Atmospheres: hothouses in the 19th century, transparency, reflections and air. Atmotopos between islands and clouds, 1818-1918.


Rafael Beneytez Durán

Juan Miguel Hernández León



Examining board
Felix Duque
Luis Rojo
Juan Luis Moraza
Manuel Collado
Marie Bardet

How to represent something that neither the eye sees and the skin can´t touch? The notion of atmosphere architecture is not only air conditions, tempering or thermodynamics, not only phenomenology, a cultural construct or illusionist pattern. There is a gradation scale, a stable form or a numerical condition. It’s all and rather more, simultaneous and event.

The idea of atmosphere is a ghost that hovers enigmatically over the architecture, which escapes the objectivity, encouraging subjectivity and is present at all times.

Atmosphere is my Style — Turner Ruskin

The concept of atmosphere hinders the architectural discourse; hunts down those who try to avoid and elude those who persecute. Forms does not end in its physical limit. Emanating forms and model space — Sigfried Giedion.

Building a building is to build an atmosphere — Mark Wigley

The mist of carnival´s candles is the true atmosphere of art — Semper paraphrase Nieztsche

Certain recent works in the fields of art, architecture and new problems have arisen thought about it. And perhaps this can retake the world and done, rewrite history and think the atmosphere again, not as a ghost but as a form.

The main objective of this research was to locate the statements of the atmosphere as how architecture. To do this it was necessary to locate its origins, represent a line of weak decline among the strata accumulated knowledge of the architectural discipline, and discern between the structures of thought of modernity and which Postmodernism of them is able to represent and therefore arrange it to be used in the discipline.

But is it really possible to do this in a world built with infinity of objects and subjects?

Perhaps as a result of increasing globalization techniques, expression of ecological concern and consequent environmental role, the debate of the energy crisis, or pessimism about the finiteness of the medium conditions have led certain actors to give explicitly the problem of the atmosphere.

In turn, this context of intense relational visibility, strengthened the enabling environment to convene in architecture schools an activism whose landmark is in a blurred between object and subject field. Located in an area of the proliferation of hybrids between humans and nonhumans alike whose forms convene the need to build maps and artifacts. In short and as a result, a proposal for an architecture interwoven in two directions where both historical objetual condition of architecture , as all its consequences and relationships have brought to the forefront of the discipline, field intensities represented in maps that become true project tools.

It’s no wonder this situation in a context of exponential growth of modernization of global communication. A situation that has made the globe a unique place. A unique place wherein any point or particle can be connected to any other point or particle if both belong to the same field, the same structure or part of the “supersymmetry” of the same reality.

This runout between objectivity and the map, works over a plan from multiplicity, relational fields and gradients of intensity, and not from the domain of objectivity is what is being debated between certain and mature voices and new generations. And here you have enabled the expression of certain radical forms where everything is relative, everything is information, everything is event and forms can be called atmospheric, something else will be how discipline might be able to consider them in the projective board architecture.

What are these forms? What is the disciplinary field application? Are they able to establish itself as a guideline or tool to discipline these radical issues of environment?

Through the work of the French philosopher Gilbert Simondon: “The individuation”, the research found a plot line that I used to rebuild since the dawn of modernity the recent history of events between certain architectural guidelines technician, artistic, and space.

A book whose proposal is neither more nor less “thinking all over again”, and the solution to the problem of the title is to dissolve thought and action, imbricándolas in the same thing, as Simondon establishes a strong pattern: consolidates information as a reality as true as all that we have hitherto regarded without doubt.

Oposite to the longest disciplinary history, treatises and manifestos where the architecture has a substantive pattern dominant narrative, this “think all again”, ask about certain truths in which the entire practice is based. Practice is for some, crystallized form in the eye, and other stuff where the future is beyond speech. For many a formal clearance from the technical or evolution it is ordered by a historical evolution of forms stimulated by technical changes. It organized an unstoppable file arguments historicity that match and reinforce positive conceptions of materiality in architecture, its own forms and types.

Thinking discipline from Simondon, Deleuze and Guattari after, and several others not convened in this first text, which refers to the strong sense of this “diversity”, one would think that architecture abusing a picture of stability which man is well aware that it is difficult to answer, compared to a future that dominates the times, geology, meteorology and cosmological instability. Extraordinary measures that have been exorcised in our practice for a history rich in forms and developments. Perhaps, such a representation of this stability has been one of the hidden powers more commonly called both by architects in their projects and architectures as by users who inhabit them.

What does the image of stability that has become dominant pattern ?, an emphasis on gravity to the formal domain of architectural facts?

From this stance rooted to the ground we could ask another emancipated from him. Could the atmosphere the other side of the same coin that pays the architectural fact?

Quickly speech appears, air-like substance, air conditioning or tempering the cabin and the fire, “fire and memory” by Luis Fernández Galiano, debate machine Reyner Banham, mechanization appears Giedion The “Space Junk” Rem Koolhaas or thermodynamics beauty of Iñaki Abalos. Speeches disciplinary certainly strong formal impact and that operate in the architectural practice increasingly occupying space, technical demands, political and social.

But it is not this way we pose the question. Rather it seems to be derived from reading Sigfried Ebeling in his text “Der Raum als Membran” 1926. Text had a profound impact on the work of Mies van der Rohe. A vision that inserts architectural practice and strongly implicated as a mediator between the energetic conditions of the planet, the cosmos and radiation fluxes; between emissions, the behavior of elementary particles and fields, defining it as “membrane” intermediary of a cosmic reality. Ebeling shown a reality that traveling to the difficult questions of science, while materials, energy and bases for the “standard model”.

To what extent should return for greater discipline approach to problems and answers of science on the question of the subject, knowing that the matter is one of the great issues of our professional practice?

To what extent the concept of “intermediate dimensions” that handles the physics is contradicted by new findings and demonstrations? And as a consequence what extent architecture exists as an object of knowledge within all new openings on the constitution, and the peculiarities of individuation acquisition of particle mass?

Ebeling posed architecture, is full of successes if looked at from the present knowledge of physics. Your text considered somehow the existence of strong, weak, electromagnetic forces and gravity. It approaches to energy ideals in absolute continuity. No objects but intensity fields.

The metaphor of the membrane is the metaphor that comes with this thesis as it considers architecture as a mediator vibratory field intensity. A membrane that modulates, modeling, not a mold.