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Silva, Cidália M.F., 2010. "Beyond Buildings and Roads: An approach to the diffuse territory of Vale do Ave". in B. Pelucca ed. Viaggio Portogallo. Journey to Portugal. Dentro e fuori i territori dell'architecttura. Inside and Outside the Territories of Architecture. Roma: Aracne Editrice, 43-49.
Cidália Ferreira da Silva
This essay explores the diffuse territory of Vale do Ave. Its argument shifts the usual emphasis on buildings and roads to other important physical traces of its everyday life. Although it focuses on a specific territory, it may be a seed to an alternative way of observing and transforming the common places of the contemporary “urban” territory.
Firstly, by replacing the common ways of seeing the diffuse territory of Vale do Ave, this is an approach to ‘that which is there’, neither ‘unloved’ territory nor ‘loved’, just ‘real’. Secondly, the parcel structure is approached as the formative element of this landscape over time, which so often becomes invisible as the emphasis is placed on buildings and roads. Thirdly, the contemporary ways of transforming places are criticized for their indifference in confronting ‘that which is there’ in terms of both time and space. Finally, as in A Tour of the Monuments of Paissac by Robert Smithson (1967), the prosaic things of everyday life are approached as ‘monuments’ able to trigger the project and to recharge the creative activity of an architecture founded in these places.