NEXT EVENT | SUBVERSIVES | Public Event 11 | 2014-15 Series
An audience with: Álvaro Siza, Sérgio Fernandez, Jorge Figueira, Luis Urbano & Bruno Silvestre
Thursday 09 October 2014 | ESALA Edinburgh | 13:00-15:00
& 'Ruptura Silenciosa' a Luis Urbano film screening | 12:00-13:00
RSA | Royal Scottish Academy
ESALA | Edinburgh School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture
GSA | The Mackintosh School of Architecture
RGU| Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment
Professor Ian Wall
Alan Dunlop Architect
Reiach & Hall Architects
In the Portugal of the 1940s and 1950s, two developments lent depth to the feeling of at least one group of architects that the country’s architecture was falling into a set of empty stylistic patterns. The fascist dictatorship of the Estado Novo (as the regime was called) had adopted a narrow range of models by reference to which they were able to promulgate a homogeneous state style – monumental, quasi-neoclassical in appearance; modern in functional considerations. In reaction architects, led initially by Keil Amaral and later including Tavora produced a thick survey called ‘Arquitectura Popular em Portugal’ (Subversive Survey), in which they documented, region by region, the varieties of vernacular architecture in Portugal. What they sought in the vernacular was a form of building without resort to “style,” or what they called “constants,” by which we can understand formal norms. Although they chart typologies within the body of the book, in the introduction they deny the importance of type. They are afraid that from types a “Portuguese architecture” might be sought and reified into a code, just as the state had done with its models. Siza’s architecture emerged from an epoch that sought to recover from the betrayals of language and the misuse of history. (Author: Robert Levit 1996)
Álvaro Siza Vieira is an internationally renowned architect whose buildings, designs and structures are characterized by a quiet clarity of form and function, a sensitive integration into their environment, and a purposeful engagement with both cultural and architectural traditions. Unusually for an architect of such international standing, Siza has deliberately kept his studio small to ensure his attention to every project. He was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1992.
Sérgio Fernandez studied architecture at the School of Fine Arts in Porto, and participated as a student in the CIAM (International Congress of Modern Architecture) in Otterloo in 1959. He is an Architect and Associate Professor at the School of Architecture of the University of Minho and Professor Emeritus at FAUP. He teaches seminars in the Netherlands, USSR, Angola, Brazil and Panama and is Author of “Portuguese Architecture, 1930/1974″ and has published widely in Portugal and abroad.
Jorge Figueira is an architect and educator. He graduated from the School of Architecture at the University of Porto (FAUP) and is Director and Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Coimbra, where he has taught since 1992. in 2009 he was awarded a Doctorate at the University of Coimbra with a thesis entitled ‘The Perfect Periphery. Post-modernity in Portuguese Architecture, 1960-1980′.
Luis Urbano graduated in architecture from the University of Coimbra, from where he later concluded a post-graduation in ‘Advanced Studies: Architecture, Territory and Memory’. In 1999 he began teaching in the Faculty of Architecture at University of Porto, where he is currently developing his research and his PhD. Since then he has also been lecturing and delivering papers in conferences and meetings, chiefly focusing on the intersections between architecture and cinema.
Bruno Silvestre studied at the Department of Architecture of the University of Coimbra, Portugal, where he graduated in 2000. Before setting up his own practice in 2010, he worked for Pedro Mauricio Borges and Manuel Graça Dias + Egas Vieira in Lisbon before joining Henley Hale-Brown Rorrison in London in 2003. in 2010 he founded his own London based practice and is currently involved in projects in UK and Portugal. Bruno is presently a lecturer at Kingston School of Architecture.
PAST EVENT | AUTHORSHIP | Public Event 10 | 2014-15 Series
A panel discussion with: Laurent Stalder, Mario Carpo, Adrian Forty & François Charbonnet
Saturday 28 June 2014 | At the Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design | 15:00-17:00
This panel discussion is a compliment to an exhibition called ‘Young Swiss Public’ curated by James Payne – senior lecturer at the Cass School of Architecture. Currently, there is a consensus that the role of the architects as the director of the process of making buildings, or the sole author, is largely outdated. Many UK architects bemoan the marginalisation of the architect in the construction industry and look to Switzerland and Swiss architects as a glorious remnant of a past golden age. In academia, particularly in the US but increasingly in Europe too, the shift in the position of the architect has been explained as an inevitable change driven by developments in the way that buildings are produced, in particular the ‘digital turn’. The development of a more collaborative approach to design management and construction is often understood as a progressive move associated with an age which places greater value on process and equity than individual intellectual property. A century ago we were told that the process of mechanisation would transform the role of the artist and the architect and yet it gave rise to the ‘Modern Masters’. Is talk of ‘marginalisation’ defeatist or necessary?
Laurent Stalder graduated from the ETH in 1996. From 1997 to 2001 he was assistant at the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture at the ETH where he was awarded his PhD in 2002. In the same year he became an assistant professor for architectural history at the History Department of the Université Laval in Québec. In 2006 he took up a post as assistant professor for architectural theory at the gta Institute, where he has served as associate professor since 2011.
Mario Carpo graduated from the University of Florence in 1983 in architectural history. He was a doctoral researcher at the EUI from 1984 to 1987, an assistant professor at the University of Geneva, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology since 2009, and Vincent Scully visiting professor of Architectural History at Yale University since 2010. His research focuses on the relationship between architectural theory, cultural history, and the history of media and information technology.
Adrian Forty is professor of Architectural History at The Bartlett, University College London. He is the Programme Director of the MSc programme in Architectural History. Forty’s interest lies in architecture’s role in societies and cultural contexts and includes work on the design of consumer goods; on language and architecture; and on architecture, and collective memory. He has published widely since the 1980′s and has become an important figure in architectural history and culture.
François Charbonnet is co-founder along with Patrick Heiz of the architecture studio Made in, based in Geneva, Switzerland. After graduating from the ETH Zurich he collaborated with Herzog & de Meuron and OMA, Rem Koolhaas before setting up his own office in 2003. In addition to his practise, he is a frequent lecturer and has been a visiting professor at the EPF Lausanne (2010-2011), the ETH Zurich (2011-2013) and the Accademia di Archittetura, Mendrisio (2014-2015).
PAST EVENT | HOUSES | Public Lecture 9 | 2013-14 Series
A public lecture by the Zürich based practice Lütjens Padmanabhan Architekten
Thursday 22 May 2014 | Scott Sutherland School, Robert Gordon University | 17:00-18:30
Sponsor: Robert Gordon University
Supporter: 57º10 Architecture Society
Oliver Lütjens met his partner Thomas Padmanabhan in the Basel office of Diener & Diener, and they also both worked for Meili Peter before setting up together in 2007. Both teach part time as assistants to professors at the ETH University in Zürich – the financial lifeline for so many young Swiss offices. Lütjens teaches with Adam Caruso, and Padmanabhan with Peter Märkli – relationships that have clearly complemented their own work. The recent work of Lütjens Padmanabhan Architects focuses on housing in the residential districts surrounding the cities of Zürich, Basel and Munich. Despite their love for a more refined, urbane architecture, Oliver Lütjens and Thomas Padmanabhan have light-heartedly embraced the fact that most of their commissions are set in the mundane anonymity of suburbia. Their interest in complex architectural expression has distanced the practice from the craft-oriented mainstream of Swiss architecture. The current projects explore the impossible task of reconciling the autonomy of the exterior facade with the typological uncertainty of interior spaces and loose urban contexts.
Oliver Lütjens graduated in architecture from ETH Zürich in 2002. Before founding Lütjens Padmanabhan Architekten in Zürich with Thomas Padmanabhan in 2007, he worked for Diener & Diener in Basel, Meili Peter Architekten in Zürich and OMA/Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam. He is currently teaching as head assistant with Adam Caruso at ETH Zürich. Both have written for San Rocco and in 2012 were part of the San Rocco group exhibition at the Venice Biennale.
Thomas Padmanabhan graduated from Aachen University, then Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’, and Cornell University in 2000. He worked for Skidmore Owings & Merrill in New York, Meili Peter Architekten in Zürich and Diener & Diener Architekten in Basel. In 2007, he founded Lütjens Padmanabhan Architekten in Zürich with Oliver Lütjens. Until 2013 he taught as assistant with Peter Märkli and Markus Peter at ETH Zürich. He is an active critic and lectures internationally.
PAST EVENT | HISTORY | Public Lecture 8 | 2013-14 Series
Irina Davidovici in conversation with Micha Bandini, introduced by Jonathan Sergison
Friday 11 October 2013 | Accademia di architettura di Mendrisio, Palazzo Turconi | 17:30-19:00
Partner: OSA | Associazione studenti Accademia di Mendrisio
Media Partner: AJ | The Architects Journal
Supporters: Accademia di architettura di Mendrisio | Smith Goodfellow PR
History has traditionally been a constituent part of architectural education, yet its status has been and remains challenged. Whereas modernist teachers were preoccupied with progress and mechanisation, often at the behest of history, it was the relativism of postmodern thinking that rendered history positively flat. Now, in many schools of architecture historical studies have been objectified so that they can be used as a tool to inform design method and stylistic pursuits, or its study has ventured so far into the realms of other disciplines and political movements that it often avoids the fundamental concerns of the discipline. The architect’s history curriculum needs to be considered in the light of the broader collapse of historical thinking in which history is no longer something that we are part of, that we have a role in shaping, but has become an artefact. In this culture how are we to teach students of architecture the importance of history?
Irina Davidovici is an architect and writer. She grew up in Romania and completed her training in the UK. After working in the office of Herzog & de Meuron, she gained her doctorate at Cambridge University in 2008. She is recipient of the RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis. She taught history and theory of architecture at Kingston University from 2008 to 2012, and besides numerous essays, is the author of Forms of Practice, German-Swiss Architecture 1980–2000.
Micha Bandini is an architect, urban planner and artist based in Tuscany. In 1967 she enrolled at Rome where she also assisted Bruno Zevi. After graduating she taught design with professor Ludovico Quaroni and worked for Giuseppe Samona. In 1979 she joined the Architectural Association where she founded and co-directed the History and Theory Graduate Programme for the following 14 years. In 1990 she became the Head of Architecture and Interior Design at the University of North London.
PAST EVENT | RESISTENZA | Public Lecture 7 | 2012-13 Series
Luigi Snozzi in conversation with Daniel Serafimovski
Thursday 16 May 2013 | Scott Sutherland School, Aberdeen | 17:00-19:30
Supporters: Robert Gordon University | Smith Goodfellow PR
“One of the most important problems is surely that of the city. In the absence of a meaningful context within which to place their work, current architects often take refuge in the object itself, using formal invention at all costs; applying originality with the intention of proposing it as a monument. But in the absence of a meaningful context, to which the monument within the historical city was referring, we end up with nothing but a summation of individual buildings, which do nothing but contribute to the monotony of the current city. In my projects instead, I re-propose the importance of the void, even in todays city, where it is no longer defined as much by the buildings, as it is by road and railway infrastructures. For this reason I have rewritten one of my aphorisms from 1973 as: Architecture is VOID, it’s up to you to define it.” Luigi Snozzi together with Daniel Serafimovski will explore his more recent ideologies, buildings and urban inventions. Far from being a reflection of a body of work, this discussion aims to refresh the spirit of resistance lacking in contemporary discourse.
Luigi Snozzi is one of the most influential architects, city planners and teachers in Europe. Born in 1932 in Mendrisio, Switzerland, he studied with Livio Vacchini and Aurelio Galfetti at the ETH Zürich, and started his architectural practice in the late 1950s in Locarno. One of his most acclaimed works is the long term urban redevelopment of the historical town Monte Carasso, Ticino. A tireless critic he has exhibited internationally since 1993 winning numerous prizes and awards.
Daniel Serafimovski is a senior lecturer at the Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design in London where he runs a Postgraduate Design Unit with Pierre d’Avoine. He was visiting professor at KNUA, Seoul, and is associated with the Royal Danish Academy. His architectural work has two parallel strands: residential projects and a series of prototypes of ‘architectural figures’. His design research, writing and teaching is based on an understanding of architecture as art.
PAST EVENT | PROJECT | Public Lecture 6 | 2012-13 Series
Martino Tattara, Architect and Educator with Gabriele Mastrigli, Architect and Critic
Friday 23 November 2012 | Lecture Theatre 183, Old College, Edinburgh | 18:30-21:30
Partner: EUSAS | The Edinburgh University Student Architecture Society
Whether through research or speculative projects, concrete proposals or large-scale visions, this event will address the possibility of a critical approach to architecture and the city as a necessary ground for the production of ideas and models that question the status-quo and contribute to the development of our society. Contrary to a dominant problem-solving approach of a large portion of today’s architectural production, the discipline has often, in the past, been characterised by a complimentary attitude, which is less subservient to political authority and is not detached from the possibility of questioning the current condition and contributing to its transformation.
Martino Tattara is the co-founder of DOGMA and head of research & teaching at ETH Studio Basel where he teaches with Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. Before joining Studio Basel he taught at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam and was visiting professor at the Università di Cagliari. His theoretical work focuses on the relationship between architecture and large-scale urban design. He has widely published and lectures on topics related to the project of the city.
Gabriele Mastrigli is an architect and critic. He studied at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ and at the RWTH in Aachen. He investigates the relationship between designing, writing, research and publishing as a critical form of architecture. Since 1998 he has been teaching at Ascoli Piceno School of Architecture and the Cornell in Rome Programa and since 2000 has been a consultant to the Italian Ministry of Culture’s Department of Contemporary Art and Architecture.
PAST EVENT | CITY | Public Lecture 5 | 2011-12 Series
Pier Vittorio Aureli, theorist and architect with Penny Lewis, academic and journalist
Thursday 17 May 2012 | The Scott Sutherland School | 17:00-18:30
Supporter: Robert Gordon University
The contribution of architecture to the contemporary city is unclear. Even the master plan is contentious. In education we debate whether it is possible to set out grand visions or whether it is more appropriate to suggest the possibility of small scale incremental change. In practice the architect has been encouraged to understand his or her role as the ‘repairer’ of cities following the ‘disruption’ of modernisation and deindustrialisation. Is it possible to re-imagine architecture outside of these formal and cultural conventions? In discussion with Penny Lewis, Aureli will explore the relationship between architecture and the city.
Pier Vittorio Aureli is an architect and educator. His projects, research, writings and teaching focus on the relationship between architectural form, political theory, and urban history. He teaches at the Architectural Association and has taught at Columbia University, the Barcelona Institute of Architecture, and Delft University of Technology. Together with Martino Tattara, Aureli is the co-founder of DOGMA, an office focused on the project of the city.
Penny Lewis is a lecturer in architectural theory and history at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture. Previously she was editor of Prospect, the Scottish architecture magazine from 2003-2008. She writes for a variety of publications on a range of cultural issues and is currently writing the text for the Phaidon World Atlas covering Spain and Switzerland. She is the founder of the St.Peters Preservation Trust and in 2011 co-founded the AE Foundation.
PAST EVENT | BUILDINGS | Public Lecture 4 | 2011-12 Series
Raphael Zuber Architect with Christoph Gantenbein of Christ & Gantenbein Architects
Friday 04 May 2012 | Dundee Contemporary Arts | 18:00-21:00
Since the exhibtion ‘Teaching Architecture: 3 positions made in Switzerland’ and the subsequent publication of the accompanying award winning books, ‘Important Buildings’ by Raphael Zuber and ‘Hong Kong Typology’ and ‘Pictures from Italy’ by Christ & Gantenbein’, it has become evident that the conception of their architectural ideas are influenced by careful and detailed observation of existing buildings. Extensive travel has exposed them to a variety of exemplary buildings the study of which has focused their ability to decipher rich architectural configurations and to make precise personal judgements in the designs they create. In this lecture both architects will present plans and photographs of a building that has been important to them personally. Using the two examples as a starting point the following discussion will examine the general qualities of buildings through the shared lens of fundamental architectural principles, personal preferences and experience.
Raphael Zuber studied architecture until 2001 at ETH Zurich. In 2003 he opened his own practice in Chur. His first major building is the schoolhouse in Grono. His articles and works have been published in several journals including 2G, Quaderns and Werk Bauen und Wohnen. He taught as a guest lecturer at the Bern University of Applied Sciences in 2006 and as a guest professor at the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio at the Università della Svizzera italiana in 2009.
Christoph Gantenbein established Christ & Gantenbein with Emanuel Christ in 1998. Together with their four associates and a team of 35 architects, they work on a wide range of projects: from private assignments, renovation of historic buildings to housing, office buildings and bridges as well as large scale masterplans. After many teaching assignments in Switzerland and abroad, Emanuel Christ and Christoph Gantenbein took up professorships at the ETH Zurich in 2010.
PAST EVENT | ARCHITECTURE | Public Lecture 3 | 2011-12 Series
Rolf Jenni and Tom Weiss, Principal Partners of Raumbureau, with Jan Kinsbergen Architect
Friday 10 February 2012 | The Mackintosh School of Architecture | 18:00-21:00
Supporter: Mackintosh School of Architecture | Glasgow School of Art
Present-day architectural debate and production in Switzerland is dominated by a tendency to indulge regressive traditional imagery. Hidden within a deeply rooted culture of consensus and in unquestioning accord with the demands of the market, conventionalist values are established in order to resist the equalizing power and the uncertainty brought by globalization. Thus current architecture epitomizes a morally motivated suspicion toward anything experimental or radical. In opposition, Rolf Jenni, Tom Weiss and Jan Kinsbergen share the conviction, that architecture is itself the frame within which alternative forms of life and visions for the society are revealed and debated. They push the boundaries of convention because they believe that it has always been radical disciplinary thinking that advances architectural production. Their critique is not limited to Switzerland. It is an analysis of a general culture of relativism that regards the individual creative endeavor as a reoccurring spectacle, rather than a means to progress.
Rolf Jenni and Tom Weiss established Raumbureau in 2008. They studied architecture at the University of Applied Sciences in Biel (Prof. Ralph Thut) and urbanism at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam (Prof. Elia Zenghelis). They teach at the ETH Studio Basel and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences. In their practice they explore the field of architecture and its relationship with the city and the territory by means of a common and rational architecture.
Jan Kinsbergen studied Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, received his degree in Architecture in 1993 (Prof. Hans Kollhoff), worked for Steven Holl Architects in New York 1994-1999 and in 2000 established his own firm in New York and 2002 in Zurich. He has had teaching appointments at GSAPP Columbia University and ETH Zurich. His work has been nominated for several awards and has been exhibited and published internationally.
PAST EVENT | POMPIDOU | Public Lecture 2 | 2011-12 Series
Mike Davies, Rogers Stirk Harbour Partners with Kester Rattenbury, Westminster University
Wednesday 07 December 2011 | The University of Edinburgh | 18:00-21:00
Supporter: ESALA | Edinburgh School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture
Forty years ago the Pompidou Centre competition was a source of optimism. Despite the economic uncertainty, a young practice, a radical design solution and the vital public debate around the project evoked a positive attitude to new technology and innovative design ideas. Over the past four decades the Pompidou has been widely discussed. It is said to mark a shift in attitudes to urban design, to the idea of the art museum and the concept of flexible space. This discussion will focus on the question of technology and public attitudes to technology and how they have changed since 1971. Mike Davies and Kester Rattenbury will discuss the significance of the building. Mike, a director of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, worked for six years on the Pompidou Centre and then Lloyd’s, INMOS and London’s Heathrow. Kester Rattenbury co-produced Supercrit 3 on the Pompidou Centre in April 2005 – the proceedings of which are to be published by Routledge.
Mike Davies has worked with Richard Rogers and the practice for over 37 years and has been involved with virtually all the projects it has undertaken. He worked on the Pompidou Centre, Paris in the 1970s and was project architect for the adjacent Institute for Research & Co-ordination in Acoustics & Music. In the UK he worked on Lloyd’s, and the Terminal 1 expansion at London’s Heathrow Airport. Mike’s expertise includes urban design, technology, research and development.
Kester Rattenbury is an architectural journalist, critic and writer. After training as an architect she became an architectural journalist, working first at Building Design, then freelance, writing regularly for the Architects Journal where she is now a consulting editor. She is Reader in Architecture at the University of Westminster and was principal investigator on the Archigram Archival Project. She co-produced Supercrit 3 on the Pompidou Centre in April 2005.
PAST EVENT | DOUBT | Public Lecture 1 | 2011-12 Series
Neil Gillespie, Reiach and Hall Architects with John Haldane, University of St.Andrews
Friday 21 October 2011 | Baxter Park Main Pavilion Dundee | 18:00-21:00
Supporter: ADAS | Association of Dundee Architecture Students
This is the second in a series of lectures aimed at bringing together international practitioners and thinkers to debate the role of the architect in public life. Architect Neil Gillespie will explore the idea of doubt and certainty with help from eminent Professor of Philosophy John Haldane. Doubt, melancholy and ‘the North’ inform much of Neil Gillespie’s practice. He has found the question of doubt provocative in both his design work, his teaching and his collaborations with artists. Doubt has always been an essential ingredient of any public life whether it was 14th century Italy or modern Scotland. An open, questioning society in which doubt can be freely expressed develops the resources to deal with shifts and changes in economic and social life. Contemporary architecture is commissioned in the context of a very narrow concept of public life. Neil Gillespie, John Haldane and a public audience will explore the issue of doubt, contemporary culture and role and work of the architect.
Neil Gillespie is in the vanguard of a new Scottish architecture intent on bringing vitality to its designs – while at the same time adding an international dimension to Scottish architecture. The work of Reiach and Hall, has a diversity of role and function atypical of most contemporary practices. As Design Director, Gillespie carefully emphasises the conditions for dialogue and reconstructs, layer by layer, a visual and formal resolution that avoids the artificial.
John Haldane is a leading Scottish philosopher, commentator and broadcaster. He was appointed to the University of St Andrews in 1983 where since 1994 he has held the title of Professor in Philosophy. From 2002 to the present he has been Director of the University Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs. Haldane is a patron of the arts who has collected for over three decades and has written a number of respected texts on contemporary art practice.
PAST EVENT | CONVERSATIONS | Public Lecture 0 | 2010
Presentations by Pascal Flammer and James Payne
Tuesday 15 March 2010 | The Scott Sutherland School | 14:00-17:00
Supporter: Robert Gordon University
Conversations is our first attempt to bring together interesting emerging architects to discuss their work and their ideas in detail and to demonstrate to students the importance of being able to communicate clearly. The two are architects first and teachers second. They have to persuade and convince a number of different individuals of the validity of their work as creative individuals and professionals. Unlike the common perception that the architect is either a commercial pragmatist or a creative genius, shrouding their work in mystery, our invited architects aim to confound these stereotypes and to explain that the novel in their work is based in a deep understanding of the rational. Architecture can be explained and can be understood by everyone. Flammer and Payne represent a new generation of European architect and although similar in age, their distinct attitudes are the result of specific schools of thought, ones that have developed in parallel but with very different results. Bringing them together should offer an insight into the inner workings of these schools through the medium of their architecture.
Pascal Flammer studied at the ETH Zurich, Lausanne and TU Delft and has traveled extensively in Europe, South America as well as the Middle and Far East. He opened his practice in 2005. He gained his experience at the office of Valerio Olgiati where he worked from 1998 until 2005 and taught at the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio from 2006 until 2012, Switzerland as well as at the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University, Cambridge. He recently completed a house in Balsthal.
James Payne studied architecture at the Glasgow School of Art, the Polytechnique Lausanne and Bath University. James has worked in Switzerland and the UK including four years at Caruso St John Architects. A regular architecture critic for Building Design and Architecture Today, he runs undergraduate studio 5 at the Sir John Cass School of Architecture with Nina Lundvall. His collaborative practice Archipelago architects has completed projects in the UK and Sweden.