random thoughts on architecture history theory and criticism

Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay (foto Henry_UY).

el arquitecto es juan scasso. le corbusier lo vio en construccion cuando paso por montevideo en 1929. el primer mundial de futbol se jugo aqui en 1930—los uruguayos ganaron, y el estadio se quedo con buena suerte. mas sobre arquitectura moderna uruguaya, aqui.


Filed under: ., stadiums,

zapotec ball court

ball court in monte alban

zapotec ball court at monte alban, oaxaca, mexico. 450-500 ce

3d laser scan action:


Filed under: ., ruins, stadiums,

on stadiums, politics, and rock

after several weeks of football immersion, i’ve been thinking that stadiums in south america [and in many other places] are sites in which sports, politics, and music often converged. without the funds for multiple scenarios, cities used stadiums for all sorts of public events. stadiums were the site of important political events, as large spaces ideal to congregate or imprison crowds. as large public arenas they were for large rock concerts. this singularity of site and multiplicity of events [perhaps this is too jargon-y a way to think about it?] is perhaps related to how these events were incorporated into popular music. hence many south americans grew up singing songs related to politics.

today, the role of stadiums has shifted and those memories are fading—politicians now operate through media and violence has shifted to more nuanced manipulation. political rallies prefer open spaces without barriers. at the same time, youtube has allowed information to re-emerge and become easily accessible. so while the new generations are growing up without these associations, the previous ones are remembering them. protest songs themselves are too many to list, but these ones in particular pick up on the strange links between football and politics in the continent.

1. estadio victor jara, santiago, chile

read about it listening to matador, by los fabulosos cadillacs

mira hermano en que terminaste por pelear por un mundo mejor

que suenan, son balas me alcanzan

me atrapan resiste, Victor Jara no calla

political event: the murder of victor jara [and many more]

2. estadio monumental, buenos aires, argentina

read about it listening to crimenes perfectos, by andres calamaro

me parece que soy de la quinta que vio el mundial ‘78

me toco crecer viendo a mi alrededor paranoia y dolor

political event: the ‘78 world cup during the argentinian dictatorship

for nicer memories, there is dieguitos y mafaldas by joaquin sabina on the bombonera stadium. however, the club that plays in the bombonera, boca junior, has its training facilities close to a recently discovered underground detention center. here the metaphor of hidden associations is all too literal:

on dissappearance: los dinosaurios by charly garcia [in an mtv special, of all places, but it’s hard to get good sound from his older performances].

3. estadio olimpico universitario, d.f., mexico

political event: the ‘68 olimpics were took place in the context of the tlatelolco massacre, 10 days before, in the plaza de las tres culturas.

the stadium itself is the site where tommie smith and john carlos protested against racism by performing the black power salute during the medal ceremony for the 200m.

no song, but you can listen to estadio azteca, by calamaro, on the estadio azteca which was also an olympic site.

ps. for more on tlatelolco, read Luis Casteneda, “Beyond Tlatelolco: Design, Media, and Politics at Mexico ′68,” in Grey Room Summer 2010, No. 40: 100–126.


Filed under: ., memory, stadiums,

3 stadiums in colombia

…tied to jorge gaitan cortes, architect, politician, mayor of bogota, and part of a group of architects involved with the state during postwar latin america, whom i’m interested in. the stadiums were done in collaboration with gonzalez zuleta for the ardeco firm. also, world cup-themed post, of course.

atanasio girardot stadium, medellin 1953. note elegant tilt down for reduced seating (and maybe a change of grade? not sure) behind the goal posts. in another life, i used to design soccer stadiums.

pascual guerrero stadium, cali 1937, remodeled 1948. very nice expression of structural ribs and underside of seating. looking at the section published in proa in 1955 (sorry, can’t post here), there seems to have been a later addition in the bottom, which definitely clutters the base. or, the section drawings omitted this portion. any colombian readers out there?

nemesio camacho ‘el campin’ stadium, bogota 1938, remodeled late 1940s. nice projection of the seating into sculptural wing, closed, in contrast with the bare bones aesthetic of the previous stadium.

note: no, i’m not from colombia. i’m from ecuador. i just happen to like these stadiums. coincidentally, when the nemesio camacho stadium was inaugurated in 1938 ecuador beat colombia 2:1. at least that’s what wikipedia says, therefore it must be true.

ps. also cool: the baseball stadium in cartagena, 1947 by solano, ortega, gaitan, santacruz, and burbano.

Filed under: ., brutalism, stadiums,

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