As architects, we unconsciously tend not to associate necessarily the plans we draw with the notion of map. However, both of those two objects register in the same process of cartographic creation and, in this regard, use a two dimensional language in order to create space. The architect that creates the most expressive ambiguity between the architectural plan and the map seems to be Enric Miralles (1955-2000). In this regard, I recommend the very good article written by Carl Douglas for his Diffusive Architectures that explores the non-hierarchical aspect of those plans as much as their operative characteristics.
What strikes in Miralles’ plans is the importance of the line. That might seem a peculiar thing to say as lines are what characterize primarily architectural plans, but few architects actually express, via their plans, the power contained in those same lines. The name of this blog, the Funambulist is an homage to this power as I explain in the sidebar; nevertheless, it mainly insists on the process of unfolding of this power once the line becomes a wall. Here Miralles, not only manifests this concretization of the line but also celebrates its pictorial power and his plans thus become an architecture in itself. One might even argue that his built architecture is paradoxically serving the plan rather than the usual opposite. One hint that could backup this intuition lays in the observation of architectural elements embodying the line such as the numerous pipes of the Parc Diagonal Mar in Barcelona or the Pavilion in Toyama (Japan) as much as the brises soleil on the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Following this intuition, this would probably be what makes Miralles’ (along with his successive partners, Carme Pinós then Benedetta Tagliabue) architecture so unique: his buildings are the retroactive representation of the plan when every other buildings are the represented object of their plans.