“Years of Solitude” second edition of the Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans

Nestled among the Turbulences, in a Jakob+MacFarlane building on the site of a former military supply depot (18th–19th century), the Frac Centre-Val de Loire is the heart of the Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans.

 

Günter Günschel, Stadthalle in Weissenfels, project,1957

 

Throughout the event, the site has been dedicated to two unique figures from the second half of the 20th century—Fernand Pouillon (Mes réalisations parleront pour moi) [My works will speak for me] and Günter Günschel (Homo Faber: Un récit) [Homo Faber: a tale]. These figures and their legacy are engaged in a back-and-forth with the collective, mutated landscape designed in collaboration with the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc, Los Angeles) (L’architecture comme animal mutant) [Architecture as a mutant animal]. The Frac’s spaces also welcome the MAXXI collection in conversation with the Waiting Land project by Karen Lorhmann and Stefano de Martino, while site-specific productions including work by Takk and Santiago Borja, John Hejduk, Absalon, Ahmed Mater, and Chris Marker are worked into a vocabulary of solitude that punctuates the visitor’s experience. (more…)

“Gio Ponti. Loving Architecture” at MAXXI Rome

Architect, designer, art director, writer, poet and critic, Gio Ponti was an all- round artist who traversed much of the 20th century, profoundly influencing the taste of his time, responding to its most significant demands and anticipating many of the themes of contemporary architecture.

 

Cocathedral of Taranto 1964/70 © Gio Ponti Archives

 

40 years on from his passing, MAXXI, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts, is devoting a major retro- spective to this exceptional figure. The exhibition examines and presents his multi-faceted career, starting with an account of his architecture, a unique and original synthesis of tradition and modernity, history and progress, elite culture and quotidian existence. (more…)

Eduardo Souto de Moura wins 2019 BigMat Grand Prize for Architecture

Previous Grand Prize winners of the biannual award include Lacaton & Vassal, Alberto Campo Baeza, and Xaveer De Geyter. The 4th edition of the biennial BigMat Architecture Award rewarded quality architectural production in Europe with more than 70.000€, distributed in 1 Grand Prize, 6 National Prizes and 7 Prizes for Finalists.

 

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal, Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A. © Luís Ferreira Alves; Juan Rodriguez and Carlos Castro

 

The awards ceremony took place yesterday, November 22th, at “Palais de la Bourse” in Bordeaux, France, in the presence of the architects competing for the Grand Prize, the members of the international panel of judges and the companies making up the BigMat Group. The selected 15 finalists were chosen back in September from the more than six hundred entries presented in April.

Out of a total of almost six hundred projects presented across the seven European countries taking part (Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain), the panel of judges chaired by Jesús Aparicio and comprising Stéphane Beel (Belgium), Petr Pelcak (Czech Republic + Slovakia), Philippe Prost (France), Paolo Zermani (Italy), Fuensanta Nieto (Portugal + Spain) and awards secretary Jesús Donaire, decided to award the BigMat International Grand Prize’19 to the Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM in Foz do Tua, Portugal, by Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura. (more…)

“Swim City” at AIT ArchitekturSalon München

For the first time, the exhibition “Swim City” draws attention to a contemporary phenomenon in urban space: river swimming as a mass movement – a Swiss invention of the 21st century. For decades, cities such as Basel, Bern, Zurich and Geneva have gradually opened up the river as a natural, public resource in the built environment

 

+Pool © Family New York, courtesy Friends of +POOL

 

The river became an entertainment spot right on the doorstep, firmly anchored in everyday life. The foreign countries admire the bathing culture on the Rhine, the Aare, the Limmat and the Rhone. Cities such as Paris, Berlin, London and New York see it as a model of how they can regain their riverine areas as a spatial resource in order to sustainably improve people’s urban quality of life. Curators: Barbara Buser, Basel architect and rheine expert; Andreas Ruby, Director S AM. For filming, the S AM collaborates with the Zurich director Jürg Egli, who creates a large-scale triple-screen projection that will show the experience of river swimming from the perspective of the swimmer. This has allowed for the river to become a place of leisure located right in front of one’s doorstep. The rest of the world looks on in awe at this bathing culture. (more…)

“Under the Radar” at S AM Basel

The ‘architecture’ of territory is largely designed without architects. Nevertheless, or precisely for this reason, architects today are increasingly investigating the processes that define these territorial spaces. In the exhibition ‘Under the Radar’, the S AM Swiss Architecture Museum explores this theme and presents research projects, which deal with investigative architecture.

 

“Under the Radar” at S AM Basel © S AM Basel

 

Architecture is usually thought of as synonymous with building, and this notion strongly informs both how architects perceive themselves and how they are perceived by others. However, much of the work of architecture takes place before and after the actual act of construction: As architects probe the conditions governing the territories in which they are intervening, they observe, ask questions and venture into realms beyond that of the construction site. In a process similar to that of investigative journalism, they collect pieces of evidence, analyse them and synthesise them into a narrative. Thus, architects also reveal the mechanisms that tend to remain in the background: They use their spatial analyses to visualise the exploitation, management and control of their respective territories, such that certain conditions, which otherwise would remain under the radar, become apparent. (more…)

“Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People” at A.M. Munich

The Architekturmuseum der TU München presents with the exhibition “Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People” the first international retrospective about the 2018 Pritzker Prize laureate Balkrishna Doshi (born 1927, Pune, India) outside of Asia.

 

© Vastushilpa Foundation, Ahmedabad

 

The renowned architect and urban planner is one of the few pioneers of modern architecture in his home country and the first Indian architect to receive the prestigious award. During over 60 years of practice, Doshi has realized a wide range of projects, adopting principles of modern architecture and adapting them to local culture, traditions, resources, and nature.  (more…)

“Lina Bo Bardi. Giancarlo Palanti. Studio d’Arte Palma 1948- 1951” at Design Museum Gent

In this exhibition, Design Museum Gent tells the story of one of the strongest women in 20th-century architecture. As well as being an architect, the Italian-Brazilian Lina Bo Bardi was a writer, set designer, illustrator and furniture designer. That final aspect of her life, often ignored until now, is the main focus of this exhibition.

 

“Lina Bo Bardi.Giancarlo Palanti. Studio d’Arte Palma 1948- 1951” © Ruy Texteira, courtesy: Nilufar Gallery, Milaan

 

Lina Bo Bardi Giancarlo Palanti. Studio d’Arte Palma 1948-1951 is a tribute to the Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi. The exhibition presents the largest collection of Bo Bardi furniture ever gathered in one place and focuses on the furniture created in the context of the Studio d’Arte Palma, which was founded by Lina Bo Bardi and the Italian architect Giancarlo Palanti. (more…)

Adaptation of the former factory Mlynica in Bratislava by GutGut

The building of Mlynica is part of a large post-industrial area of ​​Light Building Materials in Bratislava. Since 1960s, porous prefabricated concrete blocks, slabs and panels have been produced here. Production took place until 1992. After privatization, the new owners sold off the complex and a gradual disintegration of the structures began.

 

Adaptation of the former factory Mlynica, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia, gutgut, s.r.o. © BoysPlayNice Photography & Concept (Jakub Skokan & Martin Tuma)

 

The architectural design builds on the structural logic of the original building. The reinforced concrete frame filled with porous concrete masonry façade is retained and new programme is inserted into the existing container. The façade is opened up purposefully in places where it aligns with the new layout, without compromise and with respect to the load-bearing capacity of the existing perimeter structures. The new openings have a free and readable composition as opposed to the original rational mesh of window openings typical of an industrial building. (more…)

“Belvedere per una persona” by Amanzio Farris, BigMat National Prize Italy’19

The small urban intervention by Amanzio Farris, BigMat National Prize France’19 winner, proposes a place for staying and enjoying the landscape made of concrete and stone.

 

Belvedere per una persona / View for just one person, 2015, Roma, Italy, Amanzio Farris Architetto © Amanzio Farris

 

The transformation of a tiny place at the top of an ancient village. An open space with tiny dimensions – quite like in inner spaces – living toghether with a large landscape view.


Belvedere per una persona / View for just one person in Rome, Italy, by Amanzio Farris Architetto
BigMat National Prize Italy’19

Year: 2015
Location: Roma, Italy
Office: Amanzio Farris Architetto
Authors: Amanzio Farris, architect
Collaborators: Anna Rocchetta, architect
Leo Viola, light designer
Francesda De Felice, light designer
Type of work: Public
Photographs: Amanzio Farris

 


You can discover it – just when the walk through the village seems to end – jumping on the narrow steps of a ladder: reaching the top, the built elements and the landscape appear as a whole composition, in which the big and the little have ottically the same weight.

 

Belvedere per una persona / View for just one person, 2015, Roma, Italy, Amanzio Farris Architetto © Amanzio Farris

 

A lonely seat absorbs all the different directions of existing elements, and it’s shaped to lift the observer’s eyes over the edge of railing, to look without obstructions. The vertical stone – slightly rotated on the wall closet o it, to improve the visión of it from down – it’s the setting for the silhouette of the person that seats.

 

Belvedere per una persona / View for just one person, 2015, Roma, Italy, Amanzio Farris Architetto © Amanzio Farris

 

It’s an invitation – made of stone – for staying and for contemplation of landscape.

 

Belvedere per una persona / View for just one person, 2015, Roma, Italy, Amanzio Farris Architetto © Amanzio Farris

Belvedere per una persona / View for just one person, 2015, Roma, Italy, Amanzio Farris Architetto © Amanzio Farris

Belvedere per una persona / View for just one person, 2015, Roma, Italy, Amanzio Farris Architetto © Amanzio Farris

Belvedere per una persona / View for just one person, 2015, Roma, Italy, Amanzio Farris Architetto © Amanzio Farris

Belvedere per una persona / View for just one person, 2015, Roma, Italy, Amanzio Farris Architetto © Amanzio Farris

Belvedere per una persona / View for just one person, 2015, Roma, Italy, Amanzio Farris Architetto © Amanzio Farris

Belvedere per una persona / View for just one person, 2015, Roma, Italy, Amanzio Farris Architetto © Amanzio Farris

IMPLUVIUM Community Center in Reinosa by RAW/deAbajoGarcia

Following the series of national winners today we present the BigMat National Prize Spain’19, a project that proposes a cultural center as a big common roof around a public courtyard, hosting and adapting for all the different activities and scenarios.

 

IMPLUVIUM_Community Center in Reinosa, 2017, Reinosa, Spain, RAW/deAbajoGarcia © Montse Zamorano

 

IMPLUVIUM is a large roof built with a laminated timber structure. Its components were industrialized and assembled on site, replacing a former market demolished after a fire. The roof, together with four boxes that arise from the ground, is the necessary infrastructure that allows many events to happen, both spontaneous and programmed under the same ceiling. (more…)

The Chris Marker Student Residence in Paris by Éric Lapierre Experience

Today we present the BigMat National Prize France’19 winner, the largest Parisian student housing residence, built by Éric Lapierre Experience.

 

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Filip Dujardin

 

The largest Parisian students housing residence is built upon a public buses amenities : a 200 buses parking lot and a maintenance warehouse. It intends to define a new standard for student housing by improving dramatically spaces dedicated to social life that creates a spectacular cascade of space.


 

The Chris Marker Student Residence in Paris, France, by Éric Lapierre Experience
BigMat National Prize France’19 

Location: Paris, France
Year completed: 2017 (Year began 2015)
Authors: Éric Lapierre (1966 France); Esmilaire Laurent (1986 France)
Collaborators: Structural engineering: Cayla Pierre-Olivier, Clément Phillipe, Tavardon Antoine Environmental: Hutter Eric Architect: Alfaro-Perez Luis, Evrard Amélie, Luce Aurélia, Weisser Caroline Electrical: Baille Sébastien Acoustical: Mercier Stéphane, Gaulupeau Aline, Serra Maud Project management: Forgue Michel, André Jean-Yves, Guillerm Jérôme, Perrault Laurent, Chanceaulme Renaud
Program: Collective housing
Total area: 6 545 m2
Usable floor area: 16 825 m2
Cost: 2335 €/m2
Client: RATP – Logis-Transport groupe RATP

 


Such a superimposition of housing upon an industrial building is very complex in terms of fire regulation and structural relationship – buses amenities are 15 meters spanning, students residence is 5 meters. All this have been achieved with a standard amount of money. Structure have been very precisely defined to be as cheap as possible.

 

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Filip Dujardin

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Filip Dujardin

 

Beside this, the scale of the students building – 100 meters long, 31 meters high – was the main issue. Beyond a certain scale, architecture of a building has to reach a certain level of complexity : if it is possible to move into the building only through a lift and a corridor to reach flats such a huge building turns into a jail. Oblique lift, vertical ones, huge outside stair, inner stairs into cascade of social space, create a diversity that makes the building appears as a small fragment of a condensed city more than a huge building. Corridors/passageways are streets, falts are houses, social spaces on each level are public buildings, patios are public square and oblique lift is public transport system.

 

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Filip Dujardin

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Filip Dujardin

 

Flats are narrow and deep – 2,50 by 8,20 m. The unity of repetition of the façade is made of two falts to make it appear smaller than it is actually.The building is all made of cast on site concrete. No holes for the forms neither no expansion joints make the building naturally belonging to the Parisian tradition of the stone building : contemporary and Parisian at the same time. We have created specific forms to pour concrete, made whith hydraulic jack to suppress holes. Even the 9 meters high column of the lobby have been cast in one time.

 

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Filip Dujardin

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Filip Dujardin

 

The structure is made of a series of walls perpendicular to the facades. When the building opens to create the diagonal of collective spaces poles turn into columns whose shape is coherent to work under compression, and which belongs to the same texture of form and proportion than the other elements of the façade. Size of those columns vary but their proportions remains the same.

 

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Filip Dujardin

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Filip Dujardin

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Filip Dujardin

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Filip Dujardin

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Filip Dujardin

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Éric Lapierre Experience

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Éric Lapierre Experience

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Éric Lapierre Experience

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Éric Lapierre Experience

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Éric Lapierre Experience

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Éric Lapierre Experience

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Éric Lapierre Experience

Discover the Kindergarten “NováRuda”, BigMat National Prize ’19 for Czech Republic

Today we discover the Kindergarten NováRuda by Petr Stolín Architekt, BigMat National Prize Czech Republic’19, which proposes a building as a learning tool for the children during the different stages of the day,

 

Kindergarten Nová Ruda, 2018, Liberec, Czech Republic, PETR STOLÍN ARCHITEKT s.r.o. © Alexandra Timpau, Tomáš Malý

 

Text description provided by the architects. The new Kindergarten – Nová Ruda in Vratislavice nad Nisou – solves the need of the city district regarding its growing population, by providing educational spaces and a leisure area for children. (more…)

“Refuge II: Temporary House” in Nevele, Belgium, by Wim Goes Architectuur BVBA

Following the Power Plant for the “Foz Tua” Dam by Souto Moura today we present the BigMat National Prize Belgium’19 winner, a project that envisages architecture and the building process as assisting the ill cess not only physically, but also on a mental, psychological level.

 

Refugee II: Temporary House, 2015, Nevele, Belgium, Wim Goes Architectuur BVBA © Filip Dujardin

 

Refuge II involves the development of a temporary space suitable for hosting a terminally ill patient. The use of basic materials and simple technology allows more than a hundred people, family and friends of the patient, to be involved in building the Refuge, offering moral support for the patient’s condition, and transforming a situation of suffering into an experience where the value of community and affectional bonds are rediscovered. (more…)

A machine inserted in the landscape, “Foz Tua” Dam by Eduardo Souto de Moura

The Power Plant for the “Foz Tua” Dam, by Souto Moura Arquitectos and winner of the BigMat ’19 International Architecture Award inaugurates a series of posts which will feature all the awarded buildings, unveiling the best recent European architecture.

 

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal © Luis Ferreira Alves

 

Eduardo Souto de Moura, formerly Pritzker Prize in 2011, was awarded with the BigMat International Grand Prize’19 for this work, which was defined by the Jury as “complex and far-reaching, a hydroelectric infrastructure in which architects seldom intervene actively”. In this extremely difficult project, Eduardo Souto Mora proves his mastery in managing works of extreme dimensions. The metaphor of the “machine inserted in the landscape” becomes reality by hiding most of the engineering works in the subsoil and covering the surrounding landscape so that the appearance of the building is fully reduced, despite the enormous size of the intervention.

 

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal © Juan Rodriguez

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal © Juan Rodriguez

 

Autonomous elements, in their materiality and expression, are fragmented in buildings of different sizes, for ventilation, chimneys, etc., in cubic, cylindrical or conical shapes, which generate an alternative artificial landscape that dialogues with topography and the natural environment. Souto Moura’s mastery controls the different scales, proving the importance of architecture as a mediator between engineering and landscape».

You can discover all the BigMat International Architecture Award winning projects here.


 

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM in Foz do Tua, Portugal, by Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A.
BigMat International Grand Prize’19 

Location: Foz do Tua, Portugal
Year completed: 2018 (Year began 2011)
Studio: Souto Moura – Arquitectos, SA
Collaborators:: Tiago Figueiredo Collaborator (office): Elisa Lindade, Diogo Guimarães, Filipa Biscaínho, Daniel Castro, Simão Sandim, Simão Sandim Structural engineering: EDP + Coba Electrical: EDP + GPIC Mechanical: EDP Hydraulic: EDP Construction company: Somague + Mota Engil
Total area: aprox. 7.000m2 (equipment) aprox. 41.000m2 (landscape) m2
Usable floor area: aprox. 12.000m2 m2
Client: EDP

 


Memory by the Eduardo Souto de Moura. Our main concern was to eliminate all the aspects of a “building” that this construction involved, reducing its appearance to that of a “machine” inserted in the landscape.
This operation had three phases and took place at three sites that we describe below:

1. Design of a concrete platform, the “cover” for the shafts and the large atrium buried underground, to house a movable bridge, transformers and the first electricity pylon. These elements were placed as close together as possible, and, because of their nature, they must necessarily be sited in the open. The finishing for this platform will consist of the typical Portuguese granite cobbled pavement.

 

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal © Luis Ferreira Alves

 

2. This platform, measuring 36 metres in width, required a 45º cut to be made into the mountain over a distance of 60 metres. In order to ensure that the final form would be as “natural” as possible, concrete walls were not used and the rock was cut and fixed in place with pinnings at every 3 metres and clad, for safety reasons, with almost imperceptible wire netting. This hillside will be covered with holes in the rock with 2×2 metres with a depth of 1 metre, in which olive trees will be planted in order to blend in with the appearance of the surrounding area. At the “foot of the mountain”, the plant’s technical building will be constructed in the form of stepped terraces and covered with topsoil in order to continue the finishing that was given to the cut made into the hillside. This building will only be visible through some metal “grottoes”, doors that provide access to the various machines that need to be protected.

 

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal © Juan Rodriguez

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal © Juan Rodriguez

3. The social building, “stapled” to the technical building by means of a bridge in the large atrium, will be located between the two cylinders of the servomotors and will use the platform described above as its roof. The whole of this construction will remain underground. All that will be visible from the outside will be a longitudinal crack, 25 metres in length and 1 metre high, which will provide light and ventilation to the different elements of this building’s programme: meeting room, control centre, etc.

 

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal, Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A. © Souto Moura Arquitectos

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal, Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A. © Souto Moura Arquitectos

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal, Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A. © Souto Moura Arquitectos

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal, Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A. © Souto Moura Arquitectos

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal, Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A. © Souto Moura Arquitectos

The Alto Douro wine region was listed as Unesco World Heritage Site in 2001 in the cultural landscape category. The construction of a hydroelectric power station to capture energy from the Tua river, a tributar on the right bank of Douro, put this classification at risk because of the visual and ecological impact it would have on the site. To moderate the negative effects of this infraestructure we developed a project that would minimize its impact on the environment. The objective of our intervention was to eliminate all aspects of a “building” that this construction involved, reducing its image to that os a “machine” inserted in the landscape.

All the construction is in concrete, and all the mobil elements (like doors and window frames) are in stainless steel.

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal, Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A. © Souto Moura Arquitectos

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal, Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A. © Souto Moura Arquitectos

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal, Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A. © Souto Moura Arquitectos

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal, Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A. © Souto Moura Arquitectos

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal, Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A. © Souto Moura Arquitectos

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal, Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A. © Souto Moura Arquitectos

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal, Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A. © Souto Moura Arquitectos

Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal, Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A. © Souto Moura Arquitectos

 

“A drawn city” Sergei Tchoban at la Galerie d’Architecture

The exhibition “A Drawn City” by German-Russian architect and artist Sergei Tchoban reflects the strong contrasts created by the interaction between historic architecture and modern architecture, so visible in today’s cities.

 

“Une ville dessinee” by Sergei Tchoban

 

It highlights the artist’s attachment to architectural drawings that combine European city structures and futuristic elements. Considered in interaction and in correlation with the urban fabric already in place, its different architectural expressions take into account the context and the physical and historical conditions of each site. (more…)

“OVO Grąbczewscy. Playing Architecture” at Architektur Galerie Berlin

Architecture is a serious matter – in that respect, OVO Grąbczewscy is no exception. Functional, constructive, legal, and financial requirements as well as client expectations mean that architecture is the most “unfree” of all the arts, and the trend is rising.

 

“OVO Grąbczewscy. Playing Architecture” at BDA Galerie Berlin © OVO Grąbczewscy

 

In order to retain the creative freedom necessary for their profession, the architects have developed the thesis of “playing architecture”. This enables them – despite stringent conditions – to apply their vision, research, and sense of freedom, fun, and humor as they see fit. (more…)

“Alvaro Urbano: The Awakening” at La Casa Encendida

In this exhibition in one scene, artist Alvaro Urbano (Madrid, 1983) uses as a case study the celebrated Hexagon Pavilion, designed by architects José Antonio Corrales and Ramón Vázquez Molezún.

 

“Alvaro Urbano: The Awakening” at La Casa Encendida

 

Like a strange dream that seems to go on forever, The Awakening reanimates a building whose life appears to have expired long ago. Through an immersive installation comprised of fragments that make up the body of a building, a forgotten edifice is reactivated to provoke speculative thought about its past and future.


 

“Alvaro Urbano: The Awakening”
28 February – 19 April, 2020
La Casa Encendida
Ronda de Valencia, 2,  Madrid
Spain

 


In this exhibition in one scene, artist Alvaro Urbano (Madrid, 1983) uses as a case study the celebrated Hexagon Pavilion, designed by architects José Antonio Corrales and Ramón Vázquez Molezún. The building, now languishing in a ruinous state in Madrid’s Casa de Campo park, was first presented as the Spanish Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair and is considered an important example of modern Spanish architecture. After years of abandonment, it is hard to believe what it once was and what it contained.

 

“Alvaro Urbano: The Awakening” at La Casa Encendida

 

Here—where the architecture and vegetation seem to be frozen in time, where the building itself holds a pictorial and sonic landscape that speaks of the past experiences lived within its walls, and where a pair of raccoons intermittently dwells—an endless twilight bathes the space in color and brings it to life.

Like an unscripted film that captures daily existence, The Awakening constructs a parallel life for an exhausted building in order to revive seemingly dormant histories.

Alvaro Urbano (Spain, 1983) lives and works in Berlin. He studied at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Madrid (ETSAM) and the Institut für Raumexperimente of the Universität der Künste in Berlin. He is currently a professor at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 2014 Urbano received the Villa Romana Prize. His work has been shown in different institutions and organizations such as Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York (upcoming); Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; Art Basel Statements with ChertLüdde; among many others.

José Esparza Chong Cuy (Mexico, 1984) is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City. Previously, he was the Pamela Alper Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA). He is co-curator of the ongoing traveling retrospective Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat, co-organized between the MCA, the Museu de arte de São Paulo, and the Museo Jumex in Mexico City. Prior to the MCA, Esparza Chong Cuy was Associate Curator at the Museo Jumex. Between 2007-2012 he lived in New York City and held positions as Curatorial Associate at Storefront for Art and Architecture, Research Fellow at the New Museum, and Contributing Editor at Domus magazine. In 2013 he was Co-Curator of the Lisbon Architecture Triennal. He is a graduate of Columbia University’s M.S. in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture.