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longhi architecture

arquitectura
on
en
stage
escena
introduction by adele naude santos presentacin por adele naude santos
Luis Longhi (Puno, 1954) Peruvian architect, graduated
from Ricardo Palma University (Lima). Master in Architecture
and Master in Fine Arts, with a major in Sculpture from the
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). Worked in the United
States and India for renowned architects such as B. V. Doshi,
Adele Santos, David Slovic, John Bower and Marshall Meyers
as well as in Corporative offices like Bower Lewis & Thrower
Architects (Philadelphia), Gruen Associates (Los Angeles) and
Farrington Design Group (Atlanta). He has his own architecture
practice in Lima, and he teaches at the Design Studio of Juvenal
Baracco at Ricardo Palma University. He also acts as a lecturer
and guest critic at various universities in the United States. As
stage designer, he has worked with the main directors of the
Peruvian Perfor ming Arts Community and teaches stage
design at Universidad Catlica in Lima.

Luis Longhi (Puno, 1954) Arquitecto peruano, graduado


en la Universidad Ricardo Palma (Lima). Master en Arquitec-
tura y en Bellas Ar tes con mencin en Escultura de la Univer-
sidad de Pensilvania. Trabaj en Estados Unidos e India para
arquitectos como B. V. Doshi, Adele Santos, David Slovic,
John Bower y Marshall Mayers e igualmente en firmas como
BTL Architects (Filadelfia), Gruen Associates (Los ngeles)
y Farrington Design Group (Atlanta).
En el campo de la arquitectura, dirige su propio estudio en
Lima y es docente en el Taller de Diseo de Juvenal Baracco de
la Universidad Ricardo Palma.
En diseo escenogrfico, ha trabajado con los principales
directores peruanos de artes escnicas peruanos y dicta el
curso de espacio escnico en la Pontificia Universidad Cat-
lica del Per.
EDITING EDICIN:
MARTIN LONGHI, JUAN SOLANO
PROOFREADING CORRECCIN: ALICIA MORALES
WRITING REDACCIN: VERONICA SCHREIBEIS, JUAN SOLANO
DESIGN DISEO:JUAN SOLANO
GRAPHICS GRFICOS: CHRISTIAN BTTGER
CARLA TAMARIZ
YSA JAMIS
SKETCHES APUNTES: LUIS LONGHI
PHOTOGRAPHS FOTOGRAFAS: CECILIA LARRABURE Life is a dream La vida es sueo, The Golden Pavilion El Pabelln de Oro, Waiting for Godot
Esperando a Godot, As five years pass As que pasen cinco aos, Other places El otro lugar (p. 128, 129),
Othello Otelo (p. 158, 159, 160, 161, 162 above arriba, 163), The threepenny opera La pera de tres centavos (p.
169, 170, 171), Detour 2 Desvo 2, Elcine VIIIth Festival VIII Festival Elcine, Song of songs El cantar de los
cantares (p. 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206-207), The house of Bernarda Alba La casa de Bernarda
Alba, Death of a salesman La muerte de un viajante (p. 253, 257, 259, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266-267)
LUIS LONGHI Inkan architecture Arquitectura inca (p. 28, 126), Wooden formworks Encofrados (p. 38, 194), Saba
House Casa Saba (p. 66), Burned Teatro Municipal Teatro Municipal incendiado (p. 84), King Lear El rey Lear (p. 85,
86, 87, 88, 89, 90-91, 95, 97, 98, 99), Bridge over the river Unocolla Puente sobre el ro Unocolla (p. 108), Faust
Fausto (p. 114, 115, 116, 117, 123, 166), Longhi house Casa Longhi (p. 126), Pachacmac Temple Templo de
Pachacmac (p. 126, 192) Other places El otro lugar (p. 130, 131. 166), Marshall House Casa Marshall (p. 134),
Bertoni House Casa Bertoni (p. 174), Shelter of esteras Refugio de esteras (p. 134), Dirty hands Las manos sucias
(p. 139), Exercises at Baracco Design Studio Ejercicios en el Taller de Diseo de Baracco (p. 142), The musical El
musical (p. 146, 147, 148, 149), Othello Otelo (p.156, 157, 162 below abajo), The threepenny opera La pera de tres
centavos (p. 168), Peruvian Sea Mar peruano (p. 184), Peruvian desert Desierto peruano (p. 192), Song of songs
El cantar de los cantares (p. 194, 195, 196, 197), Tradicional house from Lima Casona limea (p. 210), Puruchuco
Palace Palacio Puruchuco (p. 226), Death of a salesman La muerte de un viajante (p. 246, 247, 248, 249, 250,
251, 252, 254, 255, 256, 258, 260)
ENRIQUE CNEO Oedipus rex Edipo rey
ANDREAS NEUMANN The Temple of the Golden Pavilion Templo el Pabelln de Oro, Bamboo Forest Bosque de
bamb (p. 46)
VALERIA LONGHI Tree in Taquile Island bol en la isla Taquile (p. 58)
BILLY HARE Teatro Municipal (p. 76)
HANS STOLL Teatro Municipal (p. 76)
JOS CHUQUIURE Burned Teatro Municipal Teatro Municipal incenciado (p. 77)
MOSHE SAFDIE ARCHITECTS Montreal Fine Arts Museum Museo de Bellas Artes de Montreal (p. 78)
MAYU MOHANNA King Lear El rey Lear (p. 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 80, 81, 82-83, 84, 85), Luis Longhi (resume currculo)
HAKAN SVENSSON El Infiernillo Bridge Puente El Infiernillo (p. 108)
MIGUEL CARRILLO Faust Fausto (p. 94, 95, 96, 97)
BRUNO FURNARI Pre-columbian Chulpa in Sillustani Chulpa precolombina en Sillustani (p. 126)
HARRY SCHUNK Christos trees rboles de Christo (p. 142)
PACO PEA FLAMENCO DANCE COMPANY Flamenco dancer Bailaora (p. 152)
DIGITALBLASPHEMY.COM Microscopic view of blood Vista microscpica de sangre (p. 152)
LOLO LAMAS Betrayal Traicin (p. 228, 229, 230-231, 232, 233, cover cartula)
JOS CARLOS MARTINAT Betrayal Traicin (p. 234, 235, 236, 237, 238)
JUAN SOLANO Betrayal Traicin (p. 239)
ELSA RAMREZ Yuyanapaq photografic exposition Exposicin fotogrfica Yuyanapaq (p. 242)

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contents
CONTENTS 7 CONTENIDO
INTRODUCTION 8 PRESENTACIN
PREFACE 12 PREFACIO
AN ARCHITECT IN THE THEATER 14 UN ARQUITECTO EN EL TEATRO
LIFE IS A DREAM 22 LA VIDA ES SUEO
OEDIPUS REX 32 EDIPO REY
THE GOLDEN PAVILION 44 EL PABELLN DE ORO
WAITING FOR GODOT 56 ESPERANDO A GODOT
AS FIVE YEARS PASS 64 AS QUE PASEN CINCO AOS
KING LEAR 74 EL REY LEAR
FAUST 106 FAUSTO
OTHER PLACES 124 EL OTRO LUGAR
DIRTY HANDS 132 LAS MANOS SUCIAS
THE MUSICAL 140 EL MUSICAL
OTHELLO 150 OTELO
THE THREEPENNY OPERA 164 LA PERA DE TRES CENTAVOS
DETOUR 2 172 DESVO 2
ELCINE VIII FESTIVAL 182 VIII FESTIVAL ELCINE
TH

SONG OF SONGS 190 EL CANTAR DE LOS CANTARES


THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA 208 LA CASA DE BERNARDA ALBA
BETRAYAL 224 TRAICIN
DEATH OF A SALESMAN 240 LA MUERTE DE UN VIAJANTE
BETWHEEN INTUITION AND REASON 269 ESPACIOS DE LA INTUICIN Y LA RAZN
LIST OF REFERENCES 274 NDICE DE REFERENTES
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 276 AGRADECIMIENTOS

contenido

7
introduction ADELE NAUDE SANTOS
architect

Luis Longhi entered the master of Fine Arts program Masters Degree in Architecture. He was highly work required by these two disciplines and in my
at the University of Pennsylvania to study sculpture. recommended by Juvenal Baracco who had sent us decade at the university he was the only one to do
While I was Chairman of Architecture, he requested talented students previously and he also showed an this. He displayed a real passion for his creative
permission to do a dual degree combining this with a excellent architectural portfolio. A dual degree is work spending long nights in the studio.
challenging par ticularly with the amount of studio I was his professor for a housing studio in
Luis Longhi ingres a la maestra del programa de Ahmedabad India which was co-taught with B. V.
Bellas Artes en la Universidad de Pensilvania para demostraba una verdadera pasin por su trabajo
estudiar escultura. Mientras era directora del De- creativo, pasando largas noches en el taller. Luis se gradu con altas calificaciones en ambos
partamento de Arquitectura, l solicit autorizacin Fui su profesora en un taller sobre vivienda en Ah- programas. Exhiba una frtil y natural creatividad,
para seguir dos especialidades simultneamente, madabad, India, que fue codirigido por B. V. Doshi. una intuicin inusual para el diseo, una rigurosa
combinando sus estudios de escultura con una De este viaje tambin particip su colega de la Uni- tica de trabajo y una pasin por el proceso creati-
maestra en arquitectura. l vena muy bien reco- versidad Ricardo Palma, Lorenzo de Szyszlo. En este vo. Su inteligencia y habilidades analticas eran tam-
mendado por Juvenal Baracco, quien previamente proyecto Luis se desempe soberbiamente, pero bin evidentes. Slo recientemente descubr que l
nos haba enviado estudiantes talentosos, y pre- lo ms resaltante de su participacin fue su sensi- luchaba contra la dislexia, que estoy segura enmas-
sent un excelente portafolio de arquitectura. Se- bilidad al entorno fsico y cultural. l y Lorenzo se caraba con sus otros prolficos talentos.
guir dos especialidades en simultneo es exigente, quedaron en India para hacer un internado con Dos- Despus de sus estudios, trabaj en diversas oficinas
particularmente con la cantidad de trabajos requeri- hi, lo que les permiti cimentar su amistad. Ambos de arquitectura en las que destac aunque no pudo
dos en estas dos disciplinas y durante mi dcada en contribuyeron creativamente en el constante proce- desarrollar plenamente su talento creativo. Haba poco
la universidad Longhi fue el nico que lo hizo. l so de diseo que se desarrollaba en la oficina. tiempo para la produccin artstica. Surgi la oportuni-

presentacin ADELE NAUDE SANTOS


arquitecta

8
Doshi. His colleague from Universidad Ricardo Palma, Luis graduated with high marks in both degree fully realize his creative talents. There was little time
Lorenzo de Szyszlo was also on this trip. Luis programs. He exhibited a natural and fertile creativity, for artistic production. An opportunity arose to invite
performed superbly but what was most interesting an unusual design intuition, a rigorous work ethic Luis to join a team of University of Pennsylvania
was his sensitivity to the physical and cultural and a passion for the creative process. His faculty and students invited to do a summer studio
context. He and Lorenzo stayed on to do an internship intelligence and analytical abilities were also evident. in Colombia. A volcanic eruption had buried the city
with Doshi which allowed them to cement their I have only recently understood that he struggled of Armero in mud killing a large propor tion of the
friendship. They both contributed creatively to the with dyslexia which I am sure he masked through population overnight. Former students of mine were
ongoing design process in the office. his other prolific talents. asked to assemble a team to assist in the design of
After his studies he worked for a variety of a new city, Lerida, to house the survivors. Luis
dad de invitarlo a unirse al equipo de profesores y architectural offices where he excelled but could not seemed to be a good choice to help teach this studio
estudiantes de la Universidad de Pensilvania invitados because of his creative talents, energy, and cultural
para hacer un taller de verano en Colombia. Una erup- dad cultural mostrados en India. Su dominio del len-
cin volcnica haba enterrado la ciudad de Armero, guaje poda ser til, pero sobre todo era una tremenda y sus ricas manifestaciones en la arquitectura de los
matando gran parte de la poblacin sbitamente. Se ventaja su capacidad para ayudar a los estudiantes a monumentos vernculos. El poder de la arquitectura
solicit a un grupo de mis exalumnos para que arma- leer visualmente el paisaje cultural. Los resultados del inca, el uso de la luz y la sombra, el material de la
sen un equipo que colaborase en el diseo de una taller fueron enormemente tiles y muchas de las pro- construccin y la riqueza del detalle tuvieron un nuevo
nueva ciudad, Lrida, para albergar a los sobrevivien- puestas de diseo fueron realizadas. impacto en l. Su educacin en los Estados Unidos y
tes. Luis pareca una buena eleccin para ensear en Despus de catorce aos, l regres al Per con una su experiencia profesional en el extranjero le fueron
este taller por su talento creativo, energa y sensibili- habilidad ms objetiva para entender su propia cultura muy tiles en esta siguiente etapa de su carrera.

9
sensitivities displayed in India. His language skills Through his studies as a sculptor he developed a relatively short term in its production had to be
would be useful but also the ability to help students passion for the natural qualities of materials, their reconciled.
read the cultural landscape visually would be a textures, densities and colors and the different On his return to Lima this creative dilemma found its
tremendous asset. The results of the studio were techniques to shape them. His well-developed spatial natural outlet. Luis and his old friend and colleague
enormously useful and many of the design proposals skills and formal background in architecture provided Lorenzo de Szyszlo met again. Lorenzo a gifted
were realized. him with a solid foundation. His experience as an architect and designer, cultured by background and
After fourteen years he returned to Peru with more architectural practitioner gave him a sophisticated generous in spirit, respected Luiss talents. He
objective ability to understand his own culture and sense of how to fabricate and build. Finding the right invited him to work with him to design the theatre
its rich manifestation in the architecture of venue to fuse his art and architectural talents was production of Life is a Dream. The design was very
monuments and local vernacular. The power of Inca to be the challenge. The inherent contradiction of well received and the two intended to continue working
architecture, the use of light and shadow and the two kinds of art practice, one very long term in its together in architecture and stage design. Lorenzo
materiality of construction and detailing had new realization, architecture, and the other, sculpture,
impact. His education in the USA and his professional de prcticas artsticas, una de prolongada realiza-
experiences were to serve him well in this next stage dad espacial y su experiencia formal como arquitec- cin, la arquitectura, y la otra, la escultura, de pro-
of his career. to le proporcionaron una slida base. Mediante su duccin relativamente corta.
experiencia en arquitectura desarroll un sentido Al regresar a Lima, este dilema creativo encontr su
A lo largo de sus estudios como escultor l desarro- sofisticado de cmo fabricar y construir. El reto era cauce natural. Luis y su viejo amigo y colega Loren-
ll una pasin por las propiedades naturales de los encontrar el espacio correcto en donde combinar zo de Szyszlo se encontraron nuevamente. Lorenzo,
materiales, sus texturas, densidades y colores y las sus talentos artsticos y arquitectnicos. Deba re- un dotado arquitecto y diseador, culto y de espritu
diferentes tcnicas de modelarlos. Su aguda habili- conciliar la contradiccin inherente entre dos tipos generoso, respetaba el talento de Luis. l le invit a

10
was to die tragically in a plane crash shortly thereafter. make an architecture of impermanence providing light. The blending of architecture and sculpture was
The loss of his friend and collaborator was the spatial and structural framework for sculptural clearly evident in the spectacular sets for King Lear
devastating. elements. Creating temporary space to engage all in the recently burnt ruin of the Teatro Municipal of
Although at first reluctant, Luis was asked by Edgar the senses allowed greater freedom of architectural Lima. It would take these two disciplinary skills to
Saba to continue the work in stage design initiated expression. His commitment to using real materials, work such magic. Moving his architectural practice
by Lorenzo. The first of these was the very original real objects on stage and carefully fabricated on stage -the subject of this book- has resulted in
concept for the set for Oedipus Rex. This design expressive structural elements, was true to his earlier the brilliant productions illustrated here.
was highly acclaimed and his career was launched. career. He also allowed his cultural background to
In stage design he found the perfect intersection influence the work aesthetically including the use of objetos reales en el escenario y elementos estruc-
between architecture and sculpture. Here he could turales expresivos y cuidadosamente fabricados
concepto para Edipo rey. Este diseo fue muy acla- fue fiel a su profesin original. Luis tambin permi-
trabajar en el diseo de la produccin de La vida es mado y fue el punto de partida para su carrera ti que su bagaje cultural influyese estticamente
sueo. El diseo fue muy bien recibido y ambos como escengrafo. En la escenografa Longhi en- en el trabajo al incluir el uso de luz. La mezcla de
intentaron continuar trabajando juntos en arquitec- contr la perfecta interseccin entre arquitectura y escultura y arquitectura fue evidente en el espec-
tura y escenografa. Lorenzo falleci trgicamente escultura. Aqu pudo hacer una arquitectura efme- tacular montaje de El rey Lear en las ruinas del
en un accidente de aviacin al poco tiempo. La ra proveyendo el marco espacial y estructural para quemado Teatro Municipal. Se necesitaban estas
prdida de su amigo y colaborador fue devastadora. elementos esculturales. La creacin de espacios habilidades para tal magia. Al mover su prctica
Aunque dudoso al inicio, Edgar Saba solicit a Luis temporales para enlazar todos los sentidos permi- arquitectnica al escenario el tema de este libro
que continuase el trabajo escenogrfico iniciado ti una mayor libertad de expresin arquitectnica. han resultado las brillantes producciones ilustra-
por Lorenzo. El primer caso fue el muy original Su compromiso con el uso de materiales reales, das aqu.

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life is a dream pedro caldern de la barca

Longhi found that working with De Szyszlo on the respect for each others work, De Szyszlo focused employing computer programs to diagram the
stage design for Life is a Dream to be a refreshing on the set design while Longhi became absorbed sculptural formwork for the cast stone blocks
change of pace from the preceding 14 years of in the sculptural aspect of a stone table that would join to form the table. The integration
traditional architecture. As both men had a deep centerpiece. The table was his first opportunity of the three-dimensional programs as both a
to fully integrate his academic interests by design technique and construction aid increased
Lorenzo de Szyszlo haba conversado con el the accuracy and speed at which the table could
director de la obra, haba planteado el concepto tros de lado sobre la cual pudieran subirse los
general de la escenografa y la haba desarro- actores. An no se haba definido su forma ni la Para representar agua, tena en el centro una
llado en su mayor parte cuando Longhi empez manera de construirla, pues su traslado y su concavidad pulida, opuesta a la textura rugosa
a participar en el proceso. Por eso su trabajo instalacin en el escenario representaban un del resto del elemento, que reciba un haz de luz
fue literalmente una colaboracin. problema al cual no haban hallado solucin. roja. De ella salan hacia los bordes canales al
Respetuoso de las decisiones tomadas por el Longhi dise la piedra -as la llamaron des- estilo inca.
diseador principal del proyecto, encontr que de aquel entonces- como una composicin de La creacin de este objeto fue abordada como
poda serle til ocupndose de un punto pen- doce piezas ensambladas al modo inca, sin una obra escultrica. Se encarg por completo
diente: la mesa de piedra que iba a estar en el mortero. Este sistema, que siempre haba sido de ella, tal cual sola hacer cuando estudiaba
eje del escenario. Este elemento en realidad de su inters, permita trasladarla y armarla escultura en la Universidad Ricardo Palma ms
deba ser una plataforma cuadrada de dos me- dentro del teatro. de quince aos atrs. Consigui el material para

Director: Edgar Saba Teatro: Centro Cultural de la Universidad Catlica Ao: 1994

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la vida es sueo
Director: Edgar Saba Theater: Centro Cultural de la Universidad Catlica Year: 1994

be produced, and such programs had not yet fabrication process, a luxury he had not had time the light and carefully chipping it with a chisel
been seen in Peru. for while working in offices in the United States. to add texture in some spots and applying shoe
The stone blocks were made of a marble chip, He experimented with removing the formwork at polish to give a wet, glossy look. The process
marble dust and cement mix. These blocks different stages of the curing process in order to was very organic. I cleaned it, polished it, and
interlocked in such a way that recalled the ancient achieve subtle differences in texture. The rough chipped away small sections to give it
Incan techniques of stone carving and seamless outer blocks were removed from the formwork textureand at night, it was perfect. The
joint masonry Longhi had so often seen in his sooner than the smooth concave center. opening scene of the premier was a single beam
childhood. Longhi was very active in the After the table was assembled on stage, Longhi of red light glimmering on the illuminated concave
worked until opening night, observing it under center of the table. It seemed to float on the
la piedra reconstituida y fabric los moldes de wooden beams that supported it, isolated in
madera en los que vaci la mezcla de marmoli- cenografa completa que ayudaron a refinarla. the vacant black of the stage.
na, granalla y cemento. Cuando el trabajo estu- Aquella propuesta de Lorenzo, en la que esta-
vo avanzado, Lorenzo, extraado por verlo ocu- ban presentes la madera, el metal y la piedra, dios en Filadelfia, y le motiv a continuar con
parse de ello personalmente, le asign un opera- evidenciaba que el inters por los materiales de ella. Conforme trascurri el tiempo se percat
rio para ayudarlo a terminar en la fecha prevista. uno comulgaba con la sensibilidad del otro. de que no lleg a hacerlo de la forma tradicional
Adems de la piedra, Longhi desarroll en com- Este encargo fue una oportunidad de retomar la sino que encamin sus mpetus escultricos
putadora imgenes tridimensionales de la es- escultura, disciplina relegada desde sus estu- hacia la escenografa y la arquitectura.

pedro caldern de la barca


la vida es sueo

23
life is a dream
Only from them one could learn
how to put two pieces of stone together.

Slo de ellos se podra aprender a trabajar la piedra.

24
la vida es sueo
25
life is a dream
26
la vida es sueo
27
life is a dream
28
la vida es sueo
29
life is a dream
king lear william shakespeare

The Teatro Municipal of Lima caught fire in 1998. and told Longhi to go away. But as Longhi began was placed in the heart of the stage as though it
The stage was destroyed leaving a gaping hole, to develop the relationship by touching the materials was predestined to visually anchor the large space.
the interior damaged, and the warm red seats and and observing its connection to the context, he The most devastated area of the theatre was the
fanciful gold reliefs were reduced into a drab neutral. could feel which areas were still comfortable and previous stage. The floor and ceiling had collapsed
Luis Longhi was called in to develop a scenic which areas needed healing. The scars left on the in the fire leaving a gaping hole exposed to the
space within the theater and restore the building Teatro Municipal were not erased but tailored to a heavens. Since the old central seating space had
as a cultural venue until a new theater could be functional condition. already been converted to the main stage, Longhi
built. He visited the site to listen carefully to the The balconies were cleaned and filled with temporary saw the opportunity to extend the stage from the
damaged building and develop a relationship with seating while the bottom level which had been central space to the area of the previous stage by
it. Longhi imagined the building as if it was a used as central seating was cleared and designing a tapered ramp that gently spanned the
woman or a man, so that the relationship would transformed into the stage. The reinvention of the rubble below. As the ramp was being built, a
develop in a similar way [as] relationships between buildings central space ingeniously heightened the single door was discovered that penetrated the
people, or people and pets. Longhi described feeling of intimacy. The theaters seating became back wall at the culmination of the ramp, making
that at first there was little chemistry with el walls around the action and the audiences physical the ramp accessible to backstage. Likewise, there
viejo (the old gentleman). He said he was hurt, immediacy engaged them to a high degree. The was a trapdoor at the foot of the ramp that gave
stone table Longhi designed for Life is a Dream access to the previous orchestra pit. This trapdoor
El proyecto especial El Teatro Municipal Renace could swing open to a vertical position to allow
contempl el montaje de espectculos en las rui- personas haban actuado irradiaba una gran the actors to move freely between the stage and
nas de aquella sala que fuera la ms importante energa. Ello le hizo entender que deba aprove-
de Lima, hasta su destruccin por un incendio en charse. Ocultarlo, como le haban sugerido, era tablas. Sin embargo, al contemplar la contun-
1998. Una decisin valiente que se inici con la un error. Imagin a los actores flotando dentro dencia de la estructura armada, el arquitecto
escenificacin de El rey Lear, a cargo del Centro de l. Para conseguir este efecto propuso atra- comprendi que mejor luca sin el acabado. La
Cultural de la Pontificia Universidad Catlica. vesarlo con una rampa. De esta manera se idea fue aceptada aun cuando las tablas de
Edgar Saba haba pensado en un principio que sentira ms intensamente su uso. pino ya haban sido compradas. En su reempla-
los actores se desenvolvieran en el piso de la El da de la primera reunin con Saba en el teatro, zo se coloc una malla metlica.
platea y el pblico se situara alrededor de ellos, Longhi haba recibido unas fotografas del Museo Perfiles y mallas de fierro pasaron a convertir-
en el mismo nivel, en los palcos y en la galera. de Bellas Artes de Montreal, diseado por Moshe se en el lenguaje comn de los elementos aa-
Por lo tanto deseaba cerrar de algn modo la Safdie. En ellas se apreciaba una cobertura tras- didos al teatro, visto que no obstruan la visin
boca del escenario para confinar el espacio lcida con estructura metlica. Tiempo despus, del edificio y amalgamaban muy bien con las
utilizado y ocultar el vaco de lo que fuera la el arquitecto se sorprendi al notar la similitud que ruinas. Incluso semejaban armaduras de las
tramoya y el nivel bajo el escenario. guardaba este techo con la rampa. estructuras originales del edificio que hubieran
Cuando Longhi visti el teatro qued conmovi- La rampa se concibi como un elemento met- permanecido en pie tras el incendio.
do. El lugar era aterrador, pero al mismo tiempo lico sobre el cual descansaba un piso de made- Una puerta levadiza en la rampa, inspirada en
sinti que ese espacio en el que cientos de ra, en alusin al escenario de un teatro, las las trampas de los escenarios, permita que los

Director: Edgar Saba Teatro: Teatro Municipal Ao: 1999

74
el rey lear
Director: Edgar Saba Theater: Teatro Municipal Year: 1999
the pit, and in later plays, functioned as a backdrop the plot could be especially wrenching for Longhi while accepting the damage and current conditions.
for projections. who had just been separated from his own three One looming condition was the absence of the
The ramp was a steel structure originally intended daughters. As a father, Longhi could relate to the ceilings. Longhi and Saba agreed to invite natural
to be covered by wood. The structure of the ramp despair of the king, who eventually loses his mind light into the theater and work with the arching sun
alone was beautiful and would have been a shame as the plot develops. He capitalized on his empathy to enhance the play. The play started in daylight at
to hide. Longhi listened to the recently burned for the plot by harmonizing the visual image with four in the afternoon. The sun set during the climax,
gentleman tell him, Wood is nice, but I want metal. director Sabas ideas of movement and music. followed by death and tragedy. Night would fall on
Longhi and Suasnabar, the contractor, selected a For instance, Saba revealed the king slipping into each performance for the closing scene. A silhouette
wire mesh as the flooring for the ramp in order to madness by blowing into a conch. The single note would walk along the almost invisible ramp over the
make it hover transparently over the hole. Those that resounds from the shell alludes to the purity emptiness below. Its posture hung heavily as it
who saw the ramp, thought it was an incredibly of an indescribable emotion, an emotion so disappeared into the back portal as the light faded.
ingenious idea, said Longhi. But that wasnt my powerful and cleansing that it transforms the soul Luis Peirano, Dean of the School of Communications
intention. I got to that point by accident or paying and suspends time. The drama of the single note at Universidad Catlica, said that Longhis ramp
attention to what the material was saying. The was enhanced as it filled the large space and had become the icon for theatre in Peru and an
wire mesh was later applied to other areas of the thickened the air around Longhis ramp, also enduring memory in Limas theatre community.
theater to block off the condemned sections. suspended in space and time. The imagery is He used the transparent ramp as a symbol for a
The first production in the Teatro Municipal was a powerful as the king ascends the ramp. theater television program, as well as a metaphor
powerful Shakespearean tragedy about King Lear The lighting concept for the play acted as an inventive for the new millennium. Longhis work on the Teatro
who divides his kingdom between his three extension of the spatial use. Longhi had designed Municipal epitomizes his constant growth as an
daughters, only to be betrayed. Saba warned that the scenic space of the burned theater as a work of architect and artist by showing his gift for intuitively
architecture to accommodate its previous function drawing inspiration from his rich and varied
actores pasaran desde el foso hacia la platea. experiences that lead to unexpected responses to
La compuerta en posicin vertical era adems mltiples significados, como la comunicacin con the unique demands of current situations.
una pantalla metlica que subdivida el espacio el futuro. Hasta la consideraron un icono.
de actuacin. Saba necesitaba una plataforma sobre el piso Un factor importante en la escenificacin fue el
Requeran un ingreso para los actores y ste de la platea, as que Longhi propuso utilizar la transcurrir del tiempo. Como no se cerraron las
fue facilitado por el edificio. Al momento de mesa de piedra hecha para La vida es sueo. aberturas del edificio y las funciones se daban
construir la rampa, notaron que haba una puer- Su dimensin era perfecta para la escala del en las tardes, el pblico era testigo durante la
ta tapiada en la pared hacia la cual se diriga. espacio y el pblico poda apreciarla plenamen- obra del progresivo desplazamiento de los ra-
Simplemente la reabrieron. te desde la mayor parte de las localidades. yos del sol y el cambio en el aspecto del cielo
La rampa, adems de sentar el lenguaje a partir El edificio derruido y los elementos aadidos hasta el anochecer. Estas sensaciones se en-
del cual se plantearon las escenografas que se ofrecan de esta manera mltiples niveles para riquecieron con una cortina agua muy fina, la
construyeron posteriormente en el Teatro Munici- la actuacin: la platea, la piedra, la rampa y el cual, ms que su impacto visual, aportaba el
pal, enfrentada al inicio del nuevo milenio adquiri palco presidencial. sonido de las gotas sobre el suelo.

william shakespeare
el rey lear
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king lear
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el rey lear
On my first visit he told me: Take good care of me. I am hurt!
I will feel better if my stage continues to be used as a stage, and no grief should come to visit.

En la primera visita l me dijo: Trtame con cuidado. Me duele todo!


Me aliviar que el escenario siga siendo escenario y que me visiten sin pena.

77
king lear
I was holding these images, during my first visit to the burned
theater.

Estaban estas imgenes en mis manos cuando conmovido


observaba el teatro quemado.

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king lear
song of songs alfonso santistevan and edgar saba

Longhi continued interpreting natures basic manipulated by cutting or folding, incredible Longhi designed a sloped wooden plane to
elements by inviting them into the theater as he spaces start to develop, which can generate a represent the desert landscape setting, where
had done with the ocean in Elcine VIIIth Film functioning space. The gently sloping planes of two characters were in ancient times with their
Festival. Longhi perceives earth, water, and the desert that converge with pre-Incan ruins love for each other. Originally, Longhi envisioned
shelter as absolutes in human existence. The like Pachacmac inspired the set for Song of two great angled planes of sand, one for the
essence of these elements can each be Songs. Longhi observed that simple folds in the audience and the other for the actors. He thought,
represented by a single plane. As the plane is plane or carved depressions could transform the That would be great, but if you can not have the
space into recognizable areas. real thing, you do not fake it. You abstract it.
La historia que Alfonso Santistevan y Edgar So, Longhi and director Saba began with a small
Saba escribieron a partir del libro bblico giraba El espacio escnico nicamente estara ocupa- physical model of the wooden plane to discuss
en torno de una tribu de actores errantes que do por una rampa de madera dotada de com-
viajaba por el desierto. Uno de los personajes puertas que, al desplazarse hacia arriba o ha- Complement la rampa con hileras de sogas
era carpintero. Estas dos par ticularidades hi- cia abajo, formaran las distintas escenas re- verticales dispuestas a los lados del escena-
cieron que Longhi se concentrara en la arena y queridas. Podan representarse dunas y con- rio. stas cumplan una funcin similar a la tela
la madera, lo que le llev a relacionar El cantar cavidades en el desierto, una plaza, una mesa de mosquitero empleada en otras escenogra-
de los cantares con las tablas que se utilizan e inclusive camas en posicin vertical gracias fas, definir espacios en los que se representa-
en construccin, sobre las cuales se adhieren a la combinacin de posiciones. A diferencia de ban hechos que ocurran en una realidad dis-
la arena y el cemento. A partir de all, la solu- los planos inclinados utilizados en Las manos tinta de la escena principal.
cin para la escenografa fue simple y categ- sucias y en Elcine, esta superficie tena una Los operarios de construccin valoran mucho
rica: haba que representar el desierto con aquel pendiente moderada y era rgida para que se la madera porque es una herramienta de traba-
material. actuase sobre ella. jo. Con ella levantan andamios, rampas y en-

Director: Edgar Saba Teatro: Centro Cultural de la Universidad Catlica Ao: 2005

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el cantar de los cantares
Director: Edgar Saba Theater: Centro Cultural de la Universidad Catlica Year: 2005

how many cuts and folds were necessary to inner and outer spaces which could be used to of Song of Songs in the Bible and wrote a play,
create an adequate spatial environment for each order the acts that happened in the present and which in some parts depicted the relationship
scene. For instance, a series of cuts could allow past. The audience could see beyond the primary between Joseph and Mary. However, because
a piece of the plane to be elevated to a horizontal space and experience other places and times Peruvian society is predominantly Catholic, Saba
position and then be transformed into a table. through the ropes. modified the names and had the couple
With three or four cuts, the director could do One of the most spectacular scenes was created dramatically move in their separate spaces as
everything he needed. They discussed the play when two of the floor sections were erected into though dancing together in order to subtly, yet
act by act until they had provided the required vertical positions to represent the marital bed of powerfully suggest the consummation of their
props with a minimum number of cuts. the two lovers. The audience was to imagine marriage. Although the producers were anxious
Ropes in the center space were utilized to move they were viewing the beds from a birds eye to tamper with many crucial aspects throughout
and support the folding planes. The repetition of perspective, looking down on the couple, who the process, Longhi stood his ground because
the ropes along the sides of the slope delineated were separated, each standing in front of their he felt he had a clear visualization of how the set
own wooden plane, or bed. Saba and co-author would respond to the script. In the end, Saba
cofrados. Por eso fue difcil convencerlos de Alfonso Santistevan were inspired by the book utilized the set design to its fullest potential. He
que la cedieran en alquiler temporalmente. is fantastic in that! Longhi said of Saba.
Longhi considera que el material empleado fue tenida en la materia no se puede imitar y que ya
clave en esta propuesta. La calidad de la textura hay bastante actuacin en el teatro para preten- tas con un sellador mate. Para satisfaccin del
y el aspecto que adquiere por el uso reiterado es der que un material simule ser lo que no es. arquitecto, el cemento y la arena estaban tan
muy particular. No poda aceptar una madera Estas razones no impidieron que le exigieran impregnados y el efecto de la intemperie era
nueva y darle un acabado que simulara la ptina limpiar las tablas para la comodidad de los ac- tan marcado que su calidad no fue menosca-
del tiempo, porque considera que la historia con- tores, por lo que fueron pulidas y luego cubier- bada por el tratamiento.

alfonso santistevan y edgar saba


el cantar de los cantares

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song of songs
A desert that transforms itself into architecture to occupy a stage,

El desierto se transforma en arquitectura para ocupar el escenario.

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song of songs
l o n g h i

architecture on stage
During the last twelve years, the main theatres
from Lima hosted Luis Longhis stage designs.
The work of this Peruvian architect and
sculptor shows the distinctive vision of a space
molder and an ar tist sensitive to the material.
This book compiles the evolution of his
conceptual approach and the refinement of
formal language through the chronological
review of his most representative designs.

Durante los pasados doce aos, los principa-


les teatros de Lima han albergado las
escenografas de Luis Longhi, arquitecto y
escultor peruano. Sus creaciones evidencian
la par ticular visin de un modelador del espa-
cio y un ar tista sensible a la materia. Este
libro documenta la evolucin del enfoque con-
ceptual y el refinamiento del lenguaje formal a
travs de la revisin cronolgica de sus dise-
os ms representativos.
arquitectura en escena