Wallpaper magazine recently announced their 2012 Architects Directory which features some of the world’s most intriguing young practices that have made their way into the spotlight. More images and a complete list of the architects who made director can be viewed after the break.
Francisco Kocourek, Francesc Planas Penadés and Marit Haugen Stabell, who hail respectively from Argentina, Spain and Norway, joined forces to launch Estudio BaBO in Buenos Aires in 2007. The team is currently busy with a number of residential commissions around the world. Recent work includes the CLF house complex in Nuequén, a row of three houses made entirely out of wood, from the frames to the detailing. The differences in the directors’ cultural, academic and professional backgrounds create an exciting dialogue in the office.
Black Line One X Architects
After working in both France and Japan, Anthony Clarke set up Black Line One X (BLOXAS) in 2009 in Melbourne. He describes his approach as ‘an exploration into the fundamentals of multidisciplinary design’, and is currently working on a variety of ‘landscape-inspired’ architecture projects. His Dual Court House wraps around two courtyards, offering views across the internal space without compromising privacy. Reclaimed materials were used wherever possible, contrasting with the translucent plastic and glass panes.
Isabelle Blancke joined Alexander Dierendonck’s practice in 2009, after they had collaborated on projects such as the 2007 Spikkerelle community centre, nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Prize in 2009. Since then the pair, both graduates of the Sint-Lucas School of Architecture in Gent, have gone from strength to strength, and are working on several residential and public commissions, with a focus on functionality. The now 13-strong practice recently completed this family house in Gent, cleverly negotiating a small and narrow plot.
Flávio Castro Arquiteto
Flávio Castro set up his own studio in 2009, after several years of working in design and construction for private clients. A graduate of the University of Catalunya in Barcelona, he is now based in São Paulo and is working on a number of private houses around Brazil. His Mirante do Horto house in São Paulo, featuring high ceilings and geometric elements, showcases his generous use of glass and transparency. The architect cites the work of Jean Prouvé and Jordi Badia, as well as the sculptures of Alexander Calder and Eduardo Chillida, as inspiration.
MAST is a Danish/Norwegian firm based in Copenhagen. Since it was founded in 2010, the four directors, Jon Andersen, Ivar Heggheim, Rasmus Møller and Mads Møller Andersen, have focused on residential projects, especially single family homes and retrofitting. ‘Primitive architecture is a huge inspiration,’ they say. ‘As is the integration of hi-tech and low-tech solutions.’ Pictured is their entry for the Fundecor HQ competition in Costa Rica, designed to interact visually with its jungle setting, but also to leave a minimal footprint.
Djuric Tardio Architectes
Mirco Tardio and Caroline Djuric started working together in 2004 after stints at Ateliers Jean Nouvel. Their Paris studio works on a variety of scales, keeping environmental performance at the heart of its work. ‘Wood inspires most of our projects,’ they say. ‘It’s sustainable and hugely satisfying for the building’s users.’ This commitment to timber is apparent in this recently completed house in Antony, in the Paris suburbs. ‘The house shows our ideology, with flexible living areas that exploit all the available space, including the attic, roof and garden.’
With a portfolio including projects for the likes of Documenta and the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection, exhibition and museum design is the bread and butter of this Berlin firm, set up in 2001 by Simona Malvezzi, Wilfried Kuehn and Johannes Kuehn. However, it was the practice’s residential work that caught our eye. Designed as part of a hotel complex, this family house in Austria merges effortlessly with its Alpine setting. ‘We are especially influenced by conceptual art,’ they say. ‘We admire Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Adolf Loos for their use and perception of space.
Brothers Dimitris and Konstantinos Karampatakis’ ten-year-old Athens practice has six staff and a portfolio of residential projects ranging from London apartments to restaurants to remote island retreats. ‘Every proposal is an opportunity to tell a different story,’ they say of their work, which has a warm, crafted aesthetic in which wood, stone and other natural materials are placed in a contemporary context. The firm’s ongoing BCH House is designed to bridge the transition from beach to mountain with its own landscape of stone steps and walls.
Donal Colfer Architects
Young Dublin practice Donal Colfer Architects was formed in 2008, has already worked on a number of one-off houses and has several renovation projects in the pipeline. The small studio (director Donal Colfer has only one assistant) works with artists, historians, community groups, developers and private clients. Colfer’s refurbishment of this Victorian terraced house in Dublin’s Portobello neighbourhood focused on replacing a dark 1980s extension. A rich palette of materials, attention to detail and careful light distribution were key to his design.
Jacopo Mascheroni studied in Italy,France and the US, eventually joining Richard Meier’s atelier in New York. In 2005, he moved back to Italy and set up JM Architecture in Milan. Inspired by everything from fashion to films to car design, the practice’s output focuses on residential projects, including this villa in Bolzano, Italy. ‘We pay meticulous attention to details, finishes and materials,’ says Mascheroni, to achieve ‘simplicity, coherence, clarity and harmony.’ The result is a detached, other- worldly feel; minimalism fused with geometric forms.
Koffi & Diabaté
Guillaume Koffi set up his studio in 1993, with Issa Diabaté joining in 2001. Now 38-strong, the practice is working on a wide range of commissions in Ivory Coast and all across West Africa, with major office buildings and residential projects currently on the board. Citing Richard Neutra, Marcio Kogan and Oscar Niemeyer, as well as the work of Belgian architect Bruno Erpicum and the socio-political environment of Ivory Coast itself as inspiration, the architects have recently built this private weekend house on a lagoon.
Kochi Architect’s Studio
A graduate of Tokyo University,Kazuyasu Kochi worked with KAI Workshop before winning the SD Review’s Newcomer Prize and setting up his own practice in 2003. The small Tokyo firm – staffed by Kochi and one employee – has been working on a series of residential projects, including the Amida House in Shizuoka. A new twist on Le Corbusier’s Dom-ino system, it layers different functions on a narrow urban site. ‘I want to find new spatial relationships, between inside and outside, here and there, and between people,’ says Kochi.
Arild Eriksen and Joakim Skajaa, who launched their practice in 2010, are currently busy working on a nursery in Oppegård and a pavilion for Sjunkhatten National Park. Unusual side projects include publishing their own zine, Pollen, and building urban beehives in Oslo. ‘Our work often involves direct action, DIY and local communities,’ they say. Their Askøy house near Bergen is modest and low-key, with a bold wooden façade. The pair’s inspiration comes from ‘minimalists with an eye for poetry’, including John Pawson and Peter Zumthor.
‘We are inspired by landscapes,the history and culture of places and how each relate to a given territory,’ say Portuguese Inês Martins de Brito and American Gilberto Rodriguez. Based in Lisbon since 2008, the pair coordinate a range of cultural, residential, urban and landscape design projects, stating influences such as RCR Arquitectes and Luis Barragán. Among their most recent work is the residential Casa MB in Óbidos, Portugal – a minimal, horizontal white volume that creates an interesting dialogue with its green, hilly surroundings.
Peter Kostelov comes garlanded with awards for his 2009 Wood Patchwork house, pictured here. Its design evolved out of the ad hoc dachas – which often looked ‘like patched blankets’ – built during the Soviet era. Since establishing his studio in 1995, following theatre design studies and a spell as a TV and film art director, the Moscow- based architect has built up a varied portfolio taking in nightclubs, bars, apartments and private houses. ‘I’m most influenced by the work of contemporary Japanese architects,’ says Kostelov, who favours intimate, small-scale spaces.
MYCC was founded in Madrid by Carmina Casajuana, Beatriz Casares and Marcos González. Current work ranges from a refurbishment project spanning only a few square metres, to a 4,000 sq m housing complex. The trio worked together at Nolaster before moving on to set up MYCC in 2008. They are particularly keen to investigate different construction methods, such as prefabricated modular buildings. Their growing portfolio features a number of prefab houses, including a Corten and concrete mix holiday home in northeastern Spain, and this project in Barcelona.
Founded in 2001 in Stockholm by Jonas Waldemarson and Paulina Berglund, this practice works on everything from urban design to private residences. ‘Our method comes from a mix of curiosity and experience,’ the architects say. ‘We always focus on the poetic dimension of architecture.’ They cite BIG and Erik Gunnar Asplund as being especially influential. Their Åre Solbringen project in Björnänge, completed this year, consists of three houses on a steep site: ‘The buildings give the impression of sliding down the mountain without disturbing it.’
‘We see ourselves as architects in the classical sense; designers, organizers and maintainers of the culture of space,’ say ILAI’s Adi Heusser and Iela Herrling, whose practice, now comprising four employees, was founded in 2007. The Zurich-based partners work on a variety of building types and scales, but it’s their recent residential work that caught our attention. House H47°18‘ near Zurich features interiors in neutral colours, and was designed with four key points in mind: viewpoints, a flowing interior, light, and generous proportions.
Swedish architect Magnus Ström moved to the UK to study at Portsmouth University, and worked for British practice John Pardey Architects before going it alone in 2010, setting up shop in the New Forest. ‘The client and the site or environment inspire our designs and how we create spaces. We seek a holistic and tectonic approach,’ says Ström, whose current projects include several renovations. This newly built holiday house in Suffolk has a contemporary feel that aims to engage with nature, water and its surroundings through design.
Since its debut in 1999, Eric Bunge and Mimi Hoang’s New York-based multidisciplinary studio has worked on reinventing and repurposing public spaces, and creating ‘exciting experiences and engagements’ in the private realm. Ongoing projects include a department store in Beirut, a linear park at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, cultural projects and more. Pictured here is the Double-Ex House concept, an adaptable kit house that combines domestic familiarity with unconventional elements, and was designed to be bought online.
For more information on the directory and a complete gallery of images, please visit here.