Burckhardt, Price and Fun Palace. An interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist

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ATELIER BOW-WOW

Atelier Bow-Wow was established in 1992 by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima in Tokyo. Best known for its projects in dense urban environments, the firm has developed its practice based on a profound study of existing cultural, economic, and environmental conditions—a study that led it to propose the term “pet architecture” for the multitude of odd, and functional little buildings wedged into tiny sites around Tokyo. Atelier Bow-Wow has also acquired an enthusiastic following through its Micro Public Space projects, as well as innovative projects for exhibitions such as the 2010 Venice Biennale (as an official representative of Japan) and the São Paulo Bienal, and at venues such as the Hayward Gallery in London, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, The Gallery at REDCAT in Los Angeles, the Japan Society in New York, and the OK Offenes Kulturhaus Oberösterreich in Linz, Austria.

Yoshiharu Tsukamoto
1965         Born in Kanagawa, Japan
1987         Graduate from Tokyo Institute of Technology
1987-88    Guest Student of L'ecole d'architecture, Paris, Bellville (U.P.8)
1994         Graduate from Post-graduate school of Tokyo Institute of Technology, Dr.Eng.
2000-        Associate Professor of Tokyo Institute of Technology
2003, 2007       Visiting Faculty of Harvard GSD
2007, 2008       Visiting Associate Professor of UCLA

Momoyo Kaijima
1969         Born in Tokyo, Japan
1991         Graduate from Japan Women's University
1994         Graduate from Graduate school of Tokyo Institute of Technology, M.Eng.
1996-97    Guest student of E.T.H
1999         Graduate from Post-graduate school of Tokyo Institute of Technology
2000-        Assistant professor of University of Tsukuba
2003         Visiting Faculty of Harvard GSD
2005-07      ETHZ Guest Professor
2009-         Associate professor of University of Tsukuba

HERZOG & DE MEURON

Herzog & de Meuron Architekten is a Swiss architecture firm, founded and headquartered in Basel, Switzerland in 1978. The careers of founders and senior partners Jacques Herzog (born 1950), and Pierre de Meuron (born 1950), closely paralleled one another, with both attending the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich. They are perhaps best known for their conversion of the giant Bankside Power Station in London to the new home of the Tate Museum of Modern Art (2000). Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have been visiting professors at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design since 1994 (and in 1989) and professors at ETH Zürich since 1999. They are co-founders of the ETH Studio Basel – Contemporary City Institute, which started a research programme on processes of transformation in the urban domain.

Herzog & de Meuron is a partnership led by five Senior Partners – Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger, Ascan Mergenthaler and Stefan Marbach. An international team of 38 Associates and about 362 collaborators.

Herzog & de Meuron received international attention very early in their career with the Blue House in Oberwil, Switzerland (1980); the Stone House in Tavole, Italy (1988); and the Apartment Building along a Party Wall in Basel (1988).  The firm’s breakthrough project was the Ricola Storage Building in Laufen, Switzerland (1987).  Renown in the United States came with Dominus Winery in Yountville, California (1998). The Goetz Collection, a Gallery for a Private Collection of Modern Art in Munich (1992), stands at the beginning of a series of internationally acclaimed museum buildings such as the Küppersmühle Museum for the Grothe Collection in Duisburg, Germany (1999). Their most recognized buildings include Prada Aoyama in Tokyo, Japan (2003); Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany (2005); the new Cottbus Library for the BTU Cottbus, Germany (2005); the National Stadium Beijing, the Main Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China; VitraHaus, a building to present Vitra’s “Home Collection“, Weil am Rhein, Germany (2010); and 1111 Lincoln Road, a multi-storey mixed-use structure for parking, retail, a restaurant and a private residence in Miami Beach, Florida, USA (2010), the Actelion Business Center in Allschwil/Basel, Switzerland (2010). In recent years, Herzog & de Meuron have also completed projects such as the New Hall for Messe Basel Switzerland (2013), the Ricola Kräuterzentrum in Laufen (2014), which is the seventh building in a series of collaborations with Ricola, with whom Herzog & de Meuron began to work in the 1980s; and the Naturbad Riehen (2014), a public natural swimming pool. In April 2014, the practice completed its first project in Brazil: the Arena do Morro in the neighbourhood of Mãe Luiza, Natal, is the pioneering project within the wider urban proposal “A Vision for Mãe Luiza”.

Herzog & de Meuron have completed 6 projects since the beginning of 2015: a new mountain station including a restaurant on top of the Chäserrugg (2262 metres above sea level) in Toggenburg, Switzerland; Helsinki Dreispitz, a residential development and archive in Münchenstein/Basel, Switzerland; Asklepios 8 – an office building on the Novartis Campus in Basel, Switzerland; the Slow Food Pavilion for Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy; the new Bordeaux stadium, a 42’000 seat multifunctional stadium for Bordeaux, France; Miu Miu Aoyama, a 720 m² boutique for the Prada-owned brand located on Miyuki Street, across the road from Prada Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan.

In many projects the architects have worked together with artists, an eminent example of that practice being the collaboration with Rémy Zaugg, Thomas Ruff and with Michael Craig-Martin.

Professionally, the Herzog & de Meuron partnership has grown to become an office with over 120 people worldwide. In addition to their headquarters in Basel, they have offices in London, Munich and San Francisco. Herzog has explained, “We work in teams, but the teams are not permanent. We rearrange them as new projects begin. All of the work results from discussions between Pierre and me, as well as our other partners, Harry Gugger and Christine Binswanger. The work by various teams may involve many different talents to achieve the best results which is a final product called architecture by Herzog & de Meuron.”

HANS ULRICH OBRIST

Hans Ulrich Obrist (born 1968, Zurich, Switzerland) is co-director of the Serpentine Galleries, London. Prior to this, he was the Curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris. Since his first show ‘World Soup’ (The Kitchen Show) in 1991 he has curated more than 250 exhibitions. Obrist’s recent publications include A Brief History of Curating, Project Japan: Metabolism Talks with Rem Koolhaas, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Curating But Were Afraid to Ask, Do It: The Compendium, Think Like Clouds, Ai Weiwei Speaks, Sharp Tongues - Loose Lips - Open Eyes - Ears to the Ground, along with new volumes of his Conversation Series.

LUCIUS BURCKHARDT

Lucius Burckhardt (1925–2003) was a Swiss political economist, sociologist, art historian and planning theorist and is well known as founding father of ‘strollology’– his science of the walk. He was a pioneer of an interdisciplinary analysis of man-made environments and discussed both the visible and invisible aspects of our cities, landscapes, political processes and social relations, as well as the long-term effects of design and planning decisions. He established the importance of sociology in architecture education and in 1969, in the aftermath of student revolts, he conceded to student demands by establishing at the ETH Zurich a professional ‘sofa’ in contrast to the professional chair. This was the beginning of his project ‘Lehrcanapé’ a form of teaching focusing on issues of contemporary complexity that were representative of real professional difficulties and on solutions that ideally manifested an interdisciplinary approach. His experiment addressed the role of architecture in society and led to radical demands for more democratic, participatory structures in academic institutions.

CEDRIC PRICE

Cedric Price (1934–2003) was an architect, thinker and above all an Englishman of extraordinary generosity towards his subject. He had an independence of mind the like of which can only come from a fondness for humans and a fascination for human nature. For Price, the moral and ethical principles implied in any design speculation are privileged over and above variations on the artefactual by-product. In this respect the role of the many rich collaborations over his lifetime, conversations and talks amongst audiences, engaging with the media as a means of initiating discussion, and the more personal dialogue presented in his notebooks were all critical in developing his design thinking on the themes of participation, anticipation, indeterminacy and delight. The films and drawings from Price’s personal notebooks that appear in the exhibition present Price doing what he did best over a period of 40 years – constantly challenging our understanding of what architecture might be, in discussions with students, colleagues, strangers and himself.

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