Architecture + Ornament + Design

By Ana Aguilera

“The identity of a building lies in its ornament” Louis Sullivan

A fundamental element in the design of spaces is that the details give them identity and uniqueness. I have to accept that for some years in my professional career I was completely skeptical and reluctant to consider ornament within architectural design; however, time has taught me that it is those “small details” that often make a person vibrate in their space.

I want to clarify that by ornament I do not limit myself to think of cornices, figurines and arabesques, however, I define them as those design elements that allow to create atmospheres that transmit emotions to the users. These elements can range from a sculpture, a painting, the color-texture of the walls, materiality, landscape design. I justify my thinking from the evocation of the memory of those who inhabit the space, since it is gratifying to see how architectural intervention can create spaces that narrate the history of the building and those who inhabit it… each ornament becomes an anecdote, a memory.

Through these paragraphs I do not declare myself as a detractor of purism or minimalism, since, in the same way, these currents bet on the creation of atmospheres that lead us to the total detachment of that which does not harmonize with the desired atmosphere. With this I reinforce the idea about everything that is part of the design must contain an intrinsic symbolism for the user.

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