Wednesday, September 24, 2014


My dad studied architecture, and one of the books from him I remember from my childhood is "Detalles de la Arqutectura Española". I remember reading the title of the book, several times, but not opening it... the word details meant something solemn to me back then.

Until one day I opened it, and to my surprise, I didn't find a theory of architecture but sketches of balconies, windows and doors, amongst others. Hand made.

The drawings were beautiful, you could feel the heat of summer in the north of spain, the dryness of the earth, the infinite sun of 4:30pm in Zaragoza. All this in a few bricks, in four pieces of wood making the frame of a window. They were alive.

Or maybe, they were made through life. They were made because making is the being of the human, and what he makes perspires his own being. Spain is those details made by men who were born and raised with those details, from parents born there, and whose parents were born there.

The same you can find in the details of Bolivian fabric-making.

But I'm still in Graz, so that's what we look at now. Literally, a selection of around my block, the door of my building included. So, welcome to "Detalles de la Arquitectura Graziana"

Zu Hause

Around the corner

Those are doors from three different streets. I have the impression that the the doors on one street where made by the same workshop. The wood repeats, the motifs, the colours... I particularly like the Grazian Jugendstil, it's somehow a much more conservative Art Nouveau, as compared with Paris for example. The curves are not so tight, and always a general order must be kept. They have this cute naiveté of fascism. In a way, the political ideology of the two cities is condensed in its doors. From Wiki: "Adolf Hitler was given a warm welcome when he visited in 1938, the year Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany..." The doors haven't changed that much since the 40s btw.

The broken lion. For me, a remainder that in the last 50 years there has been no one who cared about fixing it or has the knowledge to do it. However beautiful these door are, their Zeit ist vorbei: Europe died with the Marshall Plan.


  1. Fantastic pictures, thanks for sharing.
    Fitting a modern door to an old building will often be like an insult because it lacks the grace and style of yesteryear.

  2. Glad you liked them.

    and totally agree on that. But there is no one left to do the job, or so it seems. It's not estrange to see metal doors on "renovated" buildings. A shame, to say the least.