Add in the Scape
Incorporated in the scape _ Aldo Vanini
Overcoming the popular identification between reality and nature, in the Twentieth Century, physics, philosophy and the arts have introduced new hierarchies in the way of seeing and interpreting reality. The traditional, Euclidean concepts of space and time were completely revolutionized; with them the well-established hierarchies between interior and exterior, between observer and observed, that characterized the construction of the environment of mankind. ‘In’ and ‘out’ ceased to be considered solid and undisputed concepts.
The relationship between man and nature, and landscape construction itself, has gone from a process of imposing to a process of incorporation. The landscape is transformed into a scene in which the roles of actor and spectator become ambiguous. Furthermore, a new awareness about sustainability of human presence has produced a great availability of new materials and, consequently, a new language of shapes and signs.
The projects discussed here are examples of different approaches to the issue of incorporation into the landscape. Incorporating the building in the landscape as mimesis of natural shapes, or by means of creation of theatrical scene, or evocating analogically ancestral inner states, they establish a new, subtle dialectics between themselves and the surrounding context.
Digging in _ Alison Killing
Embedding a building in the land demands a heightened sensitivity to the site. It can create an intensely introspective space, provide shelter from the elements of from the gaze of passers-by and bring some significant environmental benefits too. But how do you ensure that a building is still adequately lighted and ventilated, when much of the building’s facade is built up with earth? Which views do you allow out? If the building is a public one, how do you ensure engagement between a hermetic, semi-underground building and the outside world? The projects presented here each take a different perspective on this – from the buried jewel of a pastoral centre, to a day centre which manipulates its landscape to naturally create comfortable environmental conditions, to a house that is organized around views.
Entering through the Exit_Jorge Alberto Mejia Hernandez
Seen as a Movement, Modernist architecture proved noxious in more than one way. Turned into a style, its simplicity – once associated with urban sterility and an enormous destructive capacity based on gentrification and zoning – can be turned into an extremely useful tool for intervening within delicate urban contexts marked by complexity and multiplicity. The work of Exit Architects seems to feed on several essential traits of the Modern Movement, including a strong media strategy aimed at positioning their work in the public eye. Their organization, apparently open, allows for individual efforts to be joined pragmatically, whenever (and however) necessary, giving the form of this office an evident contemporary twist. In strict architectural terms, their projects seem to move from formalist experimentation to a simplification of typological choices and a deliberate deepening of configurational and technical inquiries. Stemming from the re-arrangement of small dwelling spaces and interior decoration commissions, and feeding of the experience gathered while moving from competition entries to buildable projects, the tempering strategy appears to favor refined craftsmanship and discreet elegance, in the most recent work of this Spanish collaboration.