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Arch Daily Interviews: The Latest Architecture and News

Open More Doors: Bjarke Ingels Group

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 21

Open More Doors is a section by ArchDaily and the MINI Clubman that takes you behind the scenes of the world’s most innovative offices through exciting video interviews and an exclusive photo gallery featuring each studio’s workspace.

In this installment of the series, we talked with Kai-Uwe Bergmann, a partner at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Despite the size and fame of the firm – BIG has around 500 employees and maintains offices in Copenhagen, New York, Barcelona, and London – he emphasized camaraderie and connection as the most defining characteristics of the company. These traits are doubly emphasized in the open, nonhierarchical layouts of their offices.

“What I Really Like Is Speed”: In conversation with Odile Decq

Odile Decq was born in 1955 in Laval, France and studied at École Régionale d'Architecture in Rennes, Brittany. She graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure D'architecture in Paris-La Villette in 1978 and received her diploma from the Paris Institute of Political Studies in 1979. Decq set up her practice in Paris the same year and soon met Benoît Cornette who was studying medicine at the time but switched to architecture. By 1985 he received his architecture degree and the couple renamed their firm into ODBC. In 1996, ODBC won the Golden Lion in Venice for their drawings, selected out of a pool of invited emerging voices that included Zaha Hadid, Enric Miralles, and Liz Diller and Ric Scofidio. That was the beginning of the computer drawings, expressing movement, ambiguities, layering, and overall new dynamics that characterize Decq’s liberated forms and spaces.

© Fangshan Tangshan National Geopark Museum, Nanjing, China, 2015. © Roland Halbe © Antares tower, Barcelona, Competition: 2015, in progress. Renderings Courtesy of Studio Odile Decq © Saint-Ange Residence Seyssins, France, 2015. © Roland Halbe © Phantom restaurant, Opera Garnier, Paris, 2011. © Roland Halbe + 54

'We Can't Innovate Alone as Manufacturers, We Need to Listen to Researchers' David Briggs, CEO at The Velux Group

On the occasion of the 8th VELUX Daylight Symposium held on October 9 and 10 of 2019 in Paris, we talked with David Briggs, CEO at The Velux Group, to learn about the present and future of the company. We wanted to know how they address innovation and new technologies – especially through the biennial event – to improve quality of life for people who incorporate Velux's products and services into their homes and other spaces in more than 46 countries around the world.

“The Goal Is to Create an Immortal Building”: In Conversation with Boris Bernaskoni

Boris Bernaskoni (born 1977, Moscow, Russia) is the leading Russian architect of his generation. He is interested in what technology can do today, so his architecture would be able to utilize it tomorrow. His work is not about façade aesthetics, which the architect says is the thing of the past. Instead, he is proposing radically new methodologies and prototypes. In the future, Bernaskoni believes, buildings will be immortal because they will continuously evolve and attune themselves to the most current technologies and demands. The ability to transform with the times will be architecture’s most precious commodity.

Arc. Image © Yuri Palmin Mirror Mongayt. Image © Vladislav Efimov Matrex. Image © Olga Melekestseva Russia Pavilion. Image Courtesy of BERNASKONI + 30

Open More Doors: O-Office

Open More Doors is a section by ArchDaily and the MINI Clubman that takes you behind the scenes of the world’s most innovative offices through exciting video interviews and an exclusive photo gallery featuring each studio’s workspace.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 20

Carlo Ratti Discusses Architectural Innovation and the Shenzhen Biennale

Carlo Ratti can be considered one of the great architectural innovators of our time. The founder of Carlo Ratti Associati, and Director at the MIT Senseable City Lab, Ratti champions the power of new technologies to transform both how we live, and how we design. The act of “convergence” is central to Ratti’s architectural outlook, whether it be the convergence of bits and atoms, or natural and artificial, or human and technology. Moreover, he believes that this convergence can reframe the design process, and engage citizens in discussions on what kind of city they want to live in.

2015, CRA Cloud Cast. Image © Carlo Ratti Associati 2008, CRA Digital Water Pavilion . Image © Claudio Bonicco 2015, CRA Cloud Cast. Image © Pietro Leoni 2008, CRA Digital Water Pavilion . Image © Ramak Fazel + 12

Open More Doors: Supervoid

Open More Doors is a section by ArchDaily and the MINI Clubman that takes you behind the scenes of the world’s most innovative offices through exciting video interviews and an exclusive photo gallery featuring each studio’s workspace.

This month, we talked with Italian architecture firm Supervoid to discuss their design strategies and how they helped develop the office's interior space.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 15

Erieta Attali: "I Create Images That Capture an Identity of Place"

Architecture is mostly known through representations. Even today, when traveling is no longer rare or just for the rich, buildings and places are mostly disseminated and appreciated through images. In that sense, photography has been—and still is—paramount to architecture. The following interview delves into Erieta Attali’s work and the relationship to both architecture and landscape through the lens of her camera. With over two decades of experience, shooting and teaching all over the world, the Israeli photographer reflects on the origins and evolution of her renown practice.

Open More Doors: Groupwork + Amin Taha

Open More Doors is a section by ArchDaily and the MINI Clubman that takes you behind the scenes of the world’s most innovative offices through exciting video interviews and an exclusive photo gallery featuring each studio’s workspace.

“Everybody Can Share an Opinion, But at The End I’ll Decide”: In Conversation with César Pelli

© César Pelli © César Pelli © César Pelli © César Pelli + 17

Cities’ greatness should be judged by whether they have succeeded in accumulating extraordinary works of architecture. They can be fantastic for their food, music, or lifestyle overall, but if there is no architecture, they are hard to grasp, they are not anchored, not grounded, not memorable… not real, in a way. Maybe I am a maximalist but there are a number of cities that I visited with just one goal in mind – to see a single extraordinary building. For the record, these cities are Fort Worth, Bilbao, Valencia, San Sebastian, Guangzhou, Sydney, and Kuala Lumpur, among others. The last one on this list has acquired its instantly recognizable image in 1996, when the 88-story Petronas Twin Towers have risen high above it. These unique buildings remained the world’s tallest until 2004. This iconic structure was designed by Argentine-American architect César Pelli who passed away last week at the age of 92.

"We Can Find Ways for Buildings to Talk to Each Other": In Conversation with Eran Chen

By Pavel Bendov. Image © ODA Architecture By Forbes Massie. Image © ODA Architecture By Pavel Bendov. Image © ODA Architecture By Imagen Subliminal. Image © ODA Architecture + 39

New York-based architect Eran Chen (b. 1970) was born and grew up in Be'er Sheva, Israel where his Polish-born grandparents, Holocaust survivors, settled right after World War Two. Early on the original long Polish surname was abbreviated to short Chen, which is pronounced “Khen.” In Hebrew, it stands for charm. After four years in the army, following high school, Chen studied architecture at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, the top architecture school in the country. Upon graduation in 1999, he ventured to New York to gain professional experience. He was hired by Perkins Eastman, a global New York-based giant of over 1,000 architects. In just a few years Chen was made the youngest principal in the company to oversee the design of his own diverse projects, including several competition-winning entries. By then he got married, became a father, a licensed architect, and settled in the city that he now calls home. In 2007, Chen decided to strike on his own. He focused on working with developers on residential projects, mainly in New York, as well as other major cities in the US and around the world. Many of Chen’s projects are situated in dense urban places. They are about reinventing the familiar living typology of buildings as extruded boxes. We met at the architect’s busy Manhattan office of over 100 young, ambitious architects helping Chen to make our cities more livable. We discussed his concept of vertical urban village and the truly democratic idea that every apartment, no matter where it is positioned in the building, can be turned into a penthouse.  

Open More Doors: TOPOTEK 1

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © ArchDaily © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 20

We are delighted to introduce Open More Doors, a new section by ArchDaily and the MINI Clubman that will take you behind the scenes of the world’s most innovative offices through exciting video interviews and an exclusive photo gallery featuring each studio’s workspace.

“One Day All the Dreamers Will Get Together to Build a Fantastic World”: In Conversation with Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas

© Archivio Fuksas. ImageShenzhen Airport © Archivio Fuksas. ImageRhike Park in Tbilisi New Rome EUR. Image © Leonardo Finotti © Studio Fuksas. ImageNew Milan Trade Fair + 15

Italian architects Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas were both born and grew up in Rome. Both graduated from La Sapienza University – he in 1969, she a decade later. He started his studies as a painter, she initially persued the history of art. In the early 60s, Massimiliano assisted Giorgio De Chirico and after graduation worked for Archigram in London and then for Henning Larsen and Jørn Utzon in Copenhagen. He started his first practice, the GRANMA in 1967. Doriana joined him in 1985 and became an equal partner in 1997. Subsequent offices were opened in Paris (1989) and in Shenzhen (2004). In 2000, Massimiliano Fuksas served as the Director of the 7th Venice Architecture Biennale under the theme "Less Aesthetics, More Ethics." The duo’s most recognized built works include Museum of Graffiti in Ariege, France; Shenzen Bao'an International Airport; EUR Convention Centre in Rome; New Milan Trade Fair, Rho-Pero; Zenith Music Hall in Strasbourg; and Peres Peace House in Jaffa, Tel Aviv. I met with the architects during their recent visit to New York where so far, they completed only one project, Armani 5th Avenue Flagship Store. We discussed how they start again with every project, their preoccupation with the future, and why buildings should try to become something else.

Martin Rein-Cano Explains the Importance of Dynamism in Landscape Architecture

Now in its 20th year, Berlin-based firm TOPOTEK 1 has been an enterprising player in the field of landscape architecture and public design, with a portfolio of projects that emphasize the social and formal roles that landscape assumes within built work. Largely responsible for the firm’s success this far is the man at the helm, Martin Rein-Cano, who has served as one of the founding partners since 1996.

TOPOTEK 1’s Martin Rein-Cano On Superkilen’s Translation of Cultural Objects

Founded in 1996 by Buenos Aires-born Martin Rein-Cano, TOPOTEK 1 has quickly developed a reputation as a multidisciplinary landscape architecture firm, focussing on the re-contextualization of objects and spaces and the interdisciplinary approaches to design, framed within contemporary cultural and societal discourse.

The award-winning Berlin-based firm has completed a range of public spaces, from sports complexes and gardens to public squares and international installations. Significant projects include the green rooftop Railway Cover in Munich, Zurich’s hybrid Heerenschürli Sports Complex and the German Embassy in Warsaw. The firm has also recently completed the Schöningen Spears Research and Recreation Centre near Hannover, working with contrasting typologies of the open meadow and the dense forest on a historic site.

"Creative Cynic" Peter Cook Explains Why Archigram Designs Were Always Meant to Be Built

Last week ArchDaily attended the 2016 World Architecture Festival in Berlin. We chatted with Sir Peter Cook and asked him about the current state of global affairs (Brexit, the US election, etc). He explained how his experience and work has influenced a career that has spanned over five decades, and reminds us of the inspiring power of architecture.

Peter Cook: You have to understand that I'm a very particular kind of animal both politically and in my general opinions. I'm what I would call a creative cynic. I'm an old person and I've seen a lot of not very good things happen. On the other hand I was privileged as a child to have free education and free college. 

AD Interviews: Bart Lootsma / Curator of Montenegro Pavilion

Ahead of this weekend's symposium “THE DEBATE”—which will take place in Kotor, Montenegro and will present the results of the Project Solana Ulcinj for the national and international audience of the KotorAPSS (Kotor Architectural Prison Summer School)—we present an interview with Bart Lootsma, co-curator of the Montenegro Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.

The exhibition "Project Solana Ulcinj," co-curated by Lootsma and Katharina Weinberger and commissioned by Dijana Vucinic and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, features four proposals for the re-use/re-purposing/re-programming of a former industrial site in Montenegro. With an eye on not only sustainability, but also natural and economic viability, four firms proposed different spatial strategies to transform what Lootsma calls an "unreal man-made artificial and abstract landscape."