Our proposal is the outcome of an iterative exploration of the shared work of architect Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza and sculptor Jorge Oteiza. The proposal is an abstracted representation of the Fundación Oteiza in Alzuza, Navarra, Spain.
Our study began with a painting Oteiza frequently referenced, The Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello (c. 1435-1460), where a shielded contender is placed within an epic landscape of metaphysics. The portrait contains many themes: covering, lines, journey, metaphysics, destiny, arms, contest, action and narrative.
A series of model studies of Oteiza’s work followed, a taxonomy of Oteiza’s quest to render visible emptiness – empty space. Oteiza sets out to make these sharp and silent, vigilant and empty. In their successive states they can be seen to mutate with absolute autonomy, like an animate being. These works are living artefacts; protective and defensive instruments. In parallel with this we have been concerned with how Oiza controls light to form atmosphere; how he sets up relationships with Oteiza’s work and how he guides movement.
We propose a fundamentally spatial and energetic artefact that has darkness and mystery at its core. We wish to explore this circulatory or in-between space of the Foundation building: indirect light and ramped circulation; central darkness of the main hall; and inclined roof-lit galleries above. To make this manifest, we propose to enclose an ‘external dark space’ within an inside layered space to explore the gap between, thickness, depth and intimacy.