“Enchanting Traces. Reflections on b720 Arquitectos’ work” at AEDES Architecture Forum Berlin

Barcelona’s Encants Market, dating back more than seven centuries, is one of Europe’s oldest. In 2013, it moved to its current site in a space designed by b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos. The project strives to maintain the spirit of open-air markets with the design of a large public square covered by material that reflects its day-to-day activity


b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos, Mercat Encants, Barcelona, 2013 © Rafael Vargas


These design strategies have made it one of the world’s most famous markets and one of the b720 Fermín Vázquez studio’s signature works. b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos, founded in conjunction with Ana Bassat in 1997 and headed by Fermín Vázquez, has offices in Barcelona and Madrid. (more…)

“The Cathedral of Malaga. An unfinished symphony” exhibition by Marinauno

The exhibition “The Cathedral of Malaga. An unfinished symphony” has been designed in three different formats; an installation located in the trascoro of the cathedral, a book and an audiovisual piece. With these three systems the process of the construction of the cathedral and those signs of identity that make the temple a unique building in the history of architecture is explained.


“The Cathedral of Malaga. An unfinished symphony” by marinauno © Fernando Alda


The installation located in the trascoro is raised with a structure of scaffolding from which they take off large format images, drawings and explanatory texts. An installation that symbolizes that the cathedral of Malaga is under construction. (more…)

“Dentro La Strada Novissima” at MAXXI Rome

20 facades designed by 20 architects including Frank O. Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, Hans Hollein, Franco Purini, Arata Isozaki, Robert Venturi, Osvald Mathias Ungers draw the Strada Novissima, the exhibition curated by Paolo Portoghesi at the first Biennale of Architecture in 1980. Today at MAXXI, a focus dedicated to that exhibition is an opportunity to reflect on a crucial moment in the history of twentieth century architecture.


La Strada Novissima Veduta dell’allestimento con le facciate di Gordon Smith, GRAU, Holein e Scolari Biennale di Venezia, 1980 Courtesy Paolo Portoghesi


The First International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale curated by Paolo Portoghesi opened on 27 July 1980, and was entitled La Presenza del Passato [The Presence of the Past]. During this Biennale, Paolo Portoghesi proposed the exhibition La Strada Novissima, that involved 20 international architects who created 20 life-size facades to activate a reflection on the theme of the road and create a concrete image of a different way of thinking about architecture. (more…)

“Peter Barber: 100 Mile City and Other Stories” at the Design Museum

In the first ever exhibition of his work, acclaimed British architect and urbanist, Peter Barber explores the constraints and possibilities presented by London’s current housing crisis, and the role of architecture in creating a more humane city. The exhibition will include hand-made models, drawings and large-scale photographs, as well as a selection of Barber’s sketchbooks.


Holmes road. Photo credits Morley Von Sternberg and Peter Barber


The United Kingdom, and London in particular, is currently in the midst of an acute housing crisis. In London alone, there are currently 170,000 homeless people, 8,000 rough sleepers, 20,000 empty homes and 120 families losing their home each day. To satisfy demand, it is estimated that the UK needs to build around 300,000 new homes a year, but the present supply stands at around half that level. Where, and how, homes should be built is an area of intense debate. (more…)

“Backstage” Menis Arquitectos at AEDES Architecture Forum Berlin

For the development of his architecture, Fernando Menis prefers to use three-dimensional materials such as clay in order to design shape and dimension of the buildings in an ongoing modelling process. During his 40 years of practice, a multitude of typologies has been created whose sculptural formal language possesses an outstanding expressiveness.


Menis, CKK Jordanki © Jakub Certowicz


In the exhibition, these models of planned and realised projects by the Canarian office are presented inside a walk-in cubic space, including the Concert and Congress Hall ‘CKK Jordanki’ in Toruń/Poland, the Hotel Complex ‘Bürchen Mystik’ in Switzerland or the Public Swimming Pool ‘Badeschiff’ in Berlin. Thus, the installation is dedicated to creative processes and innovative approaches that make the work of Menis Arquitectos so unique. (more…)

“The Art of The Building Site” at Citè de l’Architecture

The exhibition juxtaposes different viewpoints. It brings together a collection of works and documents produced by artists, journalists and amateurs, but also those who work in situ: engineers, architects, contractors and – what is rarer – labourers, through votive offerings or masterpieces produced by the Compagnons charpentiers des Devoirs du Tour de France.


Alain Bublex, Plug-in City, Expérience monumentale, 2003 – Photo : C. Pompidou MNAM-CCI Dist. RMN-GPAdagp


How Western Man has seen, designed and imagined the place where building occurs since the Renaissance. The great diversity of observers, the plurality of images and the different audiences they turn to show that this is a powerful theme, which is far broader than the fields of architecture and technique. (more…)

“12 Views of Venice, 2018” exhibition of drawings at ETH Zurich

We are pleased to announce the exhibition “12 Views of Venice, 2018” which features drawings by thirty-seven architecture students from ETH Zurich, University of Tsukuba, and The University of Queensland, who participated in the Architectural Ethnography Summer School in the Japan Pavilion at the 16th Architecture Biennale in Venice.


Hiroe Shida, Vivian W. S. Ting, Jeremy Wooldridge: “Relation-ship”, View of Campo della Pescaria, Venice, 2018


Through the means of collaborative pencil drawings, the school explored twelve different public spaces in Venice, both at the centre and at the periphery. Views of the city from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century provided the school with a common starting point. Using these references, students surveyed the interrelations between human behaviours and architecture, and between past and present. The result is an urban portrait that reinvents how we imagine Venice by connecting the spaces of tourists with those of locals, and the clashes of modern life with the rites of past centuries. (more…)

“AFF Architekten – Ambiguous Form Finder” at House of Art of České Budějovice

For the final exhibition of the year at the House of Art, the work of Berlin’s AFF architecture studio will be presented. AFF’s architects understand architecture as an object, This does not mean that their realized buildings should be seen as sculptures – i.e., as structures where the emphasis is primarily on the outer form. The studio was founded in 1999 by Torsten Lockl and brothers Martin and Sven Fröhlich.


Strassenfront I © Hans Christian Schink


Their approach grows from a concept that has its roots in the very beginnings of each project, when – using tried-and-true techniques – they carefully develop and perfect their works “on the fly,” so that the final product will be a sensitive and fitting solution to the task at hand. In other words, the building should function within the context of the place while also fully meeting all the demands of functionality.


Practical information

“AFF Architekten – Ambiguous Form Finder”
–  30 December
Gallery of Contemporary Art and Architecture – House of Art of the City of České Budějovice
náměstí Přemysla Otakara II. 38, České Budějovice
Czech Republic


As evidence of this approach, we need look no further than the studio’s highly diverse range of designs and realized projects, which includes family homes, public buildings, and highly successful renovations such as Freudenstein Castle in Freiberg, home of the Saxon Mountain Archives.


Strassenfront I © Hans Christian Schink

Schulhof © Hans Christian Schink


AFF’s approach to the existing building, which took into account everything from cleaning out the castle to its renovation, represents a contribution to the current architectural debate regarding the question of castles. The construction of one building within another in the form of an ark symbolizes the protective function of the archival collections of one of Germany’s oldest mining regions. The rooms containing the mineralogical collection were organized using a system of built-in constructions and an arrangement of display cases. The concept of physicality, that shared characteristic of sculpture and architecture that AFF draws on in its designs, is thus clearly visible on several levels.


Schloss Freudenstein © Hans Christian Schink

Schloss Freudenstein © Hans Christian Schink


The AFF architecture studio was founded in 1999 by Torsten Lockl and brothers Martin and Sven Fröhlich. The studio has numerous completed projects under its belt, some of them created for private clients, others on the basis of a winning submissions to architectural contests. Their work has also earned them numerous prestigious awards.

Especially important for the kind of work that AFF prefers are the architects’ personal memories and feelings. These may not seem particularly significant at first glance, but they do play an important role. The actual creative process starts with objects and images from their personal past and makes use of strong meanings capable of evoking the mystery contained in their “stories,” which form a fundamental source of inspiration for the architects. One characteristic that can be identified in AFF’s realized projects is their diversity, where on the one hand we find a highly radical austerity in viewpoints and materials, while on the other there is the use of a wide range of colors, materials, and ornamentation. But they are all confident and sensitive designs that work within the framework of the client’s wishes to elegantly fit into the context of the place.



“AFF Architekten – Ambiguous Form Finder”


One example is a mountain hut in the German part of the Ore Mountains, where the architects transformed a former skiing hut into a remarkable “concrete” residence. That same year (2010), they completed work on a primary school in Berlin, a building in an asymmetrical horseshoe shape that is very sensitively located in a garden amidst trees. Another realized project surrounded by trees is the Lindetal House in Mecklenburg, with a distinctive façade made of black wooden planks that are in perfect harmony with their surroundings. (2016)


Schulhof © Hans Christian Schink

Ansicht Nord-westen © Hans Christian Schink


Although the title of AFF Architekten’s exhibition at the České Budějovice House of Art, Ambiguous Form Finder, is a playful take on the acronym of the studio’s “brand,” it primarily focuses on the craft of architecture within the context of high-technology construction and image-oriented design. This is done while rediscovering architecture with a view towards its methods, tools, traditions, imagery, and specific local preconditions, and to find an original approach that will be unique to the particular project.


Zentrum Taufe © Frank Heinrich Müller

Dolgenseeschule Berlin


To this, the studio’s architects add: “In an era of technological reproduction, we often lose track of more than just the original; even copies lose their relationship to the original. There has been a decline in knowledge of time-tested tools and techniques. We surround ourselves with them and use them as sources of ideas and references. We reference and copy in the search for our own identity. When building, we can always rely on local context, but material has been losing its aura. If we concentrate exclusively on the material, we are forced to realize in our advanced society that as a resource it is as much a part of the virtual image or the power of graphical associations as it is of the industrial production machine.

We understand craft as a bridge towards authenticity. It is most strongly expressed in the attention towards detail. The exhibition uses detailed photographs of completed projects, a collage of materials and tools, and intermediate products of the design process to illustrate AFF Architekten’s craft-inspired approach to design. In addition to the architects’ personal views, the exhibition also presents the standpoints of the photographer Hans-Christian Schink and architecture historian Anna Rosellini.”


News source and text: Michal Škoda and House of Art of České Budějovice
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“Perspective. Journey through the Archives of Fondazione Fiera Milano” by OMA

The exhibition portrays Italian and European society and economy in the last century through the lens of the cultural legacy of Fiera Milano, the international trade fair in Milan which presented the newest industrial developments and products since it was first organized in 1920.


Fiera di Milano, 1953 A1 104 © Fondazione Fiera


The exhibition Prospettiva. Viaggio negli archivi di Fondazione Fiera Milano / Perspective. Journey through the Archives of Fondazione Fiera Milano, curated and designed by OMA’s Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, opened in Milan last week. Prospettiva marks the launch of the Archivi fotografici project, resulting from a new partnership between Fondazione Fiera Milano, AFIP International (Association of Professional Italian Photographers) and Triennale di Milano, and offers the public the opportunity to see the photographic collections of the Archivio della Fondazione Fiera Milano. (more…)