Alamo Hardwoods Blog
Ancient sculpture with Colonial Church Mexico exemplifies the clash and melding of cultures that is the "New World". Upon arrival, the intent was to take the people who had been here for thousands of years and "convert" them to Christianity for the good of the crown. To drive home the point of who was now in charge, any holy spot was targeted for colonial construction in the image of Spanish architecture. The details will sometimes pop out from the strangest of places. A piece of stone reused here and there.
Each architectural fashion from Europe has crashed over the shores like a wave. The high French fashion was imported for the most expensive houses in the most fashionable neighborhoods. The materials available were put to use in the newest trends: inlaid floors etc.
Sometimes a structure took SO long to build, that by the time they had completed it, fashion had changed. Such is the case with the Palace of Fine Arts known as Bellas Artes. The exterior screams the "Belle Epoque", dripping in more marble than one can imagine. But enter the gilded doors, and suddenly forty years have passed and the interior is the height of fashion in the Art Deco style straight off the Paris runways! Marble shines under the glow from frosted Lalique style frozen light "fountains". Yet the color palette of the marble is radically different. Gone is the fluffy wedding cake, replaced by dark chocolate slabs.
And that repressed native culture? The Aztec gods Tlaloc and Chaac make cameo appearances in the ornamentation as gargoyle !
Colonial Convent in Coyoacan French Empire Style Imported Bellas Artes Bellas Artes, Art Deco Interior Dome of Bellas Artes Art Deco Detailing in the most "humble" of places Ancient Culture Resurfaces
Posted by JR Huebinger on 5th August, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Categories: cross cultures, history, travel, Mexico, ancient, modern, wood, details
James Hammons, Guest Blogger
Guest Blogger James Hammons, UTSA Architecture studentThe dialogue between man and wood is more perhaps revered and esteemed than any other material. It is a love that can be attributed to its characteristic materiality. Wood has a unique warmth and charm because its nature allows us to very easily understand it and its relationship with the forces of nature.
The simplest to understand is time. Sure, other materials age, but the rust of steel and crumbling of concrete lend only a vision of degradation as time moves on. The message of these materials is singular and simple; man's conquering of nature, as if such a thing could be done. However, even the most basic understanding of the properties of wood lends not only a relationship of time, but knowledge of the place life has in time.
A cross section of a tree shows us the way the tree has been formed by time and adaptation. We can understand age, drought, climate, etc. A milled board is capable of enticing any thought or emotion. The smell of cedar might bring back a distant memory. Grain might spur a thought about nature and order. A natural edge cut slab might bring feelings of awe and peace. Perhaps this is why, when used expressively, wood resonates so perfectly and so naturally with the human soul.
James Hammons, UTSA Architecture student, guest blogger
Posted by James Hammons on 18th July, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Categories: guest, student, wood, details
Tags: architecture students, wood art, Alamo Hardwood San Antonio, UTSA Architecture Students