Athens Journal of Architecture (Oct 2021)

Between Earth and Sky: Art and Architecture in Dialogue in the Work of Rui Chafes and Camilo Rebelo

  • Raffaella Maddaluno

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 7, no. 4
pp. 483 – 498


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In a former hotel, bought and remodeled by a seed Portuguese producer, in Switzerland, in one of the underground spaces, an architect and a sculptor, also Portuguese, worked together to give life to an egg-shaped space. A space born from the need to give hospitality to a sculpture, Semente by Rui Chafes, has become a pretext for the reflection on numerous themes; the creative and process interaction between art and architecture, the symbolic force of a form like the egg, the possibility of creating a place inside the space and out of time. This collaboration opens the doors to a second chance of project, the client is the same, the place is Portuguese: Grandola, in Alentejo. This time the theme is housing, a concept that brings with it a series of reflections on the relationship between the identity of the person who designs the space and who will then live in it. The collaboration of the two protagonists is measured on this occasion not only with elements experimented in the previous project (the matter, the material, the form), but also with the landscape (its heights, its extensions), with nature (the colors, the smells, the temperature), with the time that will pass and that will put all this to the test. The present text aims to analyze the artistic path of both architect and sculptor, starting from the story of these two occasions in which art and architecture reach a moment of harmonious tangency in the silence and universality of forms. This analysis will reflect on their creative modes, possibly trying to recognize similarities, tangencies or deep divergences. It will also be an opportunity to continue to reflect on the timeless question of the interconnection between art and architecture.