Ricardo Santonja and Cosentino Group discover “architecture’s new skin”
C & Architecture, News
April 7, 2016
The Cosentino Group, global Spanish company leader in the production and distribution of innovative surfaces for design and architecture, presents “Photo New Skin Architecture”, a spectacular book by Professor Ricardo Santonja, photographer and Doctor of Architecture from ETSAM – Polytechnic University of Madrid.
The book is based on Santonja’s doctoral dissertation “Estudio de las formas de aplicación de la fotografía sobre los materiales pétreos para la arquitectura” (A Study of How to Apply Photography to Stone Materials used for Architecture). From this starting point, and with the core idea of fusing photography and the materials used for architectural construction to become part of the material itself, the book takes a journey through the history of photography and the evolution of its printing methods to the most current innovative ways of printing images onto materials used in architecture.
As well as publishing the book, Cosentino played a fundamental role in this extensive study by helping Santonja in his research and doctoral work, providing him with stone materials such as Silestone® and Dekton® to come up with solutions. The CO2 laser from the company TROTEC LASER was chosen out of the range of techniques researched when it came to the printing method used in the research.
Overall, “Photo New Skin Architecture” is the product of over ten years of work in which the author explores and demonstrates the infinite uses of an innovative skin as a new conceptual form that brings art and photography together with architecture. The book also includes contributions of critical thinking on the topic of the research by several architects and internationally renowned intellectuals.
A number of them attended the book launch that took place yesterday at the Matadero Design Centre, headquarters of the Madrid Designers’ Association (DIMAD). Important figures such as Álvaro Planchuelo, Marta Maíz, Raúl Fraga, Enrique Recuero and Taciana Laredo among others were also present at the event, as well as Santonja himself and Santiago Alfonso, representing Cosentino. The launch is part of an extensive programme of events that will take the book to several cities in Spain and worldwide. For example, today (Thursday) the work will be launched in Barcelona at the FAD headquarters.
As the author commented, “The fundamental philosophy of this book is to capture the effort that humankind has made over the course of history by engraving their places of shelter, from the most primitive caves to modern times. Just as Michelangelo created a new concept of space by bringing together painting and architecture, this book presents the conceptual challenge of bringing together photography and architecture, looking for new ways to understand space in today’s society.
Last but not least, the book is beautifully printed and and features Santonja’s stunning photographs, taken over the course of the numerous trips he made during its creation: Tokyo, Algiers, Moscow, Tallinn, Rome, Palermo, Syracuse and Madrid. With their distinctive “Poem of Light” style, these images, which are the central theme of the work, leave the reader dreaming of a magical union between photography and architecture for the creation of new inhabitable spaces.
“Cosentino’s collaboration has been fundamental to this work. Its commitment to innovation and research is admirable. For example, the contribution and selection of their materials was key. Silestone, Dekton, and other natural stone-based materials from the company both for use in the building’s cladding as well as for the interiors, closing the architectural cycle and giving the architectural project added value by introducing sustainable concepts that are both aesthetic and environmental.” Santonja concludes.