Javier Corvalán: architecture and ceramics today
Javier Corvalánis an architect and also a Professor at the Faculty of Science and Technology of UCA University (Universidad Centroamericana) and Faculty of Architecture of UNA University (Universidad Nacional de Asunción). Together with the Aqua-Alta Collective, he’s directing the construction of the Paraguayan Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale.
What does creating architecture today mean to you?
In the present age, when we seem to have exhausted the repertoire and it appears there is nothing new, creating architecture means investigating, seeking and, to quote the Argentine writer Ernesto Sabato, “creating something perfectly familiar which is at the same time unknown”.
During the last weeks you were at Cersaie, the international ceramics exhibition, and you were able to take a look at the latest new ceramic and stoneware coverings.What do you see as the architectural advantages of ceramics today, and on the other hand what do you think needs to be done to make this material more popular with the world of architecture and design?
Without a doubt, this material is constantly extending its fields of application and is trying to become more and more similar to the traditional “fine” materials considered to be irreplaceable, such as wood and stone, and to reinterpret them. But too often it still offers itself just as “a skin”, a covering, a decorative finish. I would like to see this material, in some of its high-performance versions, which have achieved amazing technological levels during the last few years, being used more often in architecture, for building facades, roofs or structures that improve the quality of the environments they clad in terms of both thermal and acoustic properties!
What are you working on now?
Our Architecture studio is always a hive of activity, with often a wide variety of projects, including both public and private works. We are delighted to have worked on the “Colectivo Aqua Alta” collective project, which “builds, lives and thinks” around water. The project, for construction of the Paraguayan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, involved more than 120 students from a number of different universities. Discover the project right through the words of Javier.