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Architecture and Failure

Charlotte Van den Broek


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Writer Charlotte Van den Broek talks with architects Amadeu Santacana, Blanca Pujals and Lluís Ortega about creation and despair based on the book Saltos mortales (Acantilado, 2024).

Where is the line between a creator and his work? At what point does a failure become more important than life itself, or so overwhelming that one's whole life can be considered a failure?

Charlotte van den Broek found in her hometown Turnhout a trace that led her through thirteen architectural projects with a common denominator: all of them resulted in personal and professional tragedy for their architects. Over the course of three years, the author visited all these "epicenters of failure" - both historic and recent works, built both in Europe and the United States - to rehabilitate the ruined architects, to restore their lost faces, to do something about the sterility of their despair and the final nature of their last act, suicide.

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