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OldNew - Course Brief

SS15 PROJECT_POSTED_BY Joris Fach     April 1, 2015    




The Practice of Transforming Architecture
Prof. Joris Fach


More than half of today’s architectural projects in Europe are transformations. This includes extensions, renovations, additions, reconstructions, conservations, in short, any project that somehow alters existing building stock. Accordingly, architect’s salaries are predominantly derived from projects that deal with old buildings, not new ones. As transforming has become the rule, and building anew the exception, the contemporary European architect is not simply a builder, but a re­builder.

The course briefly traces the European history of architectural transformations and focuses on a few so called masters and their handling of existing building stock. The record of transformations in the work of modernists Mies and Corbusier, as well as the contemporaries such as OMA and H&deM will be discussed and their approaches to existing matter analyzed.

Additionally, the fact that this year’s Pritzker Prize winner Wang Shu was honoured predominantly for his history­sensitive designs finally shifts the focus eastwards. In a region that currently experiences the realization of the largest volumes of construction worldwide, the Pritzker jury’s commendation of Shu’s work “... His buildings have the unique ability to evoke the past, without making direct references to history” ads a critical outlook to the subject.



Enrollment is open now !
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