Villa Nurbs: a Sad Spectacle

It is June 2012, and  after a decade of construction Villa Nurbs is still incomplete. In fact, construction has now seemingly come to a halt. If this is indeed the case, then Villa Nurbs appears to be falling into ruin even before ever being completed. A corian panel is missing on the facade, perhaps blown away in a windstorm, while dust and bird droppings accumulate on the EFTE surfaces. There are certainly no signs of human life on the site; neither construction workers nor inhabitants. A futurist dream house that is uninhabitable is now entering into decline just as slowly as it has taken to get this far, despite the use of the latest digital technology in its design and fabrication. All that money and effort spent on something that might actually never get to be enjoyed by its client; all those puff pieces published in various design media on an incomplete building that looks now like it will remain that way forever; all those claims of “sustainability” and “energy efficient materials”. A building that can’t be used is unsustainable, no matter how energy efficient it may be in theory. What a pathetic spectacle. I sincerely hope I’m wrong. 

About Rafael Gomez-Moriana

I am an architect, writer and educator. rafagomo.com chronicles my architectural making, writing, teaching and curating activity, while criticalista.com is an archive of my writings as well as a platform for venting personal rants and observations. I studied architecture at the University of Waterloo (Canada) and at the Berlage Institute (the Netherlands). I direct the University of Calgary’s architecture term-abroad program in Barcelona and teach at CIEE, and have previously taught in the Metropolis Masters Program in Architecture and Urban Culture as well as at Carleton University and the University of Manitoba.

2 comments

  1. no, you are not wrong, when I see this house, I remember the film Mon oncle, de Tati…Villa Nurbs is artificial, if there is a problem with energy, peoople inside will dye… No windows… argh.

  2. Pingback: Still Nurbing Along | Criticalista

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