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“Architecture is a Captivating Journey Through the Revived World of Drawing” In Conversation with Sergei Tchoban

Sergei Tchoban (b. 1962, Saint Petersburg, Russia) graduated from the Repin Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture at the Russian Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg in 1986. He started his practicing career in Russia but left for Germany in 1991, becoming a managing partner of nps tchoban voss in Berlin in 1995. Since 2006, he also heads SPEECH, one of the leading architectural offices in Moscow. Apart from building his successful career of a practicing architect, he is a collector of architectural drawings, publisher, and museum owner.

"We Still Have Not Built that City of the Future Where I Once Lived": In Conversation with Nishan Kazazian

What follows this short introduction is my unusually personal interview with a Lebanese-American architect and artist Nishan Kazazian. His work is inspired by numerous sources that come from many directions such as Kintsugi, the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together, primary color geometric abstractions evocative of Russian Constructivism, as well as paintings by Piet Mondrian and Paul Klee. Yet, a stronger inspiration comes from his memories of home and family history. Layering and superimposition of cultures and languages were constantly present in his life since childhood and remain guiding forces to Kazazian, who is both a licensed architect and a professional artist.

"I Would Rather Be Known as an Architect of Elegant Restraint": Interview with Belmont (Monty) Freeman

Belmont (Monty) Freeman (b. 1951) founded his New York-based, currently eight-person practice, Belmont Freeman Architects in 1986. Its active projects are half institutional and half residential, with a special focus on adaptive reuse, predominantly in New York and nearby states. Among the firm’s most exemplary projects are the LGBT Carriage House on the University of Pennsylvania campus, a series of restorations at the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram Building, renovations at the Yale Club in Manhattan, and the renovation of the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, designed by Kevin Roche. Current projects include an expansive but minimalist residential compound on Martha’s Vineyard, branch library renovations in New York City, and redevelopment of a former meatpacking building into a new Innovation Hub for Columbia University’s Business School.

"I Want My Places to Come Alive": In conversation with Brian Mac

American architect Brian Mac grew up near Detroit. He graduated from the Architecture School at the University of Detroit in 1988 and for the next five years worked for a preservationist firm, Quinn Evans Architects in Ann Arbor. There he learned to love historic architectural detailing, and, while working at the firm, in 1992, became a licensed architect. Then followed a short period of disillusion with the profession and moving to Ohio to work in a residential treatment center for adolescent felony offenders.

"I Am Always Inside the Architecture that I Design": In Conversation with Toyo Ito

Examining the work of Tokyo architect Toyo Ito (b. 1941) – particularly his now seminal Sendai Mediatheque (1995-2001), Serpentine Gallery (London, 2002, with Cecil Balmond), TOD's Omotesando Building (Tokyo, 2004), Tama Art University Library (Tokyo, 2007), and National Taichung Theater (2009-16) – will immediately become apparent these buildings’ structural innovations and spatial, non-hierarchical organizations. Although these structures all seem to be quite diverse, there is one unifying theme – the architect’s consistent commitment to erasing fixed boundaries between inside and outside and relaxing spatial divisions between various programs within. There is continuity in how these buildings are explored. They are conceived as systems rather than objects and they never really end; one could imagine their formations and patterns to continue to evolve and expand pretty much endlessly.

30 Technology-Driven Projects Point to Our Future: In Conversation with Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido

Vladimir Belogolovsky talks with Mexican-American architect Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido on his exhibition 30 Projects/30 Years/30 Stories now on view at the Museo Metropolitano in Monterrey, Mexico.30 Projects/30 Years/30 Stories, a large retrospective on the work of Mexican-American architect Francisco Gonzalez Pulido, was opened on June 18 at the Museo Metropolitano in Monterrey, Mexico. The exhibition will remain on view until September 21.

“Architecture Stands Out Because It Has Something to Say to its Context”: In conversation with Mario Botta

Swiss architect Mario Botta is known for his geometrically imposing, spatially captivating structures that are invariably dressed in zebra-like horizontal stripes in either black and white or red and white combinations. These both traditional and strikingly modern villas, chapels, wineries, schools, libraries, museums, company headquarters, banks, and residential blocks are scattered throughout towns and mountainous villages in the architect’s native Ticino region in southern Switzerland, extend all over Europe and can be encountered in places as far away as China, India, South Korea, Japan, and the USA.

"I Wanted to Dance Here!": In Conversation with Antoine Predock about Bahías, a Community of 13 Houses in Costa Rica

Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Antoine Predock about the soon-to-be-built Bahías, a community of 13 houses in Costa Rica, inspired by a vision of manmade foliage.

“Architecture is Like Writing a Song”: In conversation with Rick Joy

Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with American architect Rick Joy about his early inclinations towards architecture, what kind of architecture he likes to visit, and about designing his buildings as instruments. 

“We Produce Nothing; We Package a Dream": In Conversation with Totan Kuzembaev

Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Russian architect Totan Kuzembaev about flexibility in buildings, the freedom in design, and that even after leading a successful practice for almost twenty years, he still keeps searching for how to make architecture.

“Most Importantly, I Can Stimulate Processes": In conversation with Christoph Hesse

Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Christoph Hesse over Skype between New York and his office in Korbach, Germany to discuss his pioneering projects and why working in the countryside is relevant.

“You Open Your Dwelling’s Door and You See the Mountains”: In conversation with Li Xinggang of Atelier Li Xinggang

Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Chinese architect LI Xinggang of Beijing-based office Atelier Li Xinggang about the particularities of working within a design institute, the architect’s philosophy referred to as “poetic scenery and integrated geometry,” and his role in the design of the Bird’s Nest and why he thinks it is the most important piece of contemporary architecture in China.;

“Limitations are as Important as Possibilities”: In conversation with Atelier Alter's Yingfan Zhang and Xiaojun Bu

Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with architects Yingfan Zhang and Xiaojun Bu, co-founders of Atelier Alter, about architecture in motion, their faith in tabula rasa, and the widespread rapid urbanization process in China.

"The Truth is in The Tension of Possibilities”: In conversation with Eric Owen Moss

Even though Eric Owen Moss’ buildings are easy to spot it is hard to categorize them. They constitute a clash of forms and surfaces that collide, break, contort, superimpose onto themselves, bend, split, melt, and explode seemingly out of control –all to avoid being subscribed to anything that may even remotely evoke a design methodology of any kind.

“A Vase May Give a Shape to a Room”: In conversation with John Wardle

John Wardle (b. 1956) founded John Wardle Architects in Melbourne, Australia, in 1986. His early interest in architecture started with encountering objects and precious bits and pieces of demolished buildings at the demolition yard owned by his father’s friend.

“Every Generation Has a Responsibility to Design a Better Life”: In Conversation with Wang Hui of URBANUS

After studying architecture at Tsinghua University in Beijing and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio Beijing-born and based architect Wang Hui (b. 1967) co-founded URBANUS in 1999 in Shenzhen with his partners Liu Xiaodu and Meng Yan. After his graduation in 1997, Wang Hui worked in New York until 2002, while also moonlighting for URBANUS remotely. The architect heads the company’s Beijing office, which he set up in 2003, overseeing projects in the Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan triangle, the Yangtze River Delta region, and other parts of China.

“Architecture Making Depends on Good Communication”: Interview with Tong Ming

Tong Ming (b. 1968, Nanjing, China) received his bachelor’s (1990) and master’s (1993) degrees in architecture from Southeast University in Nanjing. In 1995, Tong moved to Shanghai to pursue his PhD in Urban Planning at Tongji University, which he obtained in 1999. He then worked at Suzhou Design Institute until establishing his own independent University-based practice, TM Studio in 2004. He also maintains another studio UNO, Urban Network Office space in West Bund specializing in organizing seminars, workshops, exhibitions, and lectures.

“In Architecture You Can Make a Better Version of the World”: In conversation with Zhang Lei of AZL Architects 

Nanjing-based architect Zhang Lei (b. 1964, Jiangsu, China) does not believe in history, only time. He is convinced that history is something that is taking place in our own time, being shaped by particular circumstances, current programmatic demands, latest building techniques, and contemporary sensibilities.