C3 no.407_20 #3/6
Grafton Architects – Public Geology
Public Geology _ Douglas Murphy
Dublin’s Grafton Architects have, in the last twenty years, made the transition from leading architects within a small but thriving national scene into celebrated world leaders. Their directors, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, have recently been showered with awards, including the 2020 RIBA Gold Medal and Pritzker Prize.
In a time when much contemporary architecture is highly discursive, engaging deeply with the history of representation and historiography, Grafton remain committed to a humanist vision of architecture’s role that became outmoded after both postmodernist critiques, and then the charismatic global branding of ‘starchitecture’. Neither reticent and historicist, nor ostentatious and solipsistic, their rise suggests a general desire for architecture that is proud of its public purpose.
Transformative Art Spaces
Transformative Art Spaces _ Tom Van Malderen
Culture driven urban regeneration has been around for half a century and been accepted as a primary strategy to approach our post-industrial environments. Culture has come to be seen as a key driver, as a sub-set of both the knowledge economy and its need for continuing innovation on the one hand, and the consumer, experience economy on the other. What started of as a game plan for major cities, slowly but certainly found its way to peripheral areas in need of their own solutions and transformative art spaces.
They acknowledge the art center both as an interior, for the provision of arts, and as an exterior that stretches beyond, into the dynamics of city transformation and reorientation. They explore this with a sensitivity to shape and form, and a continuous search for new conditions between the inside and the outside.
Learning Encounter Complexes
Learning Encounter Complexes _ Ana Souto
This article explores three examples of educational architecture from Mexico, Peru and Vietnam. These three architectural practices – Ignacio Urquiza, Bernardo Quinzaños + Rodrigo Valenzuela Jerez, Camilo Moreno (Mexico); Vo Trong Nghia Architects (Vietnam) and Barclay & Crousse Architecture (Peru) have achieved international recognition in 2019 for these projects, which share certain commonalities in their architectural designs. On the one hand, from an urban planning point of view, the campuses have been designed as small cities, with paths, buildings, and public spaces.
Finally, all projects demonstrate a clear understanding of their contexts, and have chosen designs that embrace the culture and climate of their locations, promoting a contemporary vernacular architecture which promotes sustainable designs.
A New Tradition in Chinese Architecture
A New Tradition in Chinese Architecture _ Andrea Giannotti
The design of such important public and representative buildings as museums challenges the architect to find a strategy to face the unresolved dialectic between innovation and tradition. In China, the majority of recent architecture struggles to find an acceptable balance between the contemporary and international construction industry, and the local cultural heritage.
At first sight, the selected projects may seem just modern concrete blocks, with a certain innovative language, inserted in a general urban landscape and setting a dialogue with it. By going through each project’s exterior and above all interior space, it becomes clearer which features are leading the design choices, and how their spatial qualities do establish a link with a broader scope of architectural subjects, many of which belong to the Chinese cultural identity.