Journey into the Fire
Essay by Chasper Schmidlin, Video by Till von Mackensen
A journey with our students took us to a place where fire could be
experienced with all the senses: the volcanic island of Stromboli, one
of the pearls of the Aeolian Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. To get
there, we had to cross the deep blue sea. The boat bore the name
Eraclide. It made us...
ART AND ARCHITECTURE - Atelier Not Vital in Beijing
Interview with Not Vital and Mitsunori Sano
Not Vital was born in 1948 in Sent, Graubünden (CH) and has been living and working between the USA, Africa, Chile, Italy and Switzerland.
In 2008 he commissioned his collaborator, the young Japanese architect Mitsunori Sano, to design his new Atelier in Caochangdi, an artist neighbourhood of...
Holy Ground: Unorthodox Interventions in the Wadi Rum
Lecture by Sahel Al Hiyari
I will present to you a few projects that sort of represent the trajectory of works I have done over the past 13 years. The works are focal points or images between two aspects: on one hand it is the aspect of a cultural context that is characterized by its constant transitions, ambiguities, and an...
THE BEST ART SOMETIMES COMES FROM RESTRICTIONS
Interview with Mohammad Al Asad and Sahel Al Hiyari
Public space in a Middle Eastern city
MOHAMMAD AL ASAD: this is a very difficult subject to address because there is always the talk of the fact that there are no true public spaces in this part of the world, but then you have Cairo and “Tahrir square” which shows how a public space...
FILM THEATRE OF CATALONIA
Lecture by Josep Lluís Mateo
Constructing a building can be a long process. This is one of those cases.
OPEN SELECTION. SUMMER 2004
The first step was to produce some brief reflections. On the basis of these, plus curriculum and similar documents, the Jury selected five teams.
My initial interest was in...
Pragmatic, Poetic, Sacred
Lecture by Rahul Mehrotra
The materiality of place in what is locally available—the elements—is always the starting point for our projects. We also excavate a site very deeply; by excavation, I mean understanding its dynamics, its politics and its cultural expressions. For me, the site is not just the piece of land; it...
Water and Landscape
Interview with Günther Vogt
GV First of all, I think we have to recognise that architecture and landscape
architecture always deal with culture. This means that we only see
what we know. Without knowledge, you cannot perceive or value the
landscape. In this way, architecture and landscape are similar. Here,
of course, we...
Fire and Light
Interview with Stan Allen
IC Fire as a form of energy and its mastering gave rise to human civilization.
From its central role in the organization of space, the architectural
presence of fire has declined somewhat during the last two centuries.
On the one hand, its potential dangers led it to be shut away, first...
Building and Teaching
Interview with Josep Lluis Mateo
Could you talk about the relationship between your academic activity and your professional practice? In what way do they influence each other?
I consider myself a professional architect. Having said that, I have to point out that this has not always been the case. At the start of my career...
Lecture by Hamid Montazeri
Buildings in hot and humid climates have been traditionally cooled by ventilation. Wind catchers or what is in Persian called a Baud-Geer have been employed in the arid central regions of Iran and its neighboring countries to provide natural ventilation and passive cooling. The function of the...
Lecture by Alberto Veiga
Many of our projects deal with the question of character. If I were to use a metaphor then I would have to say that we are not interested in the language of architecture - no, we are interested in the tone of architecture. I believe that sometimes it is more important the way you speak than in fact...
Interview with Alfredo Pini, Atelier 5
Various international architects who were addressing new forms of dwelling and settlement in the 1950s and 1960s were chosen for PREVI competition. Atelier 5 caused an international sensation with the Siedlung Halen settlement. Why was this topic a cause for such an international concern at the...
ARCHITECTS SHOULD BE GOOD PHOTOGRAPHERS
by Ammar Khammash
IN THE CITY: WILD JORDAN
As you all know, normally people think of a buildings having four elevations and in Jordan, in Amman, we have the 5th elevation, which is the most important because we have a very complex geomorphological city, where you see the roof. So the fifth elevation is the...
THERE IS A COMBAT IN EVERY CONTEXT
Interview with Bernard Khoury
And when we move from these private projects with a certain public purpose to the more “normal” projects like the residential blocks with very neutral, generic names, such as #183, IB3, #732, #893 etc? Do these projects for everyday purposes reflect the same experimental origin...
CINETECA SVIZZERA IN LOCARNO
Final Review: George Arbid, Rafael de la Hoz and Urs Primas
We have proposed to design a building for the “Cineteca Svizzera” in the centre of Locarno in the Spring Semester 2011.
Located on the banks of Lake Maggiore at the foot of the Alps, the medieval town of Locarno hosts since 1946 the Festival del Film Locarno, one of the oldest film festivals...
WALKWAYS, OASES AND PLAYGROUNDS - Collective spaces in the PREVI
by Marianne Baumgartner
The site of the PREVI international architecture competition was located some kilometres north of the built border of Lima in the 1960s, bounded and crossed by three important expressways. The area forms part of Peru’s long desert strip between the Andes and the South Pacific Ocean: an arid, dusty...
Learning from the Vernacular
Lecture by Martin Videgård
The work of Tham & Videgard answers to the architectural conditions that operate in every local context without any kind of heroic attitude. Avoiding the typical Postmodern rhetoric of the 1980s, their projects relate to vernacular approaches, where the problem of form is addressed not as language...
Giacometti Museum in Stampa
Final Review: Heinrich Degelo, Yvonne Farrell and Philip Ursprung
In the winter semester 2010, we have proposed to design a small exhibition building for the famous artist family from Stampa.
The museum is situated in the Bregaglia valley, where once one of the main trading routes crossing the Alps over the Septimer Pass began. The impressing physical presence...
SUSTAINABLE URBAN DESIGN
Interview with Jan Carmeliet
Ecology and Urbanism
I prefer not to use the word ecological, but instead, I rather speak about sustainable urban design. Ecology is just one of the aspects of sustainability, besides economical and social aspects. Our research contributes to the sustainable design of existing and future...
ECO VALLEE - A new city at the heart of the French Riviera
by Ramias Steinemann
Situated In the river Var valley, tangent to Nice and close to strong existing communications hubs, the city is conceived as central rather than peripheral or suburban, accommodating new spaces for the knowledge economy, services, and year-round and seasonal housing.
In the Var valley context,...