, rational building, worthy of the Década Prize.”

Glenn Murcutt, Presentation of the Década Prize. 31 May 2006

 

8. …appears and in reality is a normal building: no epidermal gesticulating or supposedly environmentalist gadgetry: its entire conception of sustainability resides in the project design or is hidden deep within. It is, and seeks to be, a normal building because what ought to be habitual is the correct cardinal compass bearing, the choice of materials in relation to their extraction/production cost, use and anticipated duration, the utilization of rainwater and gray water, the preeminence of natural light and energy efficiency, and the extreme comfort of the user. But this unusual normal building is perceived as being exceptional….”

Ramón Folch. “Arquitectura pertinente”. El Periódico, 25 May 2007

 

9. “There are some people who believe that the more the schools of architecture teach their students to analyze reality and its conditioning factors, the less these students learn to plan for it. Others, however, consider that a good knowledge of the medium, its environment and its history, is the basis of good design. Carlos Ferrater is an unconditional supporter of the first option. It bothers him to know all the intimate details of a place before planning for it. The analysis of reality is a dead weight around the designer’s neck. Form, like metaphysical thinking, has to be generated ‘a priori.’ Notwithstanding that, his project designs are, it seems, the outcome of a profound knowledge of the place they are intended for. The geological foundation, the lie of the land, the light and shade, the vistas, the urban structure all for part of a given project. […] And so, if the architecture appears to spring from the very essence of the environment, of the landscape, when the project is the landscape itself the latter acquires the status of architecture for its ability to project form, order, structure.”

Bet Figueras. Carlos Ferrater