The Not-so-Secret Life of Andalucian Rooftops

Unlike the uniformly peaked roofs of my native New England, designed to prevent excessive buildup of snow, Andalucías warm, dry climate is met by its own unique archetectual vocabulary. Unhindered by the need to consider any serious amount of precipitation, the majority of residential buildings in this region – though not as much in more densly populated and large cities – enjoy an open rooftop space known as an azotea (almost definitely an arabic word). While many andaluzes will use this area exclusively for hanging clothes to dry, a close look from one´s own azotea will reveal a complex and bustling rooftop world, where old men pace to and fro smoking a cigarette in a moment of tranquility, where children play soccer and tag far removed from the dangers of passing automobiles, and where elaborate, patio-style gardens house scores of caged canaries, Sunday afternoon chats, and probably many more smoked cigarettes. This is the not-so-secret life of rooftops in and Andalucian town, one parallel to the more transient life on the street, and though partially hidden, a completely open and public extension of the tradional privacy of the home´s interior.

I hope for this section to be a muli-faceted photo essay, if it does not turn out to be more mundane than I am making it sound. The first part will be photos I took last year on my azotea of Esmeralda wearing a traditional flamenco dress during the Spring feria – town festival – season. While not a study of the use of this space, this photo shoot represents one of the many possibilities (and a great one in this case, as suggested by the spectacular view of Arcos as a backdrop) for taking advantage of a building´s rooftop.









More to come soon, plus photos from Halloween in C.E.I.P. Riofrío!



~ by lincolnbrody on October 29, 2008.

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