Nueva Forma (New Form) was an architecture and art magazine that sought to modernise our culture and open out towards major international phenomena. Spanning across the 1960s and 1970s (1966–1975), it had the patronage of the Huarte family, promotors of a significant number of cultural initiatives that included the Pamplona Encounters in 1972 (see previous post).
Its director, the architect Juan Daniel Fullaondo, surrounded himself with a major group of contributors that featured the distinguished architects Antonio Fernández Alba and Rafael de la Fuente, and art critic Santiago Amón. “New Form” was conceived as an architecture and décor magazine hybrid and ran the double heading “New Form” and “Property”, up until edition 20, when it finally settled on its definitive name.
I’ve always thought that attaining a decent publication of so-called “architecture magazines” was an impossible task. How can it bring together all the unique features of a building that goes further than what a set of good photographs can reflect, or the presentation of a project and its correlation with blueprints and perspectives? I believe, for a start and possibly without honourable exceptions, that there are no “architecture magazines”; there are good magazines that contemplate architecture from perspectives that are distanced from merely formal aspects. “New Form” was a good architecture magazine because in truth it wasn’t one per se. It was a cultural magazine that accommodated artistic essays as a method of critical reflection, as Antonio Fernández Alba wrote in the introduction to the catalogue of the exhibition the Centro Cultural de la Villa in Madrid devoted to the publication in 1996.
With regard to the layout of the magazine and its graphic style, everything that can be said is encapsulated in the fact that “New Form” is a product of the publishing of those times, with determinants that stem from the graphic art in that period. It is worth noting that the first editions of “New Form-Property” would feature someone in charge of “Art” who signed their name as Marqués de Lozoya, and over a large part of its trajectory – now with the heading “New Form” – no mention of the publication’s design would appear. Further down the line, and once again under the category “Art”, Santiago Amón would sign his name, but without making it clear whether it was as the magazine designer or section head. Elsewhere, the photographers were credited, and included distinguished names as Catalá Roca.
The advertising pages stood out for their high-end graphic look, and this post shows some of the designs by eminent professionals like Fermín Garbayo and José María Cruz Novillo, and the special case of those produced by students from the fourth year at the Superior Technical School of Architecture of Madrid for the company “Viroterm”.
In short, as Álvaro Martínez-Novillo wrote in the aforementioned catalogue, “New Form” appeared with the aspiration “both in design and content, to achieve the same standing as the most renowned magazines overseas”.