“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…)

“Designed Landscapes – Brussels 1775-2020” at CIVA Brussels

Designed Landscapes proposes a new perspective on the Brussels Region landscape, leading to discover the exceptionnal history of its parks and public gardens. Through original documents, partly unreleased, the exhibition offers an overall vision on the landscape creations between 1775 and the contemporary period, their authors as well as the historical and political context.


Nord Au Nord Catherine Mosbach Civa © CIVA


The exhibition aims to position Brussels’ landscape creations in an international cultural frame and to give value to the specific tools employed by a landscape designer.To understand the vast temporal arc that extends from the 1775s to the contemporary period, this is the ambition that the CIVA has set itself to give the visitor a real overview of the landscape creations of the capital. Not only the works – parks, gardens, avenues planted – but also their authors, often unknown, will be highlighted during this exhibition. (more…)

“Haus Wittgenstein. Art, Architecture and Philosophy” at MAAT Lisbon

Haus Wittgenstein: Art, Architecture and Philosophy is a selection of works from several institutions and artists, including a group of original artworks from several national artists, that explore the house and the ideas of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951).


Haus Wittgenstein_Art, Architecture & Philosophy_Courtesy of EDP Foundation © Bruno Lopes


The result is a dialogue between art, architecture and philosophy in the rooms of MAAT’s Main Gallery. The focus of this exhibition is the 90-year history of the Wittgenstein house of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 – 1951) in Vienna. A project begun in 1926 and completed in 1928, the house has an intense history in which several areas of knowledge converge. This confluence occurs not only because Wittgenstein was its architect, but also because the history of the project, of its construction and inhabitation, reflects a series of conflicts that constitute a comprehensive example of a creative process that is at once both artistic and architectural. (more…)

“Dichtelust – Forms of Urban Coexistence in Switzerland” at S AM Basel

In Switzerland, the concept of density has noticeably negative connotations and is often used to provoke fear. Political campaigns with images of old towns overrun by high-rise buildings illustrate an alleged ‘proximity stress’ (Dichtestress) and make balanced discussion impossible.


«Dichtelust», (ab)Normal © (ab)Normal


The exhibition ‘Dichtelust – Forms of Urban Coexistence in Switzerland’, which the S AM Swiss Architecture Museum has developed with the support of the Canton Basel-City Construction and Transport Department, refutes these irrational arguments and demonstrates the real meaning of density: the thoughtful and compact utilisation of buildable territory. It examines different forms of historical density and contemporary redensification, and clarifies how density contributes to quality of life by creating tangible added value for the individual, for society and for the environment.


Practical information

“Dichtelust – Forms of Urban Coexistence in Switzerland”
November 24, 2018 – May 5, 2019
S AM Swiss Architecture Museum
Steinenberg 7, 4001 Basel


To explore the topic in more depth, the S AM will be holding various events. For example, ETH CASE will discuss the concept of the ‘10-minute neighbourhood’ (6/12/2018), the Canton Basel-City Construction and Transport Department will be shedding light on large-scale site developments in Basel in a series of lunchtime events (31/1, 21/2, 21/3, 4/4/2019) and, together with architect Lukas Gruntz, Matias Echanove from urbz will look into densification as a collective process in a lecture (28/3/2019). The publication ‘Dichtelust – Formen des urbanen Zusammenlebens in der Schweiz’ (in German) will be published with the Christoph Merian Verlag to accompany the exhibition.


«Basler Dichte» gestern: Ansicht des Barfüsserplatzes mit der Barfüsserkirche, Andreas Geist, 1835 © Historisches Museum Basel / Foto: Peter Portner

«Basler Dichte» morgen: Nordspitze Visualisierung des Gottlieb Duttweiler-Feldes, Herzog & de Meuron, 2017 © Herzog & de Meuron


From the 24th of November 2018 to the 5th of May 2019, the S AM Swiss Architecture Museum presents the exhibition ‘Dichtelust – Forms of Urban Coexistence in Switzerland’, realised with the support of the Canton Basel-City Construction and Transport Department. This exhibition conveys how density contributes to the quality of life in a city – in other words, how compact planning and construction creates added value for the individual, for society and for the environment. Here, visitors to the exhibition are guided through the museum’s rooms from prejudice against density towards its possibilities.


The exhibition first addresses the misnomer ‘proximity stress’, then examines how this term (fuelled by the tabloid press and populist politics) has managed to become part of everyday Swiss vocabulary. The prejudices against density need to be explained. To this end, the first room of the exhibition looks at the question of how density is defined. However, it also shows that quantitative measurements (such as the floor area ratio, which is the ratio of the total floor area to the site area) are insufficient when it comes to describing the qualities of density. Equal densities (or floor area ratios) can describe different atmospheres. The focus is thus shifted from quantitative criteria to the qualitative potential of density.


Dachgarten Toni-Areal (Zürich), EM2N mit Studio Vulkan Landschaftsarchitekten © Roger Frei

Modellfotos des «Glasi Quartier», Bülach, Duplex Architekten © Duplex Architekten


For the museum’s large hall, 25 architectural offices were contacted and asked to submit projects in which density creates added value. Applied well, density can be beneficial for everyone involved: For instance, it reduces the need for resources and prevents one-sided utilisation (e.g. solely commercial or residential) as well as commuting and the motorised private transport associated with it. Dense, mixed- use programming, in which quantitative and qualitative criteria of density are well combined, can promote interaction, diversity and efficiency. Various best- practice examples reveal the possibilities of such an architecture: They strive for high occupancy, but also show how open spaces balance out the built-up area.


«Basel 2018», 3rei5ünf6echs, entwickelt in Zusammenarbeit mit Städtebau & Architektur des Bau- und Verkehrsdepartements des Kantons Basel-Stadt © 3rei5ünf6echs


“Basel density’: the transformation sites and their link to historical density The third and fourth exhibition rooms are devoted to ‘Basel density’. With the support of the Canton Basel-City Construction and Transport Department, they show how Basel is densifying today. Here, there is great potential for development through densifying and optimising the city’s underused industrial sites – valuable reserves that can become a new part of the urban space. The planning and communication for these projects, including successfully involving citizens in their design, present major challenges because the rising density in the city often arouses fears among the population. This contrasts with the positive perception of Basel’s historical density and densification, as demonstrated in the exhibition with the aid of historical paintings. The closely built baroque townhouses and narrow alleys in the mediaeval town centre show how density in the historical context was, and continues to be, experienced positively.


«Basel 2018», 3rei5ünf6echs, entwickelt in Zusammenarbeit mit Städtebau & Architektur des Bau- und Verkehrsdepartements des Kantons Basel-Stadt © 3rei5ünf6echs

Atrium des FHNW-Campus im Polyfeld Muttenz, pool Architekten © pool Architekten


The large-scale developments in Basel presented in these two rooms differ greatly in their goals. However, they all aim to translate higher density into qualities that make living together appealing again, much like their historical predecessors.

Basel city model and looking into the future of Basel’s urban development Finally, a large-scale wall drawing by the illustrators 3rei5ünf6echs shows the city of Basel with its planned site developments. On top of this, another feature is to be added to the S AM during the exhibition: the Basel city model on the ground floor of the Canton Basel-City Construction and Transport Department at Dufourstrasse 40 in Basel. When the exhibition ends, the panorama by 3rei5ünf6echs will be moved into the same room, where, together with the city model, it will provide a glimpse into the future of Basel’s urban development.


News source: S AM
Subscribe here to get weekly updates about architecture events and exhibitions.

“Legislating Architecture. Architecting after Politics” at Vorarlberger Architektur Institut

The exhibition, in cooperation with the online TV channel station + (DARCH, ETHZ), presents a cinematic essay that brings together answers to this question in a dialogue. The film is based on C.G. Jung and Wolfgang Pauli’s holistic model for our world, which moves with the exhibition to various places and brings local phenomena into a global context.


Still from Legislating Architecture . © Arno Brandlhuber and Christopher Roth

Still from Legislating Architecture . © Arno Brandlhuber and Christopher Roth


“Legislating Architecture” describes a model of thinking and action that addresses the rules and laws of architecture. Architecture is understood as a built environment and as a social field. “Architecting after Politics” is the third film in a series that has been created since 2016 as a cooperation between Brandlhuber + and director Christopher Roth. The latest film continues what the films “Legislating Architecture” and “The Property Drama” have begun and poses a crucial question of our time: who builds the world?  (more…)

“Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today” at ADAM – Brussels Design Museum

“Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today” offers the first large-scale examination of the relationship between club culture and design, from past to present. The exhibition presents nightclubs as spaces that merge architecture and interior design with sound, light, fashion, graphics, and visual effects to create a modern Gesamtkunstwerk.


Despacio Sound System, New Century Hall, Manchester International Festival, July 2013. © Rod Lewis

Despacio Sound System, New Century Hall, Manchester International Festival, July 2013. © Rod Lewis


The nightclub is one of the most important design spaces in contemporary culture. Since the 1960s, nightclubs have been epicentres of pop culture, distinct spaces of nocturnal leisure providing architects and designers all over the world with opportunities and inspiration. Examples range from Italian clubs of the 1960s created by the protagonists of Radical Design to the legendary Studio 54 where Andy Warhol was a regular, from the Haçienda in Manchester designed by Ben Kelly to more recent concepts by the OMA architecture studio for the Ministry of Sound in London.  (more…)

“The Territory of Architecture Gregotti and Associati 1953-2017” at Centro Cultural de Belem – Garagem Sul

On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, the Belém Cultural Centre presents a retrospective exhibition of the work of Vittorio Gregotti. The exhibition will present an explanatory narrative of his wide-ranging activities and those conducted by his studio, spanning more than six decades of projects both in Italy and abroad.


Grand Théâtre de Provence © Gregotti e Associati

Grand Théâtre de Provence © Gregotti e Associati


The title of the retrospective establishes an ideal continuity and a form of mirroring with the territorio dell’architettura (territory of architecture) – the programmatic title of his first book published in 1966 – a meeting place for contributions from other experiences and disciplines, in which the term territory conveys the meaning of the overall physical and conceptual material for architecture itself.

“Agricultural Capital. Projects for a Cultivated City” at Pavillon de l’Arsenal

With a sense of foresight and commitment, the exhibition “An Agricultural Capital” reveals the primary bonds between city, nature, and agriculture, and how, beyond their apparent opposition, we can find the keys to a new Agricultural Urbanism.


"Agricultural Capital. Projects for a Cultivated City" © Pavillon de l’Arsenal

“Agricultural Capital. Projects for a Cultivated City” © Pavillon de l’Arsenal


Residents of the metropolis have rediscovered agriculture as a way to address growing environmental crises as well as their concerns about their own food and health. However, their idealized vision is often hard to implement, given how contemporary cities are organized and operate. The event “Agricultural Capital: Projects for a Cultivated City” unearths the deep links between agricultural and urban production, between cultivation and habitation, and between ground and a city. (more…)