exellys-interview-sollicitatie

INTERVIEWS


We interviewed the jury and asked them about their favorite building, describing its space(s) and why it interests them!

Christian Kerez and Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza

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1. Mention one of your favorite buildings?

Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, by Francesco Borromini

2. Describe one or many of the spaces?

In the Space of Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza all contradictions melt together in an indivisible unity.

3. Why does it interest you?

This is the complexity in architecture I’m interested in.

Marina Montresor and House Under High Voltage Lines

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1. Mention one of your favorite buildings?

One of my favourite buildings is House under high voltage lines, by the Japanese architect Kazuo Shinohara.

2. Describe one or many of the spaces?

This is one of the buildings by Shinohara which I like the most, because its shape, which I find very beautiful as well as the resulting inside spaces is made because of a necessity. There is a necessity which drives to a design, which is therefore precise and conceptually obdurate because it derives from a specific and unestinguisheable imposition. Shinohara takes from the existing situation a constrain which is converted into a necessity and then it becomes the only idea for the project.

3. Why does it interest you?

I believe that without knowing the precise reason which made this house look as it looks, its peculiar shape generates an incredible fascination and it triggers the mind of the observer, who inevitably tries to grasp the space inside and the necessity which brought to that design. What really happened, is that the clients asked to occupy the maximum volume available, but as there were the high voltage cables passing above the site, the regulation was imposing a radius around them of minimum distance to build. The roof was therefore shaped according to this imposition, which determines beautiful spaces on the inside.

Beate Hølmebakk and Solano Benites Bath house

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1. Mention one of your favorite buildings?

One of my favourite buildings is Solano Benites Bath house at the Teletón Children’s Rehabilitation Centre in Asunción, Paraguay.

2. Describe one or many of the spaces?

The building’s main space is dominated by the roof structure – three funnel shaped columns – and the folded brick wall.

3. Why does it interest you?

The building interests me because of the sculptural qualities of the space, the extraordinary qualities of the light that comes through the brick structure and because of it’s fascinating and surprising structure.

Maria Giudici and Our Lady of Mercy Church

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1. Mention one of your favorite buildings?

Our Lady of Mercy Church (aka ‘the Glass Church’) in Baranzate di Bollate, near Milan, by Angelo Mangiarotti and Bruno Morassutti (1956-57).

2. Describe one or many of the spaces?

The church is nothing but a roof standing on four slender columns, the ultimate abstraction of what a building is supposed to be. The hall is both primitive, and beautiful, as the deceivingly simple loadbearing structure becomes almost decorative in the pattern of beams that marks the ceiling. Translucent glass walls shroud the space, bathing it in a milky light. There is nothing else to it. It is an architecture with a strong sense of monumentality and tectonic ingenuity, but it also has the unassuming grace of functioning as a background for the movement of the bodies in space, and the movement of sunlight and shadow throughout the day. As translucent glass was too expensive, Mangiarotti and Morassutti created the desired effect by encasing cheap white polystyrene between two layers of glass. The polystyrene decayed with time creating a bizarre ‘memento mori’ effect; a recent restoration however has turned the building into a much more clinical, picture-perfect version of itself, so the building I am talking about is a building that, as far as I am concerned, does not exist anymore.

3. Why does it interest you?

I think this building is extraordinary as it is designed with a single gesture: the loadbearing structure does it all, from shelter to decoration to symbol of social gathering to wry commentary on what the authors believe is the very core of architecture. It appears so sparse, but each design decision is carefully considered and to a careful scrutiny it reveals a myriad of interesting choices. It is also intensely atmospheric, but in an unfussy, non-sentimental way: it uses cheap materials, industrial but not too self-consciously industrial, technologically advanced for the time, yet not so annoyingly high-tech that they become obsolete in five years. It is simple but not minimalistic. I love the fact that its simplicity is all instrumental to letting the users become the protagonists of the space. It is what it does.

Neven Fuchs-Mikac and Nordic Pavilion in Venice

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1. Mention one of your favorite buildings?

Nordic Pavilion in Venice, by Sverre Fehn.

2. Describe one or many of the spaces?

An architectonic meta-narrative. A beam is not just a beam, it is a light louver, a double beam with a between space, it is a wall…..a column is not just a column. The space is strictly geometrical, but with perspective openings, monumental and calm, connected to the world and extremely intimate, at the same time…. Multiple, coexisting relationships, create a strong spatiality of the structure.

3. Why does it interest you?

There is a subtle measure between the control of experience and a freedom which allows things to happen. But every architectural question has just one answer.