There’s usually a lot to see at the VINCON store in Barcelona.
Its window displays are renowned for their inventiveness.
There’s lots of stuff inside for you to decide whether you really need it or not.
Upstairs, at the back, you’ll see a very characterful fireplace.
And just outside is a rear terrace with a view of Casa Mila’s back side.
Until four days ago, VINCON also hosted an exhibition.
It was put together by architect Ricard Morató. I hadn’t heard of him.
For the past four years he’s been head architect for the Vicente Ferrer Foundation at their office in Anantapur, India. In that time, he’s designed and built a hospital, a school and residential buildings as well as other buildings for the Foundation.
This is founder Vicente Ferrer and his wife Anna. I hadn’t heard of them either.
Most of the foundation’s work focuses on improving the lot of the Dalit people who, in less-PC times, were known as the India’s “untouchable” caste. Many are without basic human rights such as education, healthcare and housing. The Foundation began its program of housing construction in order to give every Dalit family a decent home.
There are 166 million Dalit. That’s two and a half times the population of the UK, eight times that of Australia, 50% of the USA, 40% of western Europe.
Cumulative results up to 2009
|General housing built||
|Housing adapted for people with disabilities||
The current total is closer to 50,000 families. Assuming 6 persons per family and 6 persons per house, 1% OF THEIR MISSION IS ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED! HTML FAILS ME. I CAN’T SHOUT THIS LOUD ENOUGH – THEY’RE DOING IT, THEY’RE GETTING THERE!
The houses built by the Foundation are simple houses with two rooms. The first room is the kitchen, with space to store food and the utensils for cooking and handling food. The other room is the bedroom and living room. All houses have an elevated porch protected by a roof. It does the shelter thing well.
The houses are self-build because that’s how it has to be. They seem to be built by children, women and the elderly – I’m sure there’s a good reason why.
These buildings aren’t the Heydar Aliyev Culture Centre but, if we go by the old definition of venustas where beauty required an element of ethical virtue, then we’re looking at something truly beautiful happening here in Anantapur.
These buildings gladden my heart. It’s been a long time since any building by anyone anywhere has done that. Me, I like that feeling, but it’s not about me and what I feel.