This month Domus 1019

Sol LeWitt, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Tullio Pericoli, Nancy Olnick, Giorgio Spanu, Kenneth Frampton, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Hans Kollhoff, Jamie Fobert, Mario Botta, David Chipperfield, Tadao Ando, Piero Molteni

Domus 1019

Cover: a Giuseppe Basile collage of Domus covers.

Sentences on Conceptual Art 1969

Marking the tenth anniversary of Sol LeWitt’s death, the Fondazione Carriero in Milan explores the relation between his work and architecture in an exhibition curated by Francesco Stocchi and Rem Koolhaas. Domus continues the discourse by republishing his celebrated 35 aphorisms on art of 1969, in which the American artist reaffirms the primacy of idea over execution. The artist’s task, according to LeWitt, is to formulate the project: its execution can be entrusted to anyone. Text Sol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt: Order and life

Text by Francesco Stocchi

On the teaching of architecture

The large amount of attention given by the editor-in-chief of Domus to schooling in architecture has been pursued issue after issue through numerous contributions by individual teachers and the deans of prestigious international schools. We hereby publish the closing instalment of this series with a remarkable speech held by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1938 on the topic of architectural education, and illustrate the article with several of his famous collages that were the subject of a fine exhibition last winter in Aachen, the birthplace of this German maestro. ndb

Parallel text

Enamoured of the essay The Ideal House (1884) by Robert Louis Stevenson, Tullio Pericoli published his interpretation of it 13 years ago by creating an illustrational running commentary of the words. Pericoli has now revisited the original project in a closer way with a sequence of black-and-white drawings positioned across from the text. Text Tullio Pericoli


Silence, let the art speak

Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu tell Domus about their voyage of discovery and love of Italian art, come to a head this year with the fulfilment of their visionary project – a “warehouse” on the banks of the Hudson River that houses and shares their collection. Text Nancy Olnick, Giorgio Spanu

A note on Brazil

Following his “From the New Architecture to the Other Modern Movement 1940-2015” talk last November in São Paulo, historian Kenneth Frampton tells Domus readers about the projects closest to his heart, those by the Masters of Brazilian Modernism: Vilanova Artigas, Bo Bardi, Niemeyer and Mendes da Rocha. Text Kenneth Frampton

The library and its movers

From his position as the founder and academic director of one of the richest libraries of books on the history and theory of architecture both ancient and modern, Werner Oechslin proposes an unusual reading of an institution that has always been considered static. He presents the library as an organism in continuous movement and transformation. Text Werner Oechslin   

The 21st-century objectoid

In the past 70 years, the object has undergone transformation. First it represented an affectionate relation. Then it became a relational fact enjoyed while we’re not looking. Before, we spent our short life with durable, indestructible products. Now, we are spending our centenary life with short-lived design items: objectoids. Text Manolo De Giorgi

On Valerio Olgiati

A new book on the work of Valerio Olgiati is about to come out. Here we publish an excerpt from the volume’s afterword by Jacques Lacan, who delineates this Swiss architect’s figurative approach. Text Jacques Lucan

United Kingdom Holocaust Memorial, London

In their recent competition project, the London-based architects presented a monument that is evocative rather than figurative, while the underground spaces give resonance to the voices and testimonies of the Holocaust survivors. Design Caruso St John Architects

Livio Vacchini. Disegni, drawings, dessins

A recent Éditions Cosa Mentale publication revisits a Swiss architect’s work via a key aspect of his research: drawings. The plans, elevations and sections of the 16 projects presented come together to retell the story of his design path. Text Claudia Mion, Giacomo Ortalli

Eduardo Souto de Moura: Story of a project: power station at the Foz Tua dam, Portugal

Defying the alleged incompatibility between the architect’s vision and the engineer’s pragmatism, the celebrated Portuguese architect worked in the delicate and unspoilt landscape at the mouth of the River Tua to insert a complex mechanical infrastructure. By working on the section and scaling down all the elements, with each detail carefully designed, the architecture becomes an impressive public work.

Power station Foz Tua

Text Nicola Di Battista with Eduardo Souto de Moura

Hans Kollhoff, Alexander Pols: Zuidblok, Stadionplein Amsterdam

Provocative forms for a special building mix private requirements with the desire to create a public space. Inspired by traditional Dutch architecture, it encapsulates the German master’s current thought.

Jamie Fobert Architects: New Tate St Ives, Gran Bretagna

The complex lie of this addition to the famous museum on the Cornish coast – a design presented in Domus 993, July-August 2015 – is masterfully resolved by the London architect with the aid of large rooflights that steer the natural light towards the exhibition gallery while also forging a relationship with a still human-scale context.  

Mario Botta Architetto: Teatro dell’architettura, Mendrisio, Switzerland

A circular form condenses the Ticino master’s desire to gather a community around the architectural focus. Its compositional rigour – as illustrated in the planimetry and section – reiterates his commitment to concentrate on structure, space and light, and his extensive research into architectural transfiguration as it relates to people resonates in precisely proportioned doors, windows and internal passages.

David Chipperfield Architects: Inagawa Cemetery chapel and visitor centre, Japan

The unusual topography and terracing of a cemetery in the mountains north of Osaka dictate the nature and proportions of its new architecture. The design of the roof defines the surrounding geometries and coloured concrete heightens the sense of permanence.

Tadao Ando Architect & Associates: House in Motoazabu, Tokyo

The Japanese master applied his remarkable skills to a house on a small plot for a collector, turning a challenging exterior into wonderfully spatial architecture in tune with its furnishings by famous 1950s’ designers.

Piero Molteni: The factory as a community and place of both production and design

Considering UniFor a model and leading company on today’s international scene, Domus has long been eager to explore it but a reserved Piero Molteni always politely and gracefully postponed the encounter. Now, aided by his son Carlo, we can at last narrate the remarkable story of this company which has rigorously and persistently pursued the finest possible quality since it was first established, building a whole community up around it via special and lasting working relationships.

Rassegna: The kitchen in the era of the Internet of things

Edited by Giulia Guzzini