“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…)

“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…)

“Downtown Denise Scott Brown” at Architekturzentrum Wien

Denise Scott Brown is both a monument and a mystery. She helped to lead a revolt against architectural late Modernism with the aim of saving Modernism. Welcome to the world’s first extensive solo exhibition on the work of this today 87 year old architect, urban planner, educator, and writer.


Sainsbury Wing National Gallery, London England © Timothy Soar


Since the 1960s, Denise Scott Brown — together with her partner and husband Robert Venturi — has inspired generations of architects worldwide. She redefined the relation of architecture and urban planning, the rules of architectural design, social consciousness, photography, the analysis of everyday culture, and the possibilities of joint creativity. Her research studio on Las Vegas resulted in the groundbreaking book Learning from Las Vegas, whose impact is still felt today. (more…)