The House of David

Luis Fernández-Galiano 

David Chipperfield built a house for himself in Corrubedo and now proposes to remake Galicia. His Fundación RIA (Rede de Innovación Arousa) seeks to promote sustainable development and quality of life along the Arousa estuary by setting in motion activities that can be useful for the entire Rías Baixas area, and eventually carrying out projects that would serve as example and stimulus for the rest of Galicia. The ambition and generosity of the endeavor are rare, but form part of a professional tradition that the Galician master Alejandro de la Sota used to invoke, quoting his colleague Víctor d’Ors, “the architect always gives more than requested.” This determination to stretch the scope of each and every commission, and extend the responsibility towards the client to society at large characterizes a profession that is accustomed to mediating between private and public interests, and to often assuming a civic role. Yet few contemporary architects – in the current context of decline of the public sphere and deterioration of political debate – have invested as much time and energy on regenerating the landscape, economy, and social fabric of an adoptive country, let alone with the strategic and institutional intelligence of this Galician Brit, whose house was the grain of mustard seed from which the leafy tree of the Foundation has sprouted...

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