A double title for a half issue, for what else can we give a city that has lost its self-respect, degrading itself through vulgar muscular growth, unpublishable public works and thematic statues; a minimal issue, not because minimalism is a refuge of the young, but because few of Madrid’s constructions can rightfully be presented as works of architecture; and an intimate issue, because only deep within some peripheral landscapes does one find the sensibility and intelligence that can save a profession’s self-esteem. A paradoxical issue, finally, because it records the split between a vigorous city, a demanding school and a group of talented architects.

Madrid, Madrid: city and region, because the lines between them have blurred and Madrid today is more in the outlying municipalities than in the central core; and because good architecture now tends to appear in the province’s remotest villages, spurred by enlightened regional entities, happily removed from the demands of picturesque triviality.

Madrid, Madrid: uncertainty and hope, because the city has changed so radically as to resemble the new continent of America, America; and because this crucial transformation -whereby old certainties and landscapes are giving way to unprecedented panoramas for innovation and experiment - is at once a risk and an opportunity.

Madrid, Madrid: affirmation and skepticism, because the city’s economic brawn cannot be expressed by the old chotis song that repeats its name: Madrid, Madrid, Madrid; and because the rejection of the castizo does not exclude the blended pride of an at once cosmopolitan and provincial, brilliant and absurd city, exasperating home to many of us.

A double title for an issue of couples or duets; an issue repeatedly multiplied: 2 x 2 x 2 x 2; and an issue that resorts to the device of obsessive order to manifest its perplexity. Faced with an urban core bursting into a thousand fragments, a small group of painstakingly elaborated objects stubbornly pretending architecture’s continuity. Faced with a city whose tastes exalt folklore and tradition, a selection of abstract autistic pieces refusing to go with the tide. And lastly, faced with a metropolitan identity that leans on airports and museums, two divergent emblematic projects each of which marries technology and tradition in this Castilian town that feigns an American destiny.

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