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24/07/17

He Did Not Know How to Sit

In 1931 a very prolific architect died in Barcelona, author of almost five hundred projects, many of them residences.  It was the Marquis de Sagnier, who for nearly half a century of his professional career had built a large part of the modern city and had even left samples of his work in various parts of the world. In an obituary note, the values of comfort of the houses that Enrique Sagnier Villavecchia had designed and construction were celebrated, and they linked to his personality as a family man and father of a family, of pleasant association and with a full social life: according to the note, a man like that, who knew how to enjoy the warmth of home, would be the most appropriate to design lovely houses.  

 

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The author of the text, architect Pere Benavent, contrasted his case with that of other architects of more solitary life and sullen character (would he be thinking of Gaudí?).  He compares it to the case of a young cabinetmaker whom he met, “very apt in the delicate disciplines of his trade”, but whom he considers inappropriate when it comes to ordering a chair, because “he did not know how to sit”.  He wanted to say that he did not feel the pleasure of sitting down comfortably.  The basic condition for creating something, according to this theory, would be the ability to enjoy it yourself.    

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