Manuel Ramos Lizana
I studied architecture with the Catalan architect Enric Miralles who designed the Scottish Parliament. He was my tutor and I became a collaborator at his studio in Calle Avinyó in Barcelona. I was a collaborator of Ben van Berkel in Amsterdam, doing highly contemporary architecture (Concept and design of Spido building for the new Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam), including a collaboration with the OMA office ran by Rem Koolhaas. Among my architectural works, I restored the original Bob Marley house in Jamaica, and worked with government to create an ecological village of 14 houses on the site of the Bob Marley House. I am co-founder of the architectural group Wakapacha with architect Luis Contreras to develop contemporary architecture based on ancient Andean arts and cultures, including the architectural manifesto Inkarri on the grounds of the Puruchuco Museum in Lima (Official selection for the 50th anniversary of the Institute of Architects of Peru (CAP). Co-founder of Trenhorne Films for the production of films about artists of African descent who have made an outstanding contribution to world culture: The Three Dumas, a two-part dramatised documentary about the French writer Alexander Dumas and his African ancestors (Official Selection at the Portobello Film Festival, Official selection commemoration 200 years of Slave Trade Act in Europe and North America); and Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend a UNESCO Honour Award musical documentary and Official Selection at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The film essay Earthquake of Time that was awarded the Audiovisual Essay Award at the Human Rights Film Festival of Chile.
Baldomero House highlights the rich cultural heritage of Almeria, one of the driest zones on the Mediterranean coast, through the rescue of a traditional dwelling in the Alpujarra during the suspended time of the pandemic. Baldomero attempts to recompose our notions of accelerated modernity, pastoral existence and the cycle of life on the planet. A kind of awareness of the past with the potential to illuminate the conception of the architecture of the future, both in rural and urban environments.
In particular, the Neolithic twist represented by the archaeological site of Los Millares, next to the river Andarax, has left a stamp on the cultural identity of Almería and Europe. This heritage legacy, both geological and civilisational, allows us to activate our most sensitive capacities in the face of the existential challenge of climate change and our approach to the sustainable management of water and energy resources.
Baldomero House symbolically shifts the traditional meaning of the contemporary dwelling, placing it in the context of a traditional subsistence economy, where the materials that give life to the local landscape and its economy are the same ones that build the homes and provide shelter to the community. The work is articulated like a weaving of esparto grass, so to speak, or like the sound of the strings in the guitars of Antonio de Torres, interweaving the intimate proximity of the landscape of the mountains with the communities that inhabit the region, palaeontology with geology, history with archaeology, and the distant memory of the high mountain Ohanes grape as a symbol of the union of the people of Almería with the millenary fertility of the Andarax valley.
This approach seeks to strengthen the connections between the most ancient vernacular heritage of Europe and the challenges facing architecture in the globalised economy.