Frame Publishers
Mark #55 Apr/May 2015

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Mark #55 goes off the radar, featuring a handful of lengthy, painstaking efforts to restore remote, abandoned villages in Southern Europe.

 Anti-digital hermits and opportunistic estate agencies alike unite in an organic, archaeological process that has come to be known as 'slow architecture'. Through this lens, Sanderyn Amsberg and Daniel Jauslin explore secluded residences in Spain and Portugal, then lavish hideouts in Italy.

Just as they find beauty in age, our cover subject finds beauty in the beast. Rogue concept architect Didier Faustino speaks with Ana Martins about the necessity of bad architecture, expounding on the development of his unorthodox principles through an assorted portfolio. From a comic-book explosion in a quiet suburb, to a human cargo case for an airplane – functionality mingles inextricably with aesthetic statement to disrupt symbolic power constructs.

Faustino pioneers the new bad, while Arno Brandlhuber restores the old – showing tough love to a few 'exceptionally ugly' chunks of concrete on the outskirts of his native Berlin. Claus Van Wageningen’s Dutch military museum in Soesterberg pays close tribute to Mies van der Rohe, while Coop Himmelb(l)au’s new exhibition complex in Lyon forges a brave new world just as multifaceted in subject and structure.

Brooklyn-based Marc Fornes explores the physical frontiers of computer modelling through his workshop Theverymany. Just before a closing book exchange with Norwegian architect Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, the newfound luxury of the ancient remnants from which we emerged in Europe comes full circle with an altogether new type of ruin in a Tokyo apartment complex.

Cross Section:

Bona-Lemercier, Xavier Veilhan & Alexis Bertrand, Renato Rizzi, Nathan Crowley & Paul Franklin, BCHO, Baren Koolhaas, The Creative Assembly, Moshe Safdie, James Silverman, Theo Deutinger, Van Dongen-Koschuch, Davidclovers, Re-act Now, WMR

Perspective: Villages for Sale in Southern Europe

  • Loural to Lisbon, Amares to Aldán, contributors Sanderyn Amsberg and Daniel Jauslin investigate Spanish and Portuguese ruins restored to liveable structures.
  • Amsberg continues on to Italy, where cavernous, impoverished, or otherwise prehistoric villages are given the luxury treatment.

Long Section:

  • Inspired by a 1970s French cult film, Arno Brandlhuber takes a sledgehammer to dilapidated, concrete buildings in Krampnitz from the same period.
  • Kazuyasu Kochi’s ‘Apartment House’ turns the former into the latter, and slashes through the existing room grid with chromatic vibrance.
  • La Musée des Confluences by Coop Himmelb(l)au, an imposing new behemoth on the shores of Lyon, becomes a hub of multidisciplinary enlightenment.
  • David Benjamin channels biotechnology in luminous, ephemeral public installations.
  • The village of Soesterberg hosts Claus Van Wageningen Architects’ new National Military Museum of the Netherlands, where a singular, glass hangar casts transparency as a virtue.
  • Melbourne’s John Wardle Architects and Boston’s NADAAA form an unlikely duo in the conception of the new Melbourne School of Design, where flexible forms take on multiple architectural dimensions.
  • Didier Faustino, founder of Parisian firm Mésarchitecture, navigates a subversive intersection between art and architecture.
  • Camillo Botticini’s new abode etches gracefully into an incline of the Italian Alps.
  • A residence by L3P just outside of Zurich tiptoes on a small plot as impossibly as the image of a concrete grapevine.
  • Protoplasmic graphic designs take on epic proportions through Marc Fornes’ atelier Theverymany.
  • A vorticist hill of verdant balconies comprises Akihisa Hirata’s latest apartment complex, Kotoriku.
  • Kjetil Trædal Thorsen of Oslo firm Snøhetta discusses his preference for fictional over professional literature in our Bookmark feature.

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