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Why is the publication relevant for Architecture?

Why is this publiction relevant for you, personally?

Volume

Contributor

Title

N°2

Charlotte Truwant & Dries Rodet

Tropenhaus

title

Tropenhaus

architects

Unknown

location

Spalengraben 8, Basel

year

1967

The Tropenhaus is not Basel’s most iconic building but everyone who visited the building will remember that particular spatial experience. The greenhouse questions the capacity of architecture to be more than a beautiful object. It challenges the perception of architecture, and shows that space can also be defined by temperature, humidity, sound, ... instead of 4 walls. The Tropenhaus is a spatial machine.

Our architectural curiosity is shifting towards the idea of the milieu, whereby a building is defining a set of conditions that change the user’s perception of space and its context. The Tropenhaus highlights one of the many possible topics milieu deals with. And it does it in a very convincing way.

N°2

Andreas Ruby

Brauerei Warteck

title

Brauerei Warteck

architects

Baubüro in situ, et alias (renovation)

location

Burgweg 7-15, Basel

year

1993-94

Ein grossartiges Beispiel für eine erfolgreiche Konversion eines leerstehenden Industriebaus in ein Kulturzentrum mit grossartigen öffentlichen Freiräumen, als Ergebnis einer intensiven Verhandlung zwischen Künstlern (die den Raum zunächst besetzt hatten), dem Eigentümer (Warteck Invest) und der Stadt, die nach langem Konflikt eine gute Lösung für alle fanden.

N°2

Caspar Schärer and Dominique Salathé

Wohnhäuser Hammerstrasse

title

Wohnhäuser Hammerstrasse

architects

Diener + Diener

location

Hammerstrasse, Bläsiring, Efringerstrasse, Basel

year

1978–81

Caspar Schärer: The apartment complex marks the beginning of the "return to the city" in the early 1980s; Basel was then a vibrant laboratory for both urban development and architecture; the plot where the apartment complex was built was an industrial estate before; the generation of Roger Diener, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron entered the stage and started its massive influence on everything architectural in Basel for the coming forty years; Diener + Diener worked with the typology of the perimeter block and added a contemporary interpretation to it; important for the significance of the project are in particular the smaller atelier units in the courtyard and the opening of the block with a public alley.


Dominique Salathé: The residential development on the site of a former industrial site is an important contribution of the younger Swiss architecture to urban planning and housing typology. Because of his involvement in the field of tension between the city of the 19th century and modern housing as well as the neighborhood of housing and small industry as an urban form, the project is still exemplary. The challenge of typological and constructive issues is shaped by the economics of housing construction and continues to be up-to-date.

Caspar Schärer: Although it is today already almost forty years of age, the apartment complex appears still quite fresh to me; it has a certain monomentality I like (especially the rounded glassy corner), but on the other hand it is just decent communal housing; so it's not the ambition of something like Karl-Marx-Hof in Vienna where working-class proud is celebrated, but it represents the importance of inner-city living; then I really like the informality of the backyard space; it has a nice balance between intended design, letting-go and the acquisition of the inhabitants and the city itself.


Dominique Salathé: I discover the building again and again and have lived there for a short time. The residential development has opened up a world for me. The precise way of setting the volume, the integration into the existing urban context, the complexity of the contextual references, but also the typological clarity of the ground plan organization has shaped my understanding of architecture. The building has linked me to a whole world through its references. About the windows and entrances with the work of Aldo Rossi, about the brick and the color with the smell of Dutch Modernism and with a construction detail, a small 'clin d'oeil' with the project of Hannes Meyer for the Petersschule. This own mixture of poetry and pragmatics, of eloquence and silence fascinates me to this day.

N°1

Christophe Girot

The Course of Landscape Architecture

title

The Course of Landscape Architecture

editors

Christoiphe Girot

publisher

Thames and Hudson

year

2017

pages

352

9780500342978

The book is relevant for architecture because of the long standing relationship between the two fields which is explicitely explored in this work.

The Book is the result of more than 10 years of research in the evolution of Western landscapes and fills an important gap in the field of architectural

education.

N°1

Irina Davidovici

Essays in Architectural Criticism: Modern Architecture and Historical Change.

title

Essays in Architectural Criticism: Modern Architecture and Historical Change.

editors

Alan Colquhoun

publisher

Oppositions Books, The MIT Press

year

1981

pages

216

978-0262530637

This collection of essay explores issues of perennial significance in the ideological framework of architecture (type, form, realism, historicism, historicity, meaning etc.). Written by a practicing architect working through questions brought up in design, fifty years later Colquhoun’s essays retain an almost theoretical validity. They build up a rigorous argument for architecture as an intellectual construct, putting its ambiguities and dichotomies into sharp relief, while refusing to advance simplistic or appeasing solutions.

British architect Tony Fretton introduced me to Alan Colquhoun, first in (this) book form, then in person a few years later. Essays is for me a reference book, in which I keep looking up any number of seemingly disconnected themes, like one looks up the meaning of words in a dictionary. It is also a model of critical writing in the essay genre. Colquhoun articulates sophisticated ideas precisely and concisely, demonstrating a cold passion for language as well as for architecture’s intellectual history.

N°1

Florian Sauter

Thermal Delight in Architecture

title

Thermal Delight in Architecture

editors

Lisa Heschong

publisher

The MIT Press

year

1979

pages

94

9780262580397

Arguing against a neutral mechanically controlled architectural environment, this book reasserts the significance of the “thermal sense.” Enforcing a primitive encounter with our surroundings, it emphasizes that “we should not use technology to distance ourselves from the natural world; rather we should strive for a more intimate, even symbiotic, relationship with natural forces.” The hearth fire, the sauna, the Roman and Japanese baths, and the Islamic garden are discussed as archetypes of thermal

delight. Addressing the vernacular and elemental – earth, water, air and fire are prosaically embraced to describe an authentic architectural experience that is not insulated by the cocoon of modern comfort, but where weather matters, and is brought to poetic presence through its thoughtful domestication.

As a builder I am forced to interact with the natural elements: they invigorate my built structures, co-determine my experiential reality, and act as guiding principles in the process of realization: While the earth targets the foundations, the roof shields from water, the openings control the flow of air, and the
walls protect from the gleaming sun. To engage with them means to return to an atavistic sense of rootedness, and as Thermal Delight in Architecture shows, they indicate not a style, but a way of thinking: With elemental “fourthought” one ought to encompass both their inherent dangers and their possibilities of architecturalized revelation.


N°1

Sonja Hildebrand

Lessons for Students in Architecture

title

Lessons for Students in Architecture

editors

Herman Hertzberger

publisher

Uitgeverij 010

year

1991

pages

272

9064505624

There are two categories of reasons for which this book is relevant for architecture.The first category concerns its topics, which  are widely recognized as fundamental for architecture. Hertzberger in his „Lessons“ deals with questions of how private and public spaces are created by architecture, and especially, how thresholds are defined and how both types of space mesh and change their character through usage. This last issue relates to the second category of reasons, which concern Hertzberger’s approach to architecture, his concept of what architecture is, and his respective design strategy: Hertzberger’s concept of architecture is based on the consideration that one can’t study the built environment without considering the people who life in it and who use it. He acknowledges that people, almost as a rule, tend to modify those built environments, whether it be their private dwelling or the public space. In his design strategy he tries to respond to this finding in various ways, amongst others by creating situations in which usages observed elsewhere can unfold in one way or the other, or by handing over „half-products“ to the dwellers.

Firstly this book is relevant for me because of the simple fact that it is a book, will say a material object. Yet, secondly, and more specifically, it means a lot to me because of its attitude, if I may say so. Its makers did not care about a particularly refined design of the book. This matches with Hertzberger’s interest in the ordinary day life of common people and how the architect can learn from observing them. I am not against exceptional buildings and I think that exceptional situations should belong to our lives. But the concept of the exceptional implies that it relates to a rare situation. Or, in other words: I believe that’s not a good idea to live ones life in a kind of permanent state of emergency. As for architecture I am therefore convinced that what we need most is to make every effort in favour of the everyday life. Hertzberger in his book makes us aware of its richness and its potential for an architecture, that might be able to deal with problems of identity in a more and more faceted and also fragmented world. One can work for the excellence of the everyday life.

N°1

Jørg Himmelreich

Encyclopedias in general

title

Encyclopedias in general

editors

-

publisher

-

year

-

pages

-

-

As much as I like architecture theory and history and would like to believe that architecture has a high degree of autonomy, I strongly believe that it is a discipline that has to house all aspects of human culture. So how do we as architects learn about that? What aspect do we focus on? Bluntly said: We need to understand everything and be interested in everything. Next to gaining a knowledge of the discipline of architecture itself, it is necessary to establish a broad knowledge in the sense of a studium generale.


The encyclopedia is the first „scientific“ book I read. And it‘s also the first book that gave me a insights into the architecture discourse. The tableaus about styles in architecture have been an important reason why I decided to study architecture.


N°1

ALICE

All About Space, Volume 2: House 1 Catalogue

title

All About Space, Volume 2: House 1 Catalogue

editors

Dieter Dietz, Matthias Michel and Daniel Zamarbide

publisher

Park Books

year

2017

pages

456

978-3-03860-038-1

All About Space investigates writing and publishing as a form of architectural practice. Its challenge lies in finding ways to articulate questions of Space within the pages of a book, by oscillating continuously between fact and fiction. Its relevance lies in its presentation of three possible ways of publishing architecture. Its Theory Catalogue approaches architecture as theoretical enquiry; its Construction Catalogue (inspired by the ‚Sets‘ structure of the legendary Whole Earth Catalogue) presents, in a heterogeneous and factual manner, the concrete outcomes of spatial enquiry - drawings,
models, buildings; and the Inhabitation Catalogue deals with the afterlife of architecture - architecture as inhabited by characters and fictions that appropriate its spaces beyond original intentions. One could say that each stage represents one facet of the architectural project. All exist together within the pages of All About Space, but also in tension with one another. All three parts are linked by a narrative
about an individual who confronts himself with society; an allegory for the making of HOUSE 1 and the community that was formed through its construction.

All About Space is on the one hand a fiction; on the other, an educational device; and on the other again, a record for posterity of student work past. For the ALICE Laboratory First Year Program at EPFL, and for all the students involved in constructing the HOUSE 1 project explored within its pages, it is a memorial. For those who might pick up the book knowing nothing about the project, it is a tumble down the rabbit hole, an enquiry into the possibilities and limits of the architectural project. For
future students and teachers of ALICE, it is an invaluable education device - a means of recording ways of thinking and practicing that can be adapted to future teaching endeavours. It encapsulates ALICE‘s teaching goals and provides ongoing physical evidence of a structure and a community now since dispersed.