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Dieste [Uruguay]

DIESTE [URUGUAY] (Dieste [Uruguay]) Heinz Emigholz , D 2017, 95 min

Streetscapes – Chapter IV / Photography and beyond – Part 27 / Architecture as Autobiography / Eladio Dieste (1917–2000)

German theatrical release date: October 12th, 2017 - English or German with English subtitles

World premiere: Wednesday, Feb 15th, 2017: 19:00 h at Akademie der Künste
Second screening: Sunday, Feb 19th, 2017: 14:15 h at CineStar 8

Screening dates:

Official Trailer

About the film

A cinematic documentation of twenty-nine buildings by the Uruguayan architect and shell-construction master Eladio Dieste (1917-2000). The film was shot in November 2015 in Uruguay and Spain. As prologue, three constructions by Julio Vilamajó (1894-1948).

The film shows the following buildings:

Three buildings by Julio Vilamajó in Montevideo, Uruguay
Casa Vilamajó
Garage Building
Facultad Ingenieria (1937)

Main part (Buildings by Eladio Dieste in Uruguay):
Church of Christ the Worker
(1955-60), Atlántida
Casa Dieste
(1959-63), Montevideo
(1964), Montevideo
Lanas Wool Industry Complex
(1964-89), Trinidad
Church of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish House
(1965-68), Malvín
Church of Saint Peter
(1967-71), Durazno
Municipal Bus Terminal
(1971-74), Salto
(1973-75), Durazno
Service Station
(1976), Salto
Cítricos Caputto Fruit Packing Plant
(1971-77), Salto
Ayui Parador Café
(1977), Salto
Cooperativa Agrícola
(1976-78), Young
Carugatti Construction Equipment Garage
(1979), Montevideo
Agroindustries Fruit Processing Plant
(1976-80), Juanicó
Refrescos del Norte
(1976-80), Salto
Club Romeros
(1980), Salto
Turlit Bus Station
(1980), Salto
Lanera Uruguaya Wool Warehouse
(1980-82), Montevideo
Don Bosco School Gymnasium
(1984), Montevideo
Navíos Horizontal Silos
(1981-90, Nueva Palmira
Shopping Center
(1984-88), Montevideo
Television Tower
(1986), Maldonado
Wool Warehouse
(1992-94), Juanicó
Solsire Salt Silo
(1992-94), Montevideo

Appendix (Buildings by Eladio Dieste in Spain):
Church and Parish Center Nuestra Madre del Rosario
(1995-97), Mejorada del Campo
Church and Parish Center San Juan de Ávila
(1997), Alcalá de Henares
Student’s Street Camino de los Estudiantes
(1996-98), Alcalá de Henares
Church of the Holy Family
(1998), Alcalá de Henares
Church of Santa Cruz de Coslada
(1998), Coslada

Eladio Dieste

Eladio Dieste was born in Artigas, Uruguay in 1917. In 1943, he graduated as a construction engineer from the University of Montevideo. He and his wife Elizabeth Friedheim, a German-Jewish immigrant, had twelve children. Starting in 1945, he taught at the Department of Engineering at the University of Montevideo. He gathered practical experience in bridge building and as an architect for various companies. In 1946, Dieste built the first reinforced brick shell for the architect Antoni Bonet in Maldonado. A spectacular load test proved that reinforced, double-curved brick shells are stronger than reinforced concrete. In 1956, Dieste and his former fellow student Eugenio Montañez founded a company that further developed this construction method and used it for most of his constructions. He led a group of masons, concrete workers, and ceramicists whose great craftsmanship made it possible to carry out this new construction technique. Eladio Dieste’s innovations and alternative construction methods were more efficient than conventional methods for a long time and made it possible to build large spans in a manner never seen before. Today he is regarded as an outstanding construction-engineering artist comparable to Eugène Freyssinet, Robert Maillart and Heinz Isler. His writings on architecture and construction and his ideas on creating form and on the relationship between architecture and art establish him as a profound thinker on social architectonic practice. Dieste died in 2000 in Montevideo.

The opposite of negligence

„In order for something to truly reach modest people it must have a lightness, a mysterious ease, a concise simplicity, something like dance without effort or fatigue. It does not satisfy them, and they are right not to be satisfied, when a difficulty is resolved using blind force or money. They want the problem to be solved with the same effortlessness with which the sparrow hawk stays aloft and each flower in the field, when we really see them, is the center of a mysterious landscape and 'not even Solomon, in all his glory, was dressed like one of them' (Matthäus 6:28,29). To perceive something in this way shows a penetration that is as delicate as the sweetness that the coarsest hands acquire when they caress the head of a child.

For those who are suspicious of anything that has an emotional charge, I want to clarify something. Like all human deeds that are dense with emotional force, what I have depicted above comes at the end of a rationally well-anchored chain of events. Behind the resolution of a problem that employs blind force and money, there is always the negligence, and behind the negligence there is the disdain or thoughtlessness and superficiality (which are other forms of disdain) of he who does not examine himself. This disdain is definetely contempt for human effort or of mankind itself; here, I think we have touched a common basis, something that we all agree on – the value of mankind. The grace that we demand from art is a flower of effort and energy, which is the opposite of negligence.“

Eladio Dieste, ‘Art, People. Technocracy’, in Stanford Anderson (ed.), Eladio Dieste: Innovation in Structural Art, (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2004), 194-198

Streetscapes - Four films by Heinz Emigholz

Chapter I:  2+2=22 [The Alphabet]
Chapter II:  Bickels [Socialism]
Chapter III:  Streetscapes [Dialogue]
Chapter IV:  Dieste [Uruguay]