#Lectures

Every Tuesday … as usual!
Discover each week one of the recent LUCA lectures and follow it comfortly from home

LECTURE #9

NIETO SOBEJANO ARQUITECTOS: MEMORY AND INVENTION

In English (subtitles available)

This conference took place in Luxembourg on 23 October 2014, and it was organized by LUCA. 

During his lecture, Enrique Sobejano – founding partner of Nieto Sobejano – presents a selection of their emblematic projects such as the Contemporary Art Center in Córdoba, the Santa Barbara Square in Madrid, the Madinat Al-Aahra Museum in Córdoba and the Moritzburg Museum in Halle. In Nieto Sobejano’s creative process, the themes “landscapes,” “roofscapes,” “memory and invention,” “combinatorial spaces,” “material” and “light” always coexist in order to produce quality projects.

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos was founded in 1985 by Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano and has offices in Madrid and Berlin. Experts in works on historical buildings, Nieto Sobejano’s interventions in the consolidated heritage are grafts that give rise to a new kind of space. In them, the resonance of the past is permanent, and the tangible signs make up a dictionary specific to each project that expands the contemporary architectural language with neologisms. Along with being widely published in international magazines and books, the firm’s work has been exhibited in different places. They are the recipients of numerous prices.

www.nietosobejano.com


LECTURE #8

SNØHETTA: THE NORDIC LIGHT

In English (subtitles available)

This conference took place in Luxembourg on 6 October 2016, and it was organized by LUCA.

During his lecture, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen – founding partner of Snøhetta – presents the philosophy of his agency, in which exists a deep connection between its employees (coming from different backgrounds) and its surroundings, the Nordic countries. During this lecture, he goes through a selection of Snøhetta’s emblematic projects, such as the Ground Zero Memorial, the Oslo Opera House, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and others.

Kjetil Trædal Thorsen explains the impact of Snøhettas working method practices and how a simultaneous exploration of traditional handicraft and cutting-edge digital technology, additionally to a complementary relationship, drives their creative process. The process of each project is linked to 5 themes: Design Methodology, Studio Space, Collaboration, Sustainability, Transpositioning.

Design Methodology focuses on how they combine a wide spectrum of tools and theories with a good portion of generosity. Studio Space is about the importance of their office working spaces and how they contribute to facilitating the collaborative working process. They also encourage Collaborations, such as new ideas coming from their employees to push their thinking and keep on reinventing their work, driven by partners in the process. At the heart of all their work, there is a commitment to shaping the built environment both dedicated to humankind, the longevity of the planet, and to promote the Sustainability. Finally, Transpositioning is about a self-defined trans-disciplinary process in which have different kinds of professionals is essential. From architects to visual artists, from philosophers to sociologists, and sometimes they also have to exchange their roles in order to explore differing perspectives without the prejudice of convention.

Kjetil Trædal Thorsen is a Norwegian architect. In 1987, he co-founded Snøhetta. Snøhetta began as a collaborative architectural and landscape workshop and has remained true to its trans-disciplinary way of thinking since its inception. Today, Snøhetta has grown to become an internationally renowned practise of architecture, landscape architecture, interior architecture, product- and graphic design, with more than 240 employees from 32 different nations.

www.snohetta.com


LECTURE #7

STAR STRATEGIES + ARCHITECTURE: RÉVOLUTIONNER LE LOGEMENT

In French (subtitles available)

This conference took place in Luxembourg on 9 March 2017, and it was organized by LUCA.

During her lecture, Beatriz Ramo – director and founder of STAR strategies + architecture – shared her vision of the housing situation and its paradoxes. While we are witnessing the greatest diversification of households known to date, housing typologies are becoming more ordinary and “standardised” than ever.

Housing and households have evolved according to totally different logics. While households have undergone profound changes – such as de-cohabitation, single parenthood, family restructuring difficulties in accessing the labour market, the development of the shared accommodation model and the ageing of the population – housing has pursued other dynamics (mainly economic and regulatory). The current housing situation is thus more often a vivid reflection of regulations than of the lifestyles of its inhabitants.

The approach of STAR strategies + architecture moves away from the normative and formalistic vision, which characterizes the current production of new housing. Instead the agency sets out to draw inspiration from the great wealth of diversity that lies in the composition of the households, in their specificities and in their needs. This agency first considers the inhabitants and their lifestyles to then develop new housing that is adapted to the conditions and their evolution of its users. Beatriz Ramo believes that housing must be adapted to its inhabitants and not the other way around.

Beatriz Ramo is a Spanish architect and urban planner. During 2003 and 2004 she worked at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture – OMA – in Rotterdam. In 2006 she founded STAR strategies + architecture in Rotterdam. STAR is a practice interested in all topics directly or indirectly related to architecture, working on projects and doing research in the fields of architecture, urbanism, and landscape design. Several prizes in International Competitions for architecture and urban planning have gained STAR international recognition.

www.st-ar.nl


LECTURE #6

AREAL LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: PLATZ DA! TOUT LE MONDE DEHORS !

In German, alternated with French (subtitles available).

This conference took place in Luxembourg on 13 December 2018, and it was organized by LUCA.

During their lecture, Friederike Huth and Christian Weier, founding partners of AREAL Landscape Architecture, exposed a series of projects according to three themes: “Platz da!”, “Tout le monde dehors !” and “Un peu de verdure”.

The first theme – “Platz da!” – focuses on the intention to create outdoor spaces that make people want to go outside and use them. These new spaces have to dialogue both with the existing environment and architectures that surround it. They achieve these goals thanks to a tested design process that includes several steps and scales.

“Tout le monde dehors !” deals with the use and appropriation of the space. The idea is to propose a sequence of landscapes where users are invited to meet each other. These meeting points participate in a new activation of the area.

Finally, the theme “Un peu de verdure” provides an understanding of the relevance of greenery in the project of outdoor public spaces, and how it contributes to the quality of the space. It’s not only about health or well-being, but also about the need and pleasure we get, using and activating all the five senses.

Founded in 2006 in Luxembourg, AREAL Landscapes Architecture is today composed of 5 architects and landscape architects. Influenced by the work of the American landscape architect Martha Schwartz, AREAL advocates a sustainable approach to its projects. For each project, AREAL works on the interaction between new and existing spaces, while combining natural and built landscapes.

www.areal.lu


LECTURE #5

LESS SPACE MORE COMMUNITY – TINY HOUSES: CONCEPTS FOR A BETTER WAY TO LIVE TOGETHER

In English (subtitles available)

This conference took place on January 21st, 2020 and it was organized by LUCA in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing.

Van Bo Le-Mentzel, CEO of the Tiny Foundation started his lecture from the concept of tiny houses. He gave insight into a series of projects and examples of cities that are more sustainable for the environment as well as for its citizens. Le-Mentzel insisted on the urgent need of being more than ever a community.

Van Bo Le-Mentzel stated that for him, the main issue is not what a tiny house is, how big it should be, or what it should look like. In fact, a tiny house is not much different from other tiny spaces like caravans or mobile homes. When living in a tiny house, you have to face the same technical, sanitary and legal issues. For Le-Mentzel, the most important challenge when living in a tiny house is above all about to create a community around you, to not isolate yourself in a cabin in the woods but to reduce the personal space you use in favour of creating and sharing common spaces. Living in a tiny house means adapting an “urban nomad” lifestyle. You will have to transfer a part of your daily activities to public or semi-public spaces like e.g. cafés and libraries, using them as informal meetings and working spaces.

 How to live in a tiny house? Each person has to find its own answers to this question. Inside and outside design is essential to valorise a small space and to create more than a box. As we all have our personality and our physical characteristics, there’s no standard solution that could satisfy everyone’s needs and location. Le-Mentzel also insisted on the fact that living in a tiny house cannot be a solution suitable for everyone. In the long term, this new form of housing does only make sense when being included in a more general reflection around urban planning and housing, with the aim of developing solutions to live more sustainably. Founded in 2019 by the architect Van Bo Le-Mentzel, the Tiny Foundation defines itself as a social neighbourhood agency and its mission is to produce affordable housing, develop public neighbourhoods and help people in need. Its purpose is to create space for the social neighbourhood and provide new concepts for communal living in the city. They are an agency consisting of architects, urban planners, carpenters, media-makers and scientists, united by the fearlessness of radical innovation.

www.tinyfoundation.org


LECTURE #4

CRIT./ PETER SWINNEN: A BELGIAN HOUSE (1958-2018)

In English (subtitles available)

This conference took place on March 26th, 2019 and it was organized by LUCA – in collaboration with the Master in Architecture of the University of Luxembourg – as part of the “This Will Feed That” cycle.

During his lecture, CRIT./Peter Swinnen presented the restoration – made in 2017 – of one of the most influential examples of modernist Belgian architecture: the Heyvaert House, built in 1958.

The house, as well as its architect René Heyvaert, remains relatively unknown within the international architectural debate. Heyvaert’s architectural production was numerically scarce, in terms of both design and execution. It is light in construction and imbued with an unruly, almost surreal, ‘poor’ materiality. All the house is conceived in a purely economic way. The back of the house is evidence of that. We can indeed see that it was unfinished, a living experiment on a 1:1 scale, with no prior guarantee of success. Over the past sixty years, the house has taken on various lives, appearances, and meanings. In 2018, it was finally listed as a national monument in Belgium. Peter Swinnen will sketch out his intense three-yearlong journey with this house; as an architect, curator, filmmaker, editor and broker.

Peter Swinnen was born in 1972 and he is a Brussels based architect. After his apprenticeship at Luc Deleu/T.O.P. Office (1994-96), he founded 51N4E space producers, which he spearheaded until 2013. Between 2010-15 Swinnen enrolled as Flemish State Architect, a public mandate empowering architecture as a policy-making discipline. Since 2016, he is a senior architect and partner-in-chief at CRIT. He has taught at the Architectural Association London and ETH Zürich. In 2019, he was appointed guest professor at the Master in Architecture, University of Luxembourg.

www.crit.cc


LECTURE #3

MUOTO STUDIO D’ARCHITECTURE : PUBLIC CONDENSER CAMPUS PARIS–SACLAY

In English (subtitles available)

This conference took place on May 14th, 2019 and was organized by LUCA – in collaboration with the Master in Architecture of the University of Luxembourg – as part of the “This Will Feed That” cycle.

During this lecture, Gilles Delalex presents one of MUOTO’s projects located in the campus complex in Saclay, France. This campus is considered as one of the main learning centers in France. Inside, each institution has its own building and facilities. So, the idea behind the Public Condenser was to create a shared public facility to host a mix of indoor and outdoor activities and to encourage the encounter of various populations living close to one another but rarely meeting. This building gave birth to new connections between institutions, becoming a meeting point even if it’s the smallest building on the campus.

With the Public Condenser, MUOTO created a landmark which – thanks to his vertical shape – stands out throughout the campus. Inside it is designed as a shelf containing all the different facilities needed by its public function. Additionally this project offers a mix of urban spaces that connect the main functions inside itself, thus making this building able to function independently and equipped with all the facilities required for its daily life. It’s time to take a detailed look at the Public Condenser by watching the entire lecture!

Founded in 2003, in France, MUOTO Studio d’Architecture was rewarded by several prizes such as Holcim Awards, Equerre d’Argent, Bauwelt. MUOTO’s work often features minimal structures made of rough materials, as a means to combine different activities and merge economical as well as aesthetic issues. Vertical diversity as an articulation between building and city scales is a recurrent figure in MUOTO’s projects.

www.studiomuoto.com


LECTURE #2

LEON KRIER: CITIES WITHIN THE CITY

In English (subtitles available)

This conference took place on April 23rd, 2019 and was organized by LUCA – in collaboration with the Master in Architecture of the University of Luxembourg – as part of the “This Will Feed That” cycle.

In his lecture, Léon Krier explains his vision of good architecture and urbanism using Luxembourg City as an example. What makes a city real? The goal is to have a significant architecture to attract people, which is important to live in a good atmosphere. In fact, architecture unified modern society. About urbanism, his proposal focuses on the relevance of polycentric cities with several connections. Then, it’s important that each city has all the functions needed by the population. He also defines the traditional city as a horizontally spread shape with vertical emergences. Vertical buildings are very important for people, and their design needs to combine traditional and classical architecture. It’s time to watch and enjoy this lecture!

Léon Krier is a Luxembourgish architect, architectural theorist and urban planner, specialised in modern traditional urbanism and architecture. He combines an international architecture & planning practice with writing and teaching.


LECTURE #1

ARCHITECTEN DE VYLDER VINCK TAILLIEU / BAVO RESEARCH COLLECTIVE: CARITAS

In English (subtitles available)

This week re-lives the lecture with architecten de vylder vinck taillieu / BAVO Research Collective and their Caritas project given by Jan de Vylder and Gideon Boie.

This conference took place on February 26th, 2019 and was organized by the LUCA – in collaboration with the Master in Architecture of the University of Luxembourg – as part of the “This Will Feed That” cycle.

During this lecture, Jan de Vylder and Gideon Boie present the process and the evolution of the Caritas project: the redevelopment of old abandoned buildings into an open living space for a psychiatric clinic located in Melle, Belgium.
The volumetric of these old buildings didn’t fit with the actual need, the regulation and the norms. So, what to do with this historic building damaged? The idea is to reunite the full site with the creation of spaces to explore for the therapy.
Let’s take a look at this project, which has also won the Silver Lion for a promising young participant in the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in 2018.

Architecten de vylder vinck taillieu was established in 2009 by three Belgian partners who wish to highlight the entire architectural process for each project. For Jan de Vyder, Inge Vinck and Jo Taillieu, the actual effort for design and realization stay paramount. BAVO is a collective for research cofounded by Gideon Boie and focuses his work on the political dimension of art, architecture and urban planning.

architectenjdviv.com