Table of contents
Cover: the number 9 cut out of a Pantone® colour card along with its negative and its shadow form the number 999. Sketch by Giuseppe Basile. Photo Andrea Martiradonna
Editorial: The future is now
Our magazine is getting ready to celebrate the extraordinary and coveted publication of its one thousandth issue. The event comes as a truly unique opportunity to reconsider the epic cavalcade achieved by this glorious publication.
Nicola Di Battista
The Weltbaumeister – A look back and a look ahead
Take human beings for scale: such is the heartfelt and categorical invitation extended by this Swiss scholar to contemporary architects, urging them to assume their civil responsibilities and abandon the misdirected chase after success decreed by the media market.
The idea as the driving force behind a project
In over 15 years of teaching, Valerio Olgiati has worked out his own pragmatic and rigorous method. Convinced that a good architectural design is the physical manifestation and logical consequence of an idea that takes shape, he invites his students at the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio to ponder the fundamentals of architecture and to work on five key parameters, in their turn divided into topics.
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TUDelft
With its long history as a technical school and polytechnic, and then as a technology institute, the Delft faculty of Architecture today puts the focus on research and experimentation, training professionals and experts with sophisticated specialisations who are able to tackle the future problems of architecture and the built environment.
Hans Kollhoff sees the dissolution of architecture and the decline of materiality and craftsmanship as a disastrous outcome triggered by certain utopian visions of the 1960s’ and still affecting the present. Revisiting Le Corbusier’s famous Acropolis sketches reminds us that architecture is a tectonic fact, grounded in the topography of the landscape and cityscape.
Squaring the circle
The recent project built by the Swiss practice – the Bordeaux stadium, published in Domus 993 – for Eduardo Souto de Moura embodies a great lesson in architecture. The Portuguese architect visited the project for us and produced a brief but intense reflection on the importance of addressing history, positioning Herzog & de Meuron among the greatest architects of our times.
Eduardo Souto de Moura
L’albero della cuccagna. I nutrimenti dell’arte
With an operation that involved 46 artists and activated a network of exhibition venues all throughout Italy, Bonito Oliva probed the theme of nourishment and its social implications. Conceived on the occasion of the 2015 World Expo and organised in a route of destinations ending at the Palazzo Reale in Milan, the show gave art the task of “massaging the atrophied muscle of our collective sensibility”.
Achille Bonito Oliva
Thingness – MyCollection
The first retrospective on the work of Jasper Morrison, who has spent 35 years pursuing simplicity, precision and functionality, arrives in Zurich. The exhibition includes a fascinating new section, “MyCollection”, which displays pieces selected by the British designer from the museum’s four collections – an unusual way of showing objects and designers in a new light.
Designing with aluminium
To mark his wide-ranging solo show at the Grand-Hornu Centre of Innovation and Design, the British designer Michael Young, who has spent years working in both Belgium and China, explains his design relationship with aluminium, a versatile and malleable material – about which, he says, he still has much to learn.
Family home in Greystones, Ireland
In this project for a house in the Irish countryside, de Paor took the relationship with the place and its physical stratification as an opportunity to build a house fully reflecting the site itself. The name of the project, Dysart, evokes the design of the house, which is constructed via an ambiguous connection between the archaeology of the pre-existing structures and the new constructions.
Tom de Paor
Old adages, special trades
In her new book, the author reflects on the figure of the designer post-2010s and on the need for a holistic approach to the profession to reaffirm a historical and cultural awareness of design as a motor of progress, one which goes beyond the designers themselves, but which also unavoidably gives them a new role as guides.
Residential development, London
A complex intervention in the centre of the city reaffirms the great ability of the British architect to respond to a highly distinctive historic fabric. In the long, compact urban site, which at one end faces Kensington Gardens, the new buildings are combined with the pre-existing structure, giving shape and character to the whole block, which includes interior spaces in an attempt to provide the comforts of light and air.
Design David Chipperfield Architects. Photography Simon Menges
Residential building in Lugano, Switzerland
The constraints imposed by the site, together with a clear and precise structural choice, characterise the creation of this building in a suburban area of Lugano. By linking levels, liberating spaces and adding functions in a genuine promenade architecturale, the design excels in its connection to the land.
Design SPBR Arquitetos Baserga & Mozzetti Architetti. Photography Nelson Kon
Bucci in Lugano
Polyvalent infrastructure, Spa, Belgium
Architects extending a 20th-century mansion in the Belgian countryside reconfigured the entire complex, inserting a new construction in continuity with the existing plinth. A powerful and rigorous metal roof of Miesian influence, resting on functional concrete units, protects an inner courtyard – the locus of the design – featuring curtains in an added domestic touch.
Design Baukunst. Text Phineas Harper. Photography Hélène Binet
The permanent collection redesigned MASP, São Paulo, Brazil
The extraordinary exhibition design by Lina Bo Bardi, subsequently dismantled, has now been re-created in masterly fashion, thanks to the stubborn will of MASP’s new director Adriano Pedrosa and the scrupulously detailed reconstruction by Metro Arquitetos Associados. This work enables us once again to enjoy the masterpiece conceived by Bardi and her husband and installed by Lina, the magnificent ‘‘Achillina’’ in person. In a space where the works, frames and spectators are the absolute protagonists.
Design Metro Arquitetos Associados. Text Giacomo Pirazzoli. Photography Ilana Bessler, Eduardo Ortega
Enlightened entrepreneurship for the design industry
Our appeal to entrepreneurs in last November’s editorial is taken up by the vice-president of a company from Friuli, who speaks to Domus about production strategies in the wood-processing and furniture industry, particularly in Northeastern Italy, which he calls the “Silicon Valley of furniture”. Based on the experience of a family enterprise that is over one century old, he stresses the need for the entrepreneurial class to develop self-sustaining projects with an eye to the long term, accompanied by appropriate industrial tactics.
Text Paolo Fantoni. Photography Irene Meneghelli
Rassegna: Frames and shadings
Edited by Centro Studi
Feedback: Rachid Andaloussi’s Casablanca
Elzeviro: A builder of primal elements
In this era of global connections, there is a risk of losing the fundamental nexuses: between craft (téchne) and thought (lògos), between big and small, between name and thing. The architect, called upon to “lend form to the primal elements” is tasked with finding new paths.