In 1993 a young professional couple with two toddlers and a large suburban lot in Naarden, a town less than half an hour's drive southeast of Amsterdam, approached Ben van Berkel to design an unusual house. They envisioned it as progressive and innovative in every way possible. More than that, they wanted a kind of building that “would be recognized as a reference in terms of renewal of the architectural language.” Before settling on the architect, they spoke to several candidates, including Rem Koolhaas. They chose van Berkel who five years earlier, together with his then-wife Caroline Bos co-founded their eponymous practice, because as he told me, “I went to the site and studied it carefully and already had ideas about what I called the four quadrants of the landscape. I knew what kind of house it would be. I could see clearly where different rooms would go, how they would be shaped, and how they would relate to each other.” The couple couldn’t resist. Yet, there would be no rush on the project which took five years to complete, most time was invested in its design, going through many iterations and refinements, all based on the Möbius loop.
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“There Is No Center”: Interview with Tosin Oshinowo, Curator of the 2023 Sharjah Architecture Triennial
The Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023 opened on November 11, 2023, with a wide program focused on the overarching theme of The Beauty of Impermanence: An Architecture of Adaptability. While on-site in Sharjah, the ArchDaily team had the chance to sit down with curator Tosin Oshinowo and discuss her curatorial view, the development of the main themes of the program, and the larger principles and intentions behind the event. Informed by her experience growing up in Lagos, Oshinowo has focused the Triennale on the celebration of places that thrive under conditions of scarcity and the alternative models that the Global South can provide in working towards a more equitable and livable future.
“A Building Can Become This Organic, Soft, Beautiful Thing That You Want to Touch and Hug”: In Conversation with Chris Bosse
Chris Bosse started LAVA, Laboratory for Visionary Architecture, with his partners Tobias Wallisser and Alexander Rieck the year Watercube, the Aquatics Centre for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics was completed. Bosse was one of the leading designers of Watercube when he worked at PTW Architects in Sydney. Now LAVA employs about 100 people in four offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Sydney, Stuttgart, and Berlin. There are also two satellite offices in Honduras and Parma, Italy, led by former associates. Projects range from furniture to houses and hotels to master plans, urban centers, and airports in the Middle East, Central America, Europe, Australia, and Vietnam.
The Second Studio (formerly The Midnight Charette) is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by Architects David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features different creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions.
A variety of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes are interviews, while others are tips for fellow designers, reviews of buildings and other projects, or casual explorations of everyday life and design. The Second Studio is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.
This week David and Marina of FAME Architecture & Design are joined by Architects Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, founding partners of Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, to discuss their upbringing, moving to the United States in their youth; meeting at Berkeley; studying and teaching Architecture; moving to China; starting their office together; running a multi-disciplinary office; their philosophy; and more.
Sustainable construction certifications can play a crucial role in mitigating climate change by establishing solid criteria to foster ecologically responsible practices in the construction industry. They not only give public visibility to industry-accepted standards and monitor performance, ensuring compliance with regulations, but also stimulate the reduction of negative environmental impacts while rewarding buildings that fulfill strict sustainability standards. By establishing higher levels of excellence in projects and constructions, these certifications influence the evolution of construction codes, training professionals, and even changing corporate strategies.
“We Have to Change the Whole Definition of the Architect”: Yasmeen Lari in Louisiana Channel Interview
In this Louisiana Channel interview with Yasmeen Lari, the renowned Pakistani architect speaks about the role of architects and the needed perspective shifts of the industry in contemporary times. Awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2023 for her humanitarian efforts, Lari emphasizes the need to rethink the architecture industry to address social disparities and resource deficiencies. In the interview, the architect and designer reflects on her upbringing, architectural education, and her practice today.
Eva Prats and Ricardo Flores started their Barcelona-based practice, Flores & Prats Arquitectes in 1998 after both worked at the office of Enric Miralles. They overlapped for about one year there, from 1993 to 1994. After her nine-year stint with Miralles, Eva won the EUROPAN III International Housing Competition with a friend. The success that led to a real commission and was going to be built, served as the springboard for starting their independent practice. Shortly thereafter they won another competition. Ricardo joined Eva after working for five years with Miralles. By then they were a couple for three years and decided to start working together. Today they practice out of the same sprawling apartment where Eva’s original studio rented a room along with several other young architects and designers. Even though the office now occupies the entire space—the architects told me they typically employ ten, no more than twelve people—they keep traces and memories of the former “dwellers” alive. Curiously, Eva and Ricardo implement the same strategy in their architectural projects as well.
"We Have Abdicated as a Profession Our Responsibility Towards the Planet:" In Conversation with Yasmeen Lari
While attending the 2023 UIA World Congress of Architecture in Copenhagen, ArchDaily had the chance to discuss with Yasmeen Lari, Pakistan’s first female architect and the winner of the 2023 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture. Yasmeen Lari gained international recognition for her heritage conservation and humanitarian activism efforts, demonstrating the possibilities of practicing architecture within disadvantaged communities. Her innovative and socially conscious approach, a concept known as ‘barefoot social architecture,’ has had a significant impact both in her home country and internationally. By designing for resilient communities, her work also aligns with the intentions behind the UIA World Congress of Architects and the ways in which architecture can contribute to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Everyone Belongs to Everyone Else:” In Conversation with the Curators of the Italian Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Biennale
During this year’s edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale, ArchDaily had the chance to discuss with Giacomo Ardesio and Claudia Mainardi of Fosbury Architecture, the curators of the Italian Pavilion together with Alessandro Bonizzoni, Nicola Campri and Veronica Caprino. The curatorial project, titled “Spaziale: Everyone Belongs to Everyone Else,” aims to provide a distinctive and original portrait of Italian architecture within the international context. The curators discussed the origins of their office, their sources of inspiration and the thinking behind the design decisions that led to the creation of the curatorial project for the Italian Pavilion.
"A Wall is A Political Statement": Karin Sander on Co-Curating the Swiss Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Biennale
At the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Karin Sander, and Philip Ursprung curated the Swiss Pavilion “Neighbors”. In her interview with Louisiana Channel, Karin Sander talks about expanding the understanding of the pavilion, reimagining the connected role of architecture and art, and explaining her artistic process. “Neighbors” was focused on spatial proximity between the Swiss Pavilion and its Venezuelan neighbor. Sander highlights also the conversation between the two structures, that became possible after the removal of a separating wall.
"Architecture as a Framework for the Life That We Want to Live": Bjarke Ingels Explains Hedonistic Sustainability and the New Bauhaus
During the opening keynote at the UIA 2023 World Congress of Architects, Bjarke Ingels, the lead and founder of BIG, shared insights into pressing global challenges along with the office’s distinctive approach to addressing them. After the conference, ArchDaily had the chance to sit down with Bjarke Ingels to further expand on these topics. The discussion touched on a number of subjects, including BIG’s approach to design, based on their principle of “Hedonistic Sustainability,” the meaning and opportunities behind this change in mentality, the inter-applicability of technological innovations across different fields and even across planets, and the need to develop a New European Bauhaus as a response to the emerging environmental necessities.
The UIA World Congress of Architecture 2023 is an international invitation for architects worldwide to explore the future of the built environment. The event this year that brought together 6,000 participants worldwide, focusing on “Sustainable Futures – Leave No One Behind”, was set on discovering how architecture influences the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ranging from Climate Adaptation, Rethinking Resources, Health, Inclusivity, and more. While visiting this year’s edition in Copenhagen, the ArchDaily team had the chance to sit down with Jan Gehl, the father of people-centered design. The discussion revolved around 50 years after the launch of his world-renowned book, Cities for People, the first publication to reflect on how to properly develop cities on the human scale. Moreover, the interview followed his keynote speech at the UIA 2023, “Cities for People – 50 Years Later."
“I Think of My Work as Imploding Rather than Exploding:” in Conversation with Michael Rotondi of Roto Architects
Michael Rotondi’s buildings—museums, civic centers, education facilities, monasteries, restaurants, and residences—evoke kinetic mechanisms that fold, hinge, twist, and split open. They express the architect’s feelings, thinking, and mood at the time they had been designed, and, on some occasions, during their assembly and construction. Rotondi was born in 1949 in Los Angeles.
He established his RoTo Architects, a research-based firm in his native city, in 1991 after co-heading Morphosis for 16 years with Thom Mayne. Parallel to his practicing career, the architect has been teaching and lecturing at SCI-Arc, Southern California Institute of Architecture, which he co-founded in 1972, led its graduate program from 1978-1987, and was the school’s second director for a decade from 1987 to 1997.
Unbuild Together: In Conversation with Studio KO, the Curators of the Uzbekistan National Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Biennale
Studio KO’s curation of the Uzbekistan Pavilion for the Venice Biennale is based on research, curiosity, workshopping, and experimenting with the senses. For over two years, the studio has worked alongside the Arts and Cultural Development Foundation, designing the Center for Contemporary Arts and their initiatives to restore and rehabilitate vernacular houses, transforming them into artist residencies. While exploring the 18th International Architecture Exhibition onsite in Venice, ArchDaily had the chance to speak with the founders of Studio KO, Karl Fournier, and Olivier Marty, curators of Uzbekistan National Pavilion. Their exhibition for this year’s theme, “The Laboratory of the Future,” focuses on the country’s rich heritage as a potential tool and inspiration for developing a more sustainable future.
Pihlmann Architects is a young Copenhagen-based architectural run by Søren Pihlmann. In this interview with Louisiana Channel, the rising architect elaborates on his unique practice, the values he holds, and what he finds fascinating about architecture. Most notably, Pihlmann explains that his view on the practice has transformed from being an architect into becoming a type of curator, selecting very few things with great sensitivity.