Realisation while flipping through the pages of our new issue: architecture is diverse. And so is this issue of Mark. The world is full of contradictions.
Architecture is challenged to keep pace with a world in flux. In Mark 62, we look into solutions to the refugee crisis, and face that there is not one which solves them all. Humanitarian architecture does not differ from any other kind: there is a client, a purpose and a site-specific context to be considered.
We hear a similar tone in Vo Trong Nghia's voice. The Vietnamese architect builds low-income housing from local materials. Not because it is trendy, but rather because he could not afford to work otherwise when starting his practice. Although the circumstances have changed, he still strictly designs with social and environmental impacts in mind: 'I think 60-70 per cent of the people in the world live in hardship. But architects always work for rich people'.
As with everything, this might ring true for some cases but not for all. Remembering Vo Trong Nghia's words, Mark visits the Wall House by Lisbon-based studio Guedes Cruz. The enormous brutalist pool house has reached a construction cost of EUR 3 million and measures 1100-sq-m. A result which doesn't keep the architects from describing the house’s qualities as simple and geometrical.
So, what kind of architecture does the world need? And who will be the architect of the future? Such questions are as metaphysical as they are existential, of course there will be more than one. Luckily, Dominique Coulon's background is in philosophy and literature. The native Frenchman is a firm believer in the power of the plan and geometrical shapes, yet he also likes to keep an element of magic. 'You don't have to justify everything in a project', believes Coulon.
To finally clear all doubts, we speak to Billie Faircloth, head of research at Kieran Timberlake, a 100-person architecture practice founded in 1984 in Philadelphia. If Coulon likes to keep some magic, Faircloth is the opposite. In her 5,800-sq-m office space, she keeps an eye on performance with 400 sensors while discussing the role of applied research with us. Bottom line: she likes to know.
Vardehaugen, Suppose, MVRDV, Roger Bundschuh, Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Austin Maynard, El Equipo Mazzanti, Neutelings Riedijk, KWK Promes/ Robert Konieczny, Snorre Stinessen, AZPML, Kumiko Inui, Dorte Mandrup, Takeshi Hosaka
Perspective: Refugee Shelters