In-Depth: The House of Spiritual Retreat by Emilio Ambasz

Nov 23, 2005–Mar 26, 2006

MoMA

Emilio Ambasz. House of Spiritual Retreat, outside Seville, Spain. 2004. Photo © 2005 Michele Alassio
  • MoMA, Floor 3, Exhibition Galleries The Philip Johnson Architecture and Design Galleries

Emilio Ambasz originally designed the House of Spiritual Retreat in 1979 for an imaginary site near Cordoba, Spain. It was constructed only last year, on a hilly, arid landscape outside of Seville. Featuring two white walls situated at a ninety-degree angle and a long stairway descending into a sunken patio, the house reformulates the vernacular Andalusian courtyard house into a surrealistic reverie, a mythic, phantasmagorical dwelling. The living quarters, which surround the patio on the other two sides, are recessed below the ground, using the earth’s covering to insulate them from the strong southern sun.

In-Depth explores Ambasz’s project through seven drawings, a pair of models, and a selection of recent photographs. It is part of an ongoing series of exhibitions designed to focus on single works of contemporary architecture.

Organized by Tina di Carlo, Assistant Curator, Department of Architecture and Design.

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