On the occasion of the 15th International Architecture exhibition in Venice, the Goethe-Institut organised the program Performing Architecture comprising five projects that are closely connected to this year’s exhibition in the German Pavilion. Merging architecture, choreography and the performing arts, the series of events seeks to address a set of pressing questions. How does a multicultural society change a city? How do people with diverse cultural, religious, social and political backgrounds encounter one another, and how can they all make an adopted city their shared home? The focal point of this year’s programme is the project “The Veddel Embassy: Representing Germany”. The temporary embassy will bring the migratory, multicultural reality of the Hamburg district of Veddel to Venice to offer a space for discourse and cultural exchange. What used to be the departure point for German emigrants in the past, is now an arrival quarter. All migration movements of the last 70 years have passed through the area of Veddel; immigrants from over sixty different countries have been living here for generations in peaceful coexistence, forming a new society. Around 60 inhabitants of the small island in the river Elbe will come to Venice for a week and invite everyone to become part of an enriching process. The Veddel Embassy will turn into a place of enlightening encounters. Delving into the reality of life on Veddel conveys an idea of what the future holds for Germany as an immigration country. In Venice, the residents present their projects, ideas, ideals, and their home in order to form a substantial discussion with both the international guests of the Biennale as well as with the multicultural citizens of Venice.
Entwerfen ist das Gegenteil von Unterwerfen. Entwerfen. Unterwerfen. Alles, was gestaltet ist, unterwirft uns unter seine Bedingungen. Gleichzeitig befreit uns das Gestaltete aus dem Zustand der Unterwerfung, der Unterworfenheit. Design schafft Freiheit, Design ermöglicht Handlungen, die zuvor nicht möglich oder nicht denkbar waren. Indem es dies tut, begrenzt es aber auch den Möglichkeitsraum, weil es neue Bedingungen schafft. Alles, was gestaltet ist, entwirft und unterwirft. Design ist von dieser sich bedingenden und ausschließenden Gegensätzlichkeit grundlegend geprägt. Diese dem Design inhärente Dichotomie ist nicht nur eine gestalterische, sondern eine politische. Sie bedingt Freiheit und Unfreiheit, Macht und Ohnmacht, Unterdrückung und Widerstand. Sie ist das politische Wesen von Design.
Das Buch erscheint am 29.10.2016 bei edition suhrkamp.
What started as a platform for experimental publishing and singular editions straddling the line between art object and reading material, has now become an integral part of the annual Art Week Basel. The art book fair I Never Read, Art Book Fair Basel now in its fifth edition, invites more than a hundred publishers, authors and artists from numerous countries to display their printed matter spanning the fields of art, photography, graphic design and architecture. An ever-growing selection of exhibitors introduces visitors to artists’ books, monographs, periodicals and zines, as well as out-of-print editions and collector’s items. Showing how the print world can evolve and thrive instead of dissolving into the shadow cast by the digital world (as many pseudo-evangelists were too quick to proclaim), the fair is an ode to the book as a democratic art form and an approachable medium for creative expression. What’s thoroughly explored here is the role of contemporary publishing in an increasingly on-screen era and how the art book provides a haven for artistic practice and how it builds a less market-driven community.
Studio visit with Iris Roth in Milan
On the occasion of Salone del Mobile 2016, we paid a visit to ceramic and interior designer Iris Roth to gain insight into her working space and creative practice. In her charming apartment, located in the well-known architects’ building complex Cascia 6, the Italian-German artist hosts dinners, grows olive trees on her sunny terrace and works away in her compact studio. We also got a chance to peek inside her production space – a traditional ceramics atelier that has been supervised by an Italian couple since 1976. Iris Roth combines traditional craftsmanship with contemporary elements: simple forms, warm tones and traditional processes involving the potter’s wheel as an essential tool. The artist uses white clay coated in natural white or grey glazes, as well as the widely used red clay – prevalent in her nude collection. Small, intentional imperfections on the surfaces of handmade objects, such as the artisan’s fingerprints, give each item a unique character that distinguishes them from mass-produced ware. But aesthetics aside, it’s all about functionality: All objects are suitable for everyday use and are dishwasher-safe. For Louis Pretty in Berlin and the restaurant oTTo in Milan, Iris Roth has designed and produced their entire ceramic lines. Each of the pieces is unparallelled but the designs can be produced in large numbers. In addition to oTTo’s dinnerware, Iris also designed the interiors of the cosy, greenhouse-like bistro, which arguably offers the best sandwiches in town. Soon, Iris Roth’s pieces will be available online – till then make sure to follow her dolce vita on Instagram.
Located in Frankfurt’s historical Alt-Sachsenhausen, LIBERTINE LINDENBERG is a subscriber to the new shareconomy concept. Like its sister LINDENBERG RÜCKERTSTRASSE, which opened in Frankfurt Ostend in 2012, it is a relaxed community with the service options of a hotel, where guests can stay a night, a month or an entire year. The residents determine which amenities they use from laundry and grocery services, cooking on their own in the open kitchen, home-made snacks from the Lekker shop or meals prepared by the chef, to renting bikes, a vintage Vespa and a revamped camper van. Franzen Architects worked with the key heritage features of the historical Wilhelminian building, restoring the natural stone façade that is in keeping with the area’s architectural identity. Inside the building a full modernisation has taken place to include a multistorey gabled annex, a publicly accessible living room cafe, an open kitchen, a bodega-style Lekker shop and an analog recording studio LOTTE LINDENBERG (with its very own record label). The interiors are contrasting with rooms split boldly in furnishings manufactured in pastel and black with artisan crafted accessories, products, and decorations all lending themselves to the visual concept. Breakfast and lunch is served in LIBERTINE’s living room cafe – a room adorned with contemporary art, where guests can order from a changeable menu whilst the open kitchen on the top floors offers a space for no-frills shared cooking. The house’s own Lekker shop offers a rich selection of home-grown products, including biodynamic and vegan options. Whether it is just for a night or forever, staying at LIBERTINE means finding a home in a versatile carefree guest community.
With its grilled seafood, top-quality steaks and extensive champagne list, Grill Royal has long been a fixture on the Berlin fine-dining scene. Since opening Pauly Saal in the Former Jewish Girls’ School in 2012, and Dóttir in the Mitte district three years ago, the founders: Stephan Landwehr, Boris Radczun and Moritz Estermann, have opened their fourth venture, which has 50 seats and is under the direction of Jeanne Tremsal. Their first venture in the West – Le Petit Royal is located in leafy Charlottenburg at Grolmanstrasse 59, on the ground floor of a Wilhelminian period building with large windows, wooden floors and a winding guest room. The dominant style of the restaurant is mid-century, with many of the tables custom made to fit in the intricate spaces of the building. Rubelli fabrics and the use of oak create a sense of Italy, while cabin swinging doors, bespoke wardrobes and a walk-in wine cabinet holding nearly 500 international wines ensure a classic European feel. The menu offers Grill Royal classics mixed with French elegance – dishes of fresh fish from the Baltic Sea, seafood, oysters, and modern interpretations of French classics such as coq au vin are on offer, all of which is complemented by an extensive wine catalogue. The restaurant’s collection of contemporary art, which includes a wall piece by Karl Holmqvist, a drawing by Yves Saint Laurent and a large sculpture by Yngve Holen is also a highlight.
Childhood gang and gastro trio Oskar Melzer, James and David Ardinast’s latest food venture in Berlin’s Kreuzberg is the third diner named after a member of the Kosher Nostra. Louis Pretty mixes walnut-wooden e15 chairs, pink padded sofas and swimming pool-blue tables – for a contemporary spin on Palm Springs modernism. The menu is a Jewish-American fare and the dishes are to the point whilst still referencing traditional recipes. Head chef Joey Pasarella’s signature dish is a brisket that’s cured for a month, smoked, cooked and marinated to create pastrami that is served in different versions, such as on rye with gherkin and slaw. There’s a further selection of sandwiches, to matzah ball soup, salad with roasted cauliflower, chickpeas and a harissa dressing plus homemade desserts such as New York cheesecake with blueberry coulis. American diner-style filter coffee and lemonades are offer and a selection of wines and long drinks can take you into the evening. Everything can be ordered to go or eat in, for breakfast, lunch or dinner and a catering service is offered, so that classic Americana can be tailored to every event.
With the opening of PHOENIX Restaurant & Bar, Dusseldorf has gained a new place to meet, to eat well, to linger and to feel at ease. Located on the ground floor of the iconic Dreischeibenhaus and hosted by the building’s owner Patrick Schwarz-Schütte, the restaurant provides guests with modern interpretations of classic, seasonal dishes such as Fjord trout with avocado salsa and braised ox cheek with truffled polenta. Irina Kromayer and Etienne Descloux were responsible for the design and interiors of PHOENIX. Materials, forms and colours from this historic, listed building have been taken on, incorporated and reinterpreted.
Known for her avantgarde and constantly good taste, entrepreneur Nicole Hogerzeil has established herself as trustworthy style pioneer. Hogerzeil presents her favorite labels such as Dries von Noten, Marni, Isabel Marant, Common Projects and Perret Schaad in her new store SCHWARZHOGERZEIL on Torstrasse — taking the best and new designers from her two former stores. The layout of the 150 m2 space was conceived by the interior designer Sylvester Koziolek, who combines 1940s Parisian charm, inspired by Jean Prouvé, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, with modern elements such as neon lighting and unique objects. The dominating, dark blue tones are echoed in the walls and the furniture, complementing the 14 meter long collage and curved lamps inspired by Royére. Keeping the same sense of individuality that Hogerzeil has assembling her clothing, Koziolek has created an environment to match her elegant assortment.
With “Melancholy and Architecture: On Aldo Rossi” by Diogo Seixas Lopes we learn about obligations to express, “that there is nothing to express”. An interview with the author, who met Rossi by means of a misdemeanour…
Italian architect Aldo Rossi (1931–97) is, without question, one of the most influential architects of the second half of the 20th century. In your book titled “Melancholy and Architecture: On Aldo Rossi” – recently published by Park Books and celebrated by the critics – you look at the significant contribution the architect has made to architectural discourse, offering a new perspective on the long cultural history of melancholy. How did you meet Aldo Rossi?
Diogo: My first memory of Aldo Rossi is stealing a pocket monograph of his work published by Gustavo Gili, in the early 1990s. It was a childish stunt, in a bookstore that was setting up shop at the architecture school in Lisbon. I did not know much about architecture, but at least I recognised the name of the architect. Maybe I was drawn by the image of the cover, which I think was the Teatro del Mondo. If I were to believe in certain kinds of biographic explanations, and that is not the case, I met Rossi by means of a misdemeanour.
While the influence of melancholy on literature and the visual arts has been extensively studied, its presence in architecture has been largely overlooked. Why did you choose to shed light on this specific dark side of architecture?
Diogo: Aldo Rossi frequently mentioned a text by Raymond Roussel, explaining how he had written some of his books. Roussel describes a very methodical process, while his works are anything but clear-cut. A lot of the choices I made, or for that matter anyone else in a similar situation, were of technical nature. Choices of structure and content, choices of form really. True, I was also drawn by a personal proclivity for certain states of mind. And then, the idea to portray Rossi as a dark star of architecture. But, as it is often said, the work should speak for itself.
Exploring Rossi’s entire career, you trace out the oscillation between enthusiasm and disenchantment that marks Rossi’s work, and closer explore of one of Rossi’s landmark creations, the Cemetery of San Cataldo in Modena. An emotion built in stone?
Diogo: Your question seems to derive from the famous dictum by Goethe, about architecture being frozen music. I never liked that expression much, it seems too formal and – frankly – too German. Sure, you cannot or – in my point of view – should not discuss the work of Rossi without taking into account a deeply emotional aspect associated to it. That is also what makes his case so interesting, the disruptive side of his personality. But then there is the rest. There are the buildings, the projects, the texts, the drawings and so forth.
Melancholy and Architecture – on Barbas Lopes. As a practicing architect yourself, is there a presence of melancholy in your work? – As the “Teatro Thalia” comes to mind.
Diogo: Originally, I wrote this as a doctoral dissertation at ETH Zurich. It was roughly done at the same time of the project and construction of Teatro Thalia, in Lisbon. Barbas Lopes is a partnership with my wife – Patrícia Barbas – and an architectural office dealing with the basic facts and figures of the trade . There is no underlying theme, just the specific conditions of each work. But contaminations do happen, and we are firm believers in them. In the case of Thalia, by some strange coincidence, they happened to be about ruins and memories retrieved from oblivion.
Melancholy and Architecture: On Aldo Rossi
Diogo Seixas Lopes
Park Books (2015)