Thursday, September 17, 2015

Studying Colonial Doors in Aguascalientes, MX

Sarah and I spent a week supporting a cycling friend set the elite women's hour record at the fine velodrome located in the heart of Aguascalientes, Mexico. Land of Tu Gente Buena. Without knowing their reputation, we observed this fact since every shop owner, pedestrian, hotel worker, etc that we encountered was always so nice to us! A local who was helping with logistics clued us into the moniker. It was so encouraging. Travel there, see this town, the art, people, architecture, food.

Being an early colonial city, Aguascalientes is home of many gorgeous old buildings with massive doors originating from the earliest days of the building's life. I have no idea their accurate history but to say these doors were so handsome in person. So compelling to me. We were in town for a week, and while there were many locations to review, i returned to several doors, just to behold them, wonder, and relate in some minor way to the craftspersons involved in their germination hundreds of years ago. Also to whoever was servicing them today as we will see below

We first ventured into the student art gallery housed at the center of visual arts off Plaza de la Patrina. A very kind gentleman escorted us through our broken spanish and while lost in transmission, our hearts were in the right place. He pointed to the date placard on the outside wall of this building and I neglected to snap a photo, but it was in the 1600's. he could tell i was geeking out on the door and was happy to stay put for a shot here

After more closely looking at some of the doors, i noticed thes wrought iron nail heads (/clavos/ en espanol, learned from our curator friend above) with two shafts, driven through the face panel, and a supporting batten behind, then clinched back into the batten once they'd pierced the entire thickness. A very sturdy way of joining a support to the panel, no doubt. Very handsome, and perhaps sends a message of impermeability

My wife Sarah in front of a gorgeous door at Parish Sanctuary AguasCalientes: parroquia el sagrario aguascalientes. Notice how there are inner doors at a human scale framed by the larger ones.

Down the street a fascinating door, appearing to have been recently restored. This has applied iron brackets for reinforcing, and are quite handsome. Notice the various shims between the mouldings, perhaps to help tighten up the structure? Then there's wedge shaped pieces sunken into the panels and stiles of the structure. Were these to repair cracks that had accumulated? I was so interested in this. I wanted to to talk with whoever was tending to this door, watch them work...

also notice there's a ramp cut into the stairs on the left here. I saw this a lot in the city where adaptations had been made in stairs for folks with physical challenges. It reminds me that the built world has to adapt to needs of the times in order to stay vital. I like that.

Now another one, painted, but I was really interested in the carved moulding. I could be way off, but I wonder if the sinusoidal carvings and patterns reminded me geometric patterns similar to Moorish architectural features you see in Spain.

Who gave the order to cut a mail slot into this side? Easy to ask that now...but this is much like the wheelchair ramp, right? we continually adapt our furniture, architecture to the present needs...I'd still have a hard time cutting that slot though...

Check out these old gimmal hinges and here you can also see the massive mortise/tenon joinery between rails and stiles

No comments :

Post a Comment