Everyday Camouflage in the Countryside

DSCF5346 (1)

The building above looks like a military installation of some sort, right? After all, it’s got a camouflage pattern on the façade. But no, its roof would also be presumably camouflaged if it were a military installation, which, as the satellite image below shows, is not the case (indeed, military installations are normally blurred or censored in satellite imagery).

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 13.53.43

Screengrab, Apple Maps

Only here can we surmise what this shed is actually for: it seems to be designed to obstruct the view of a rock quarry from the nearby AP7 highway (which is where the upper photograph was taken). And just so we don’t notice the big obstruction itself, the façade is cleverly camouflaged to blend in with the natural background, creating an illusion of uninterrupted nature in the eyes of speeding highway motorists. Commonly called “killing two birds with one stone”, in contemporary corporate-speak this is “a synergetic win-win situation”.

What we have here, in any case, is military camouflage being used for a civilian purpose; a rural variation on everyday camouflage in cities.


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 have previously taught in the Metropolis Masters Program in Architecture and Urban Culture, CIEE Architecture and Design program, as well as at Carleton University and the University of Manitoba.

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