Read the full article by Alexander Gutzmer online here.
Translation: Chipperfield plea against Brexit
Architects and their observers like to pride themselves on their political relevance. Like a mantra, they demand more social commitment for their discipline. This stands in stark contrast to the reality in major debates where Ooften little is heard from the architectural profession here.
Substantial debates regarding the present difficult European situation are also seldom to be found. The currently increasing nationalistic centrifugal forces are highly problematic - also not least for building culture and architecture and building culture. Something is falling apart to pieces here. Europe, which is rapidly drifting apart, is not only an economic region but also a cultural project. If this should fail, architecture in all countries of the continent will lose an important guiding framework.
In this context, I find the impending ‘Brexit’ particularly virulent. For me, Britain belongs to Europe and is a part of Europe. The Europe, in which I live and write, is the same that is being negotiated in Britain. I studied at the Goldsmiths’ College of the University of London, where I discussed European construction, the large cities on the continent but also Europe in general a great deal with architects. In a lecture titled “Reading the City” the sociologist Michael Keith, who currently teaches in Oxford, conveyed to me the flâneur-like exploration of the culturally defined topographies of European city centres. Rem Koolhaas held lectures at Goldsmiths and started joint research projects with my PhD supervisor Scott Lash. The local “Centre for Research Architecture” devised a highly fascinating socio-critical research project focussing on architecture and urban planning. These are all contributions to European architectural discourse that I would not want to miss under any circumstances. Especially considering the fact that Goldsmiths, with what feels like 90 percent non-British-European students, altogether constitutes one of the most European research institutes.
Another architect, who regularly stops by at Goldsmiths, is David Chipperfield. In 2014 he was part of the jury for a new art gallery on the South London campus. Due to his numerous buildings in Germany, this native of London is already one of the most European architects. He has now made a striking plea against ‘Brexit’. Addressed to ing his fellow Brits, Chipperfield describes “his” Europe as a major cultural project. He wants to preserve this, not least in order to positively influence the mindset of the Brits themselves. For him, Europe is the chance to make Britain culturally more culturally sensitive and in particular to enrich its architecture. He writes “Indeed it is difficult to imagine how our cultural institutions could function without these intellectual and practical connections, and how isolated our profession would become, detached from the influences and inspiration of our continental colleagues.”
This is a remarkable idea. And, coming from a Brit, even one we Europeans can take an example from. That is to say, we question too little, what we ourselves have from Great Britain. In doing so, we should have an interest in Brits taking on a more active role in Europe. I would not want to live in a Europe that forgoes Anglo-Saxon impetus. This also applies to the culture of individualism, which is quite certainly more pronounced in Britain than it is on the other side of the channel.
I do not care so much for the continental European collectivism with its permanent overemphasis of the State. The UK could form a valuable corrective here, but only if London raises a strong voice in Europe. A voice, which Chipperfield presently finds lacking: “To be honest, our current lukewarm participation makes us look very weak from a European perspective. Our cultural connections are real, we share a history and, whether we like it or not, we share a future. The English Channel can no longer ‘protect’ us from the Continent.”
The channel is narrow and is becoming more so, says Sir David. Let’s hope he is right about this.
The Naga Site Museum project is featured in the 15th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia under Alejandro Aravena’s theme: Reporting From the Front.
The ancient city of Naga is one of the largest historic sites in Sudan and contains the ruins of a former trading city that once belonged to the Kingdom of Meroë. It is situated around 150 km to the north-east of Khartoum and is only accessible via sand tracks. The new museum is primarily designed to protect excavated objects from the tough conditions caused by sun, sandstorms, rain and looters.
The exhibition, located in the Central Pavilion at the Giardini, provides an overall impression of both the project and its context and includes models, interviews with individuals connected to Naga, a film focusing on the archaeological excavation as well as a small range of objects from the excavation itself.
The 15th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia is open to the public from 28 May to 27 November 2016.
Image © Rik Nys
David Chipperfield Architects presented the schematic design for the new Nobel Center in a public presentation in Stockholm. While maintaining the initial concept, the design has been further developed.
The auditorium has been developed into a forum-like space, introducing seating rows which face each other. The structure of the auditorium now defines and connects the spaces of the floors below and above.
The main restaurant and bar have been moved to the top floor, establishing a unique venue that strengthens the public character of the Nobel Center. The building's shape has been further refined, subtly accentuating the tripartite division of base, middle and top. The façade of thin vertical bronze fins placed in varied densities envelopes the building. A less dense rhythm on the upper floors allows visitors to enjoy expansive views over the city.
The new building will give the Nobel Prize a home for the first time in its history. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2017.
Following the appointment by Qatari Diar, David Chipperfield Architects are currently working on the redevelopment of Eero Saarinen’s US Embassy building on Grosvenor Square in London. The Grade II listed structure was completed in 1960 and is Saarinen’s only UK project. With the US Embassy planning to vacate the building, design work has started on a new mixed-use scheme including a hotel, retail and event space. A public consultation exhibition took place last month.
The redevelopment aims to strengthen the existing design qualities and allow the civic-scaled building to play a more active public role in Mayfair.
Image © Richard Davies
The shell construction for the residential project “Palais Varnhagen” in the centre of Berlin has been completed. The building comprises 50 apartments and two commercial units on a site, which has remained undeveloped since World War II. The architecture is inspired by the typology of the ‘Hôtel particulier’, a building form originally prevalent in Paris. In keeping with this historic archetype, a deep recess from the second storey upwards opens up the building to the street, creating a U-shape facing the south and providing optimum daylight conditions for all apartments. The building is due for completion by the end of this year.
David Chipperfield's lecture for the LSE Cities programme is now available to watch online here.
The 23 winning proposals for the regeneration initiative ‘Réinventer Paris’ are now on display in Athens. Among the proposals for various sites across Paris is the scheme for the redevelopment of the Boulevard Morland designed by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin together with Paris-based developer Emerige.
The proposal extends and opens up the existing 1960s structure and integrates an artistic installation designed by Studio Other Spaces (an experimental practice run by Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann in Berlin).
The exhibition is presented by the Chicago Athenaeum, Museum for Architecture and Design in collaboration with the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies. Throughout 2016 and 2017 ‘Réinventer Paris’ will continue as a travelling exhibition in Chicago and other U.S. cities.
Contemporary Space Athens, 74 Mitropoleos, Athens 13 May – 12 June 2016
Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 14.00 to 21.00
A short video on the new Valentino Flagship Store at 39 Old Bond Street that opened earlier this year.
Office building Moganshan Road in China, Saint Louis Art Museum in the US and Museo Jumex in Mexico have been selected as three of the 30 projects in consideration for the inaugural edition of the RIBA Award for International Excellence.
Unlike any previous RIBA award for architecture, the RIBA International Prize is open to any qualified architect in the world. The prize will be judged by an expert panel led by Richard Rogers.
Go to projects:
As part of the LSE Cities programme of public events, David Chipperfield will deliver a lecture this Thursday (5 May) on the current state of planning in London and the importance of finding a balance between development and conservation. The respondent to the lecture will be Rowan Moore, and the event will be chaired by Ricky Burdett.
The event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.
Date: Thursday 5 May 2016
Time: 18:30 – 20:00
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, London School of Economics (LSE) New Academic Building (see campus map)
Following an invitation from the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, David Chipperfield and Olafur Eliasson will present the Morland project to the public on 2 May at 19:00 in Paris. The event will take place at the Pavillon de l'Arsenal.
Following a three-phase competitive process, David Chipperfield Architects Berlin and Paris-based developer Emerige, won the Call for Projects to redevelop the ‘Boulevard Morland’ site in the 4th arrondissement of Paris at the beginning of this year.
At the beginning of this week, Stockholm City Council approved the detailed local plan for the Nobel Center designed by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin. Lars Heikensten, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation, described the result as a 'resounding yes from political leaders in Stockholm'.
The new building on the Blasieholmen peninsula will be the home of the Nobel Prize in the centre of Stockholm. It will build its activities around the annual celebration of the Nobel Prize ceremony for science, literature and economics. It will also provide space for exhibitions, school programmes, scientific meetings and lectures as well as hospitality. All activities will be open to the public, aiming to encourage discovery, creativity and new thinking, while creating a place of social, scientific and cultural interaction and making the exceptional heritage of Nobel both visible and accessible to all. Construction is due to start in 2017.
Image © David Chipperfield Architects
Martin Roth, the German director of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, has received a First Class medal of the Order of Merit from Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at a ceremony in Berlin. The award was given in recognition of Roth’s efforts to foster cross-cultural interaction and tolerance, and his contribution towards enhancing Germany's connections with its European neighbours.
In his laudatory speech, David Chipperfield highlighted the importance of Martin Roth’s global perspective, his dedication to confronting difficult issues including his own country’s recent history, and his eloquent determination to ensure that museums serve as engaged forums for debate and innovation.
Image ©Florian Gaertner/photothek.net
The topping-out of the James Simon Galerie on Berlin’s Museum Island was celebrated this morning at an event attended by nearly 1,000 people.
Named after one of city’s greatest patrons, the building forms an integral part of the masterplan for the Museum Island approved in 1999. David Chipperfield has described the James Simon Galerie as ‘both a building and place’, explaining that ‘as well as its role to supplement the museological programme, its purpose is to reorganise urban relations and accessibility within the Museum Island’. It is not so much defined by its function ‘but rather by its responsibility as a public building in the centre of the city’. The completion of the new entrance building is scheduled for 2018.
The official speakers at the ceremony were Petra Wesseler, President of the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning; Monika Grütters, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media; Barbara Hendricks, the Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety; Hermann Parzinger, the President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation; as well as David Chipperfield and Alexander Schwarz from David Chipperfield Architects Berlin.
Image ©Ute Zscharnt for David Chipperfield Architects
The Domus Pavilion project was an opportunity to commit an architect and an artist to a conversation. Based on the shared conviction that it is more of an opportunity for art than architecture, Michelangelo Pistoletto and David Chipperfield's aim was to develop a large piece of art rather than a small piece of architecture. Nevertheless, it is created from a collaboration of ideas between the two disciplines, playing with what they share and how they differ.
The true protagonist of the Domus Pavilion project is duality, namely the duality of the physical and the metaphysical. The design for the Pavilion starts from the concept of two volumes, one inside the other with a gap left between the two like a Russian doll. At first glance, the form and materiality are those of an archetypal representation of a house: a pitched roof, red brick exterior, white plastered interior, windows openings and a door. On closer inspection, however, one notices that the walls, door and windows of each volume have been purposefully misaligned, and the top of the roof is off centre. Though this roof is made of thin iron sheet reminiscent of a make-shift shed, including the extension cantilevering over the entrance, an oculus perforates through both volumes and undermines its capacity to shelter.
The space of tension between both volumes – expressed like a cavity wall construction – and the intentional misalignment expose the inner volume and recognise the independent abstract form of the inner ‘artist’s house’.
‘Arch and Art’ is a cultural project of Assolombarda Confindustria Milano Monza e Brianza organised, coordinated by Domus and produced in collaboration with the Milan Triennale. Located in the Triennale Gardens, the project will run until 12 September 2016.
A statement by David Chipperfield on the UK's upcoming EU referendum, as published in The Architects’ Journal (31 March 2016).
'The discussion about Europe is too narrowly focused on issues of trade and economy. Economic statistics can be produced to support both positions. Who knows the truth?
Fortunately, it seems clear that there are strong economic arguments in favour of staying within the economic union, but I believe that neither the debate nor the decision should pivot on this argument. Does it profit our profession to stay in or leave? How do you measure this?'
Related: ‘Being European: what does it mean?’ a recent interview with David Chipperfield published on theguardian.com
David Chipperfield Architects has been invited to participate in the 15th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Alejandro Aravena, with a contribution on the Naga Site Museum in Sudan.
The ancient city of Naqa, one of the largest historic sites in the country, contains the ruins of a former trading city that once belonged to the Kingdom of Meroë. Only accessible via sand tracks, it sits about fifty kilometres east of the Nile and is a three-hour drive from Khartoum. The museum is designed to protect part of the archaeological site from sun, sandstorms, rain and looters.
The 15th International Architecture Exhibition, titled REPORTING FROM THE FRONT, will include 88 participants from 37 different countries. The exhibition will be open to the public from 28 May 2016 to 27 November 2016 at the Giardini and the Arsenale in Venice.
Image copyright: © Martin Reichert
Following an invitation from The German Film Academy, David Chipperfield has selected ‘Night of the Hunter’ by Charles Laughten to be screened at the Astor Film Lounge in Berlin on 10 March. Afterwards he will participate in a discussion with actor, director and board member of the German Film Academy Burghart Klaußner.
‘Night of the Hunter is a tense and complex story of good and bad, love and hate, trust and suspicion, brilliantly acted especially by Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters and set in a powerfully exaggerated black and white atmosphere.’ - DC
Having already obtained RIBA and New London Architecture awards, the BREEAM ‘outstanding’-rated office building One Pancras Square has received further recognition with a 2016 Civic Trust Award as well as the ‘Special award for Sustainability’.
The design team worked in close collaboration with engineers Grontmij who helped to ensure the project met exemplary sustainability standards and that innovative solutions were integrated with the design.
The Civic Trust Awards scheme was established in 1959 to recognise the very best in architecture, design, planning, landscape and public art. Awards are given to projects that demonstrate high quality architecture or design and have made a positive cultural, social or economic contribution to the local community.
Image ©Simon Menges
Forty kilometres north of Osaka, the Inagawa Reien cemetery is situated on a steep mountainside of the Hokusetsu chain in the Hyogo prefecture. David Chipperfield Architects London have been commissioned to design a chapel for The Boenfukyukai Foundation. The project sits at the bottom of a monumental flight of steps which lead to a small shrine at the top of the cemetery. The chapel and a visitor centre sit on either side of the steps around a new sheltered public area, serving as a threshold between the outer world and a quieter space for commemoration. The prismatic composition of rough sand-blasted red concrete volumes forms an intimate complex that is in tune with the dominant slope of the site.
Demolition of the pre-existing structures on site has been completed and work on the new buildings has now started. The project is due to be completed in Spring next year.
As part of a lecture series accompanying Vitra Design Museum’s current comprehensive exhibition ‘The Bauhaus #itsalldesign’, David Chipperfield will deliver a talk today on the theme ‘Revisting Modernism’ and reflect on the importance of the Bauhaus movement on his practice’s work and philosophy.
The lecture will be held at the Fire Station by Zaha Hadid on the Vitra Campus at 18:00. The event is now fully booked.
Following a three-phase competitive process, David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, together with Paris-based developer Emerige, has won the Call for Projects to redevelop the ‘Boulevard Morland’ site in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. The process is part of the wider city-led urban regeneration initiative - ‘Reinventer Paris’ - calling for innovative projects to redevelop 23 sites across the city. The winning scheme for the Boulevard Morland site both extends and opens up the existing structure which was originally built from 1957 to 1964 as a city administration building. The two top floors will integrate an inhabitable artistic installation designed by Studio Other Spaces that will house a bar and restaurant. The redeveloped complex will contain a mixed-use programme including housing, a youth hostel, hotel facilities, offices, retail outlets and a food market, establishing a new social and public landmark for the people of Paris.
Image © Imaging Atelier
Earlier this month, Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of the state Uttar Pradesh, laid the foundation stone for the Mughal Museum in Agra near the eastern gate of Taj Mahal.
The project is part of a larger masterplan led by Archohm for the area around Taj Mahal, which also comprises the Taj Orientation Centre and the Taj Ganj Visitors' Centre.
The museum will accommodate 5,200 m² permanent and temporary exhibition space and is dedicated to the history and culture of the Mughals, a dynasty that ruled over Northern India for over three centuries.
The construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
The exhibition ‘Essentials. David Chipperfield Architects 1985-2015’ currently on display at Museo ICO in Madrid has received 12,922 visitors since opening on 30 September.
The exhibition ends this Sunday (24 January 2016).
Curated by Fulvio Irace and designed by David Chipperfield Architects, the exhibition reflects on some of the practice's key projects over the last 30 years and the central role that architectural models play in our working method.
The artist Olafur Eliasson shares his impression of the design for the Nobel Center in an interview published online.
Eliasson talks about the identity of the building and the city and about public space as a key component of the project.
The short film is part of the series Voices on Nobel Center shown on the Nobel Center website. The interview can be watched online.