The molecule of happiness

by ANDREA DI CINZIO

"It is a happy destiny that Giorgio Grassi had to end up building what is, up to now, his most beautiful work"


Kenneth Frampton - DOMUS - 756 - 1994.

"In a society like the modern one, which facilitates the dissemination of events, the grotesque will always have followers eager for notoriety."


Salvador Lara Ortega - Loggia - 13 - 2002.

"If this work is demolished, we will have eliminated the most significant example of a position with respect to the necessary permanence of the great ancient monuments"


Oriol Bohigas - LOTUS - 121 - 2004.

“Unfortunately, the unjust and ignorant judges reproduce themselves in the course of history. Bad herbs never die. "


Alberto Campo Baeza - LOTUS - 121 - 2004.

"The recovery that takes place today in Sagunto is exemplary because it challenges the romantic myth of the ruins, redeems ancient architecture from oblivion as a value of civilization"


Ignasi De Solà-Morales - LOTUS - 121 - 2004.

"The ruin is considered an excuse to create a new job, an unacceptable attitude from the point of view of respect for historical, artistic and cultural monuments"


AH Martínez - Three décadas de conservación del arqueológico en españa heritage - 2012.

If we analyzed happiness on a physiological level, we would discover that it is nothing more than a hormone, produced by our body, called Serotonin . It is a neurotransmitter that is released in the central nervous system and that allows the regulation of mood: the higher the blood concentration, the greater the feeling of gratification and joy. The "molecule of happiness" is present in every human being, yet its synthesis occurs in each person in different moments and situations. This also happens when happiness is related to architecture. Let's take for example a project on which opinions differ: the Roman Theater of Sagunto .

Here, the intention to respect the existing intervention is opposed to that of proceeding with a demolition. In this project Giorgio Grassi, in an act of happiness, tries to give new life to the Roman stage theater. His intent is to make the theater the fulcrum of a restitution on a territorial scale , appealing to the philosophy of architectural restoration of R. Bonelli, that is "to reintegrate and preserve the expressive value of the work through the liberation of its true form" . Yet the Supreme Court, in a 2008 ruling, sanctions its demolition, as the work violates the Spanish law on historical heritage of 1985 so that the interventions should not affect the ruderent state of the assets. If every individual on a psychological level has personal stylistic and aesthetic preferences, and is therefore inclined to feel happiness in front of one work rather than another, is it then possible to design with the intent of creating acts of common happiness?

Sagunto Theater

Sagunto, Giorgio Grassi

(1985-1993)