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Buildings 2018, 8(3), 41;

From an Enclosure to the Corraleja. An Analysis of the Genesis of an Ephemeral and Vernacular Colombian Architecture

Gica Group, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Pontifical Bolivarian University, Z.C. 230002 Monteria, Colombia
Dicar, Faculty of Architecture, Polytechnic University of Bari, Z.C. 70100 Bari, Italy
Cavida Group, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, Pontifical Bolivarian University, Z.C. 230002 Monteria, Colombia
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Built Heritage: Conservation vs. Emergencies)
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In the Colombian Caribbean region, human extraordinary ability to interpret nature’s functioning and mechanical language, has allowed man to manage and use, throughout history, natural elements to improve living conditions. In Architecture, technical-constructive knowledge development has enabled constructions of a temporary and stable nature. In fact, this research project begins with the relationship between the understanding of nature and the creation of Colombian vernacular architecture, which has led to a special and unique form of architecture such as the Corraleja. In this architecture, vernacular constructive tradition and ephemeral character are concurremt. This has been an object of interest due to its folkloric aspects, however, it has rarely been researched for its architecture. Currently, it is usually built only when its real spatial function is needed, becoming a place destined to contain the annual bullfighting-like festivities. In fact, its limited and cyclical permanence, gives it an ephemeral and also nomadic character since it is not always built, necessarily, in the same place. This research study begins by means of the importance of the vertical balance control of the alive branches nailed in the ground, still present in the whole Caribbean region through enclosures. This can be considered as a primordial action and conquest, and has allowed the realization of every vernacular construction. In Europe, the tradition of ephemeral architecture when there are some civil and religious festivities becomes stable architecture over time; bullfighting party in Spain is an emblematic case which is transformed into stable spaces such as bullrings. This tradition extends to the Spanish colony in America in the eighteenth century. In the Colombian Caribbean, for example, the bullfighting festival keeps an ephemeral character that is fed by a vernacular architectural tradition. In addition, existing literature on the vernacular theme suggests that, from long time ago, many examples of tectonic building (a set of finite or pseudo-finite elements such as branches, trunks, etc.) have been nomadic, self-constructed, anonymous and with an emergency appearance which have become stable, just after many constructions, by losing all ephemeral characteristics. Likewise, to understand the Corralejas’ genesis, observing the history of European architecture has been necessary due to the several old associated experiences of transitory constructions, e.g., with recreational spaces, religious or civil celebrations. This study is based on different research methodologies such as drawings of existing cases and bibliographic and iconographic analyzes. This has also been developed through a compulsory contrast with the ancient architecture of bullfighting shows, to formulate morphological reflections and analogies and analyze their ephemeral condition. Today, the Corraleja survives in Colombia, representing an architectural oddity that must be safeguarded not only for its vernacular essence but also for its limited temporal condition. In fact, tectonics, the art of montage, reconfirms the connection allowing its existence and representing a surprising and unique set of values that must be defended and treated as an architectural heritage. After the analysis on the Corralejas genesis, the study will continue through several forms of survey to explore and define constructive aspects in a different scale of detail. View Full-Text
Keywords: enclosures; architecture; ephemeral; vernacular; corralejas; Colombia; time; construction enclosures; architecture; ephemeral; vernacular; corralejas; Colombia; time; construction

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Leserri, M.; Chaverra Suarez, M.; Rossi, G.; Guzman Bejarano, D.A. From an Enclosure to the Corraleja. An Analysis of the Genesis of an Ephemeral and Vernacular Colombian Architecture. Buildings 2018, 8, 41.

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