“You are here. 20 Years of Recetas Urbanas” at MUSAC Leon

How is an architectural space produced and what makes this production a collective event? What opportunities does architecture provide as techne, as a platform for the questioning of the regulation and management of the public as provided by various administrative and institutional frameworks? And how can this be understood as the formulation of collective knowledge?


Aula Abierta Sevilla 2012 © Juan Gabriel Pelegrina


Santiago Cirugeda (Seville, 1971) and his studio Recetas Urbanas have been answering these questions for more than 20 years by generating spaces for the production of the social. His architecture is the result of the constant definition and redefinition of the public, with projects that question the management, use and constitution of this space. (more…)

“Tutto Ponti: Gio Ponti, Archi-Designer” at Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris

Considered one of the most influential architects and designers of the twentieth century, Gio Ponti (1891-1979) will be honored at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in his first retrospective in France. A prolific creator who was equally interested in both industrial and craft production, Ponti revolutionized post-war architecture, opening up the way for a new art of living.


Basilica, Palazzo del Bo, University of Padua © Tom Mannion

Basilica, Palazzo del Bo, University of Padua © Tom Mannion


The exhibition Tutto Ponti: Gio Ponti, Archi-Designer, presented in the museum’s main hall, covers the entirety of his long career from 1921 to 1978, highlighting numerous aspects of his work from architecture to industrial design, from furniture to lighting, and from the creation of journals to his incursion into the fields of glassware, ceramics and metalwork. Over 400 pieces, some of which have never left their place of origin, trace this multidisciplinary display that combines architecture, furniture and interior fittings for private homes and public buildings (universities and cathedrals). (more…)

“Madrid, October 68: The Spanish experimental scene” at Frac Centre-Val de Loire

In autumn of 2018, the Frac Centre-Val de Loire will inaugurate the first exhibition in France dedicated to the Spanish experimental scene of the 1960’s and 1980’s. The retrospective portrays the incredible adventure of the University of Madrid’s Computing Center, which brought together artists, architects, engineers, scientists and intellectuals to explore the possibilities offered by automatic computer generated calculation.


Francisco Javier Seguí de la Riva & Ana Buenaventura, Ordre biologique, 1971 Collection Frac Centre-Val de Loire

Francisco Javier Seguí de la Riva & Ana Buenaventura, Ordre biologique, 1971 Collection Frac Centre-Val de Loire


These pioneers formed a community whose – collective – experience working at the crossroads of art and computing asserted a different form of artistic production between disciplines. The first computer at the Spanish university made its appearance in 1968, marking the beginning of the Computing Center’s activities. After decades of cultural isolation, artists, architects and musicians began reflecting on the uses of computers within their creative processes. The Computing Center became the most significant space for creative freedom at the end of the dictatorship, thus asserting itself as a collective structure for experimentation, in a context where gathering together “had a special, almost subversive meaning.” (more…)

“Louis Kahn and Venezia” exhibition at Theatre of Architecture in Mendrisio

The exhibition “Louis Kahn and Veniezia”, which inaugurates the programme of the new USI Teatro dell’architettura Mendrisio designed by Mario Botta, stages for the first time the profound link between the American architect and the Italian city.


"Louis Kahn and Venezia" The project for the Palazzo dei Congressi and the Biennale building © USI

“Louis Kahn and Venezia” The project for the Palazzo dei Congressi and the Biennale building © USI


Louis Kahn and Venezia for the first time showcases the close ties between the American architect, one of the twentieth-century Masters, and the city of Venice. Kahn’s relationship with the Italian city date from his first stay in 1928 and continued over the decades with further visits. It was strengthened by his participation in the Biennale, his friendship with Carlo Scarpa, the various lectures he gave and above all his project, which remained on the drawing board, for a Palazzo dei Congressi. (more…)

“Léon Stynen, architect” at deSingel International Arts Campus

The exhibition ‘Léon Stynen, architect’ displays iconic designs from Stynen’s rich archive. This material is brought to life with photos, models, pieces from private collections and testimonials from colleagues, employees and clients.


BP-building, 19560, Léon Stynen i.s.m. Paul De Meyer  © VAi

BP-building, 19560, Léon Stynen i.s.m. Paul De Meyer © VAi


The best-known designs by Léon Stynen (1899-1990) include the Belgian Pavilion for the World’s Fair in New York – in collaboration with Henry van de Velde and Victor Bourgeois -, Antwerp’s BP building, the casinos at Ostend and Knokke, and deSingel. As director of the Academy of Antwerp’s architecture department (1948) and the National Superior Institute of Architecture and Decorative Arts La Cambre (1950), he also played a leading role in the development of architectural education. In 1963 he became the first national chairman of the Order of Architects.  (more…)

“Kasper Akhøj. Welcome (To The Teknival)” at Ivorypress Madrid

Ivorypress is pleased to present artist Kasper Akhøj’s latest project, entitled Welcome (To The Teknival). The exhibition, open until 3 November 2018, consists of a photographic series taken by Akhøj between the spring of 2009 and summer of 2017 during the ongoing restoration of E-1027, Maison en bord de mer.


"Kasper Akhøj. Welcome (To The Teknival)"  © Kasper Akhøj

“Kasper Akhøj. Welcome (To The Teknival)” © Kasper Akhøj


They are based on a series of photographs by Eileen Gray, first published by Jean Badovici in a special issue of the journal L’Architecture Vivante from 1929, the year their villa in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin on the Côte d’Azur first stood finished. (more…)

“Machines à penser” at Fondazione Prada Venice

Fondazione Prada presents the exhibition “Machines à penser”, curated by Dieter Roelstraete, exploring the correlation between conditions of exile, escape and retreat and physical or mental places which favor reflection, thought and intellectual production.


"Machines à penser" exhibition view at Fondazione Prada Venice © Mattia Balsamini

“Machines à penser” exhibition view at Fondazione Prada Venice © Mattia Balsamini


“Machines à penser” focuses on three major philosophers of the 20th century: Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969), Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) and Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951). The latter two shared a life-long need for intellectual isolation: Heidegger spent long periods of his life in a secluded hut in the village of Todtnauberg in the Black Forest in Germany, whilst Wittgenstein retreated on several occasions to a small mountain cabin situated in a fjord in Skjolden, Norway. Adorno, on the other hand, was forced into exile from his native Germany during by the Nazi regime, first to Oxford and then to Los Angeles, where he wrote Minima Moralia, a collection of aphorisms that also reflects on the fate of forced emigration. These reflections inspired the installation conceived by the Scottish artist and poet Ian Hamilton Finlay in 1987 titled Adorno’s Hut, a centerpiece of the exhibition alongside architectural reconstructions of the actual huts of Heidegger and Wittgenstein. (more…)

“Lacaton & Vassal / inhabiting: pleasure and luxury for everyone” exhibition at AUT

The architects Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, winners of the latest BigMat International Architecture Award are among the internationally most important representatives of a “pragmatic” and at the same time social architecture that questions the economic as well as the ecological foundations of building.


Lacaton & Vassal, Cité Manifeste, Mulhouse, 2001 – 2005 – © Philippe Ruault

Lacaton & Vassal, Cité Manifeste, Mulhouse, 2001 – 2005 – © Philippe Ruault


They see the creation of open areas and “luxurious” living spaces as one of the main tasks of their architecture. Thanks to simple and industrial materials, they succeed in generating affordable and architectonically high-quality living space. In their first project, the single-family House Latapie from 1993, they already formulate the basic features of their further work. An adapted greenhouse construction is pulled over a simple wooden structure and defines a climatic shell that acts as a winter garden or extended living space. In this way, 185 m2 of usable space arose for what was then just over 55,000 Euros. The greenhouse theme subsequently assumes a central role in their work, because there is hardly a project that does not take up certain elements or set pieces of this industrial horticultural product. (more…)

“Besides, History: Go Hasegawa, Kersten Geers, David Van Severen” at Serralves Museum

“Besides, History” is a three-party conversation that took place over the past year, involving Go Hasegawa, based in Tokyo, Kersten Geers and David Van Severen (OFFICE), based in Brussels, and the history of architecture.


Besides, History: Go Hasegawa, Kersten Geers, David Van Severen. Installation view, 2017 © CCA

Besides, History: Go Hasegawa, Kersten Geers, David Van Severen. Installation view, 2017 © CCA


This conversation was initiated by the CCA, an institution that was founded on the conviction that studying architecture’s ideas involves using the past and the present as tools to envision the future. (more…)

Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 “FREESPACE”

This year’s Venice Biennale, to be held from Saturday May 26th to Sunday November 25th 2018, has been curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects. Under the title “FREESPACE” the mission statement of  the curators of the 16th Mostra Internazionale di Architettura – La Biennale di Venezia, focuses on the question of space, the quality of space, open and free space.


Switzerland won the Golden Lion for best national participant, with its exhibition Svizzera 240 House Tour © Wilson Wooton

Switzerland won the Golden Lion for best national participant, with its exhibition Svizzera 240 House Tour © Wilson Wooton


The Awards Ceremony of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition took place on Saturday 26th May 2018 at Ca’ Giustinian, Venice. Portugese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura has been awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale for “Vol De Jour” project exhibited at the Arsenale, while the Swiss Pavilion has been awarded the Best Pavilion as National Participant at the Giardini. (more…)

Lacaton & Vassal wins 2017 BigMat Grand Prize for Architecture

The FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais art center, completed in 2013 by the French architects, follows the office building by Alberto Campo Baeza and the kitchen tower by Xaveer De Geyter as Grand Prize of the biannual award. The third edition of the BigMat International Architecture Award rewards European architecture with one Grand Prize (30.000€), six National Prizes (5.000€ each prize), six Category Prizes (1.500€ each prize), one Public Prize (1.500€) and one Special Mention for Young Architects.


BigMat '17 International Architecture Award ceremony at Palazzo Vecchio, Florence  © BigMat

BigMat ’17 International Architecture Award ceremony at Palazzo Vecchio, Florence © BigMat


The awards ceremony took place on November 24th, at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy, 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 14 finalists were chosen from the initial selection of 87 participating teams of architects disclosed last July.

Out of a list of almost 900 projects from 7 European countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Slovakia, Portugal and Spain), the panel of judges chaired by Jesús Aparicio and comprising Xaveer De Geyter (Belgium), Henrieta Moravčíková (Czech Republic + Slovakia), Marc Barani (France), Francesco Isidori (Italy), Paulo David (Portugal + Spain), and awards secretary Jesús Donaire, decided to give the BigMat ’17 International Architecture Award to the French National Fund for Contemporary Arts building ‘FRAC’ in Dunkirk, by French architects Lacaton & Vassal. (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…)

“Bengal Stream” exhibition at Arc en Rêve Bordeaux

Bengal Stream is the first exhibition in France to focus on the architectural scene in Bangladesh. The exhibition presents over sixty projects demonstrating the extraordinary vibrant architecture scene in their country. Simplicity, adaptability, and an ability to cope with vulnerability are the collective strengths and values of architecture in Bangladesh.


Centre Friendship Gaibandha URBANA Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury architecte @Iwan Baan


The East-West / North-South programme designed by arc en rêve in 2004 presented the essential purpose of architecture, giving people places to live, and placed creativity at the heart of the major issues facing societies as they turn towards the future. We observed at the time that dwelling solutions developed by populations in extreme conditions can inform the search for new modes of design to help us to build habitable environments here and now.

“Openings” Tom Emerson in conversation with the Álvaro Siza Archive

‘Conversations with the Álvaro Siza Archive’ is a new series of exhibitions aimed at placing the work of Álvaro Siza in dialogue with some of the most relevant contemporary architectural practices. Invited to act as guest curator for each individual exhibition, an architect is asked to select materials from the Álvaro Siza Archive and present them in connection to his/her own work.


Alvaro Siza, Casa Beires, glazing detail © Serralves Museum


Tom Emerson, of London-based practice 6a architects, will be the first guest curator in the series. Alvaro Siza met with students for the close of seminar week. “The Portuguese Way” took us from Lisbon to Porto guided by artists, manufacturers and architects, around their cities and landscapes leading us to the architecture of Tavora, Siza and Souto de Moura, the three generations who have shaped Portuguese architecture as we know it today. (more…)

Peter Zumthor’s first building in the UK, house “Secular Retreat” in Devon

As a part of Living Architecture program, Swiss architect Peter Zumthor has completed a holiday home titled ‘Secular Retreat’ set on a hilltop amongst the rolling pastures in South Devon, England. The retreat will be the Pritzker Prize-winning architect’s first permanent building in the UK.


Secular Retreat house, Living Architecture, Peter Zumthor © Jack Hobhouse


In South Devon, between the resorts of Salcombe and Hallsands lies a landscape of rolling hills, wooded river valleys, patchwork fields and small villages of old stone houses. It is here Living Architecture invited one of the greatest architects in the world, Peter Zumthor, to create Secular Retreat.


Project data

“Secular Retreat” house in Devon
Atelier Peter Zumthor and Partner

Project team: Peter Zumthor, Rainer Weitschies, Pascal Berchtold, Tom Tsapkov, Anna Page
Executive architect (phase 1): Mole Architects
Local architectural advisor (concept phase): David Sheppard Architects
Construction management: Simon Cannon
Structural engineer: Jane Wernick Associates
Quantity surveyor: KM Dimensions
Environmental design engineers: Transsolar and Integration UK
Landscape design and consultant: The Rathbone Partnership


Positioned on a lower level within the garden, Secular Retreat is partly concealed behind the reinstated natural field boundaries. Only as guests approach along the sweeping pathway is the full extent of this extraordinary house revealed.


Secular Retreat house, Living Architecture, Peter Zumthor © Jack Hobhouse

Secular Retreat house, Living Architecture, Peter Zumthor © Jack Hobhouse


Guests enter beneath the massive overhang of the cantilevered white concrete roof. As they move through the fully glazed large open-plan living area, the beauty of this remarkable location and interior becomes apparent.


Secular Retreat house, Living Architecture, Peter Zumthor © Jack Hobhouse


The magnificent views are best enjoyed from bespoke armchairs perfectly positioned to become transfixed by the procession of clouds moving across the South Devon landscape, and watching the sun set over the valley below. However, the writing desk, situated in a semi-hidden nook, may just have the best view, an intimate place for contemplation and putting one’s thoughts onto paper.


Secular Retreat house, Living Architecture, Peter Zumthor © Jack Hobhouse

Secular Retreat house, Living Architecture, Peter Zumthor © Jack Hobhouse


The living area is where guests come together to prepare food in the thoughtfully designed kitchen, eat at the large dining table or gather around the fireplace. When in need of some privacy, for an afternoon nap or a soak in the timber bath, they can choose from five generously sized bedrooms each with an en-suite bathroom. Each bedroom takes advantage of the stunning location, with full-height windows onto the nearby gardens and landscape. Wake in the morning to see birds of prey scouting the valley below, take a coffee into the east garden, settle on a bench with a book or take a stroll among the Monterey Pines surrounding the house.


Secular Retreat house, Living Architecture, Peter Zumthor © Jack Hobhouse


Secular Retreat is a very special house that must be experienced to appreciate the insight and sensitivity Peter Zumthor and Living Architecture have brought to this breath-taking landscape.


Secular Retreat house, Living Architecture, Peter Zumthor © Peter Zumthor

Secular Retreat house, Living Architecture, Peter Zumthor © Peter Zumthor


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