Mark #63 Aug/Sep 2016

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Something is happening. Although coming from different corners of the globe, our contributors and protagonists seem to share a vision.

There is an appetite for rawness and authenticity that goes beyond concrete and exposed brick walls – although there is plenty of the former in the mounting movement towards renovation in Japan, which is brought to light in this issue.

Jo Nagasaki, founder of Tokyo-based firm Schemata Architects, describes the discovery of something larger than the architectural ego: 'We experienced the joy and freedom of constructing something based on our own values and judgments, and we found new possibilities in ordinary things. It made me realize that honesty is the key to encountering something wonderful.'

And more generally, the increasing demand for renovation instead of newly built housing speaks of an intensifying awareness despite the economic situation. In reference to this topic of relevance at Alejandro Aravena's 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, Rafael Gómez-Moriana describes the field's 'turn from extravagance and exclusivity towards common sense and inclusivity'.

In the same breath, Spanish studio SelgasCano turns architecture’s priorities upside down, elevating a mere installation for Denmark's Louisiana Museum of Contemporary Art into a higher purpose as a school in Kibera, a slum in Kenya's capital of Nairobi. The move lets social engagement prevail over opulence. But fear not, the times of glamour are not over just yet as Patrick Berger brings more champagne to Paris.

Cross Section
ANMA, Austigard, Christ & Gantenbein, Coldplay, Max Núñez, Theo Deutinger, Mamm Design, Mind, Arkitektur+Development

Perspective: The Japanese Renovation Movement

  • Jo Nagasaka: Making a career out of renovating houses
  • 403 Architecture Dajiba: Offering an alternative to the raze-and-build mentality that's popular in Japan
  • Shindo Masuda+ Katsuhisa Otsubo: Looking for ways to improve what's already there

Long Section

  • SelgasCano's temporary pavilion for a museum in Denmark gained a second life in Kenya as a school
  • Gabriel Huerta designed a university building in Mexico that connects with the community
  • On the occasion of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, Mark talked to the people behind the scenes
  • Patrick Berger adds a chapter to the turbulent history of the Forum des Halles in Paris
  • Aires Mateus's EDP headquarters in Lisbon is wrapped in a structure of columns and beams that protects the interior from the sun
  • Yasser Elsheshtawy talks about the glitzy, non-contextual and controversial bubble development called Dubaization
  • Liu Jiakun's business complex in Chengdu is somewhere between a Chinese quadrangle and a European-style perimeter block
  • Christ & Gantenbein's expressive extension of the Landesmuseum in Zurich responds to the picturesque roof landscape of the existing building
  • Tino Schaedler talks about the ephemeral world of Equals
  • Mario Cucinella based his office building in Accra on the idea of imperfection
  • Malkit Shoshan is fascinated by the way countries exercise their power

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