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April 2017 on Form

Herzog & de Meuron | Neri & Hu | Glenn Murcutt | KWK Promes | Christ & Gantenbein | OMA | Patkau Architects | Typology: Airport | Martin Heidegger 

In this issue, we look at form – does the shape of our buildings follow function or fiction? What are the ideas that drive it, stories that justify it, styles born from it and politics that govern it?

Charles Jencks eulogises Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg as a masterwork and late, great entry into the Postmodern movement, embracing pop and esoteric tastes. In Poland, KWK Promes’s Dialogue Centre eschews icon-building by tucking a museum underneath a public square. 

OMA marks the spot using two axial routes to create an x-shaped library in Caen, while Glenn Murcutt’s magnum opus sees form as an adaptive language. Neri & Hu’s non-chapel in Suzhou embraces the cube. In the Canadian mountains, Patkau’s art gallery tiptoes around trees, while Chris & Gantenbein’s Kunstmuseum extension in Basel opts for an impenetrable approach.

Maria Fedorchenko revives the diagram as a design tool with superpowers, while Douglas Murphy considers the history of buildings within buildings, and asks whether space needs a roof to be architecture.

Finally, in Typology we look at the airport, still embodying the dream of technologised freedom to travelers no matter how bludgeoned by commerce or terrorised by the state, while Outrage turns on the tasteful restraint of UK planners that is stifling architectural expression.