ZAV | Schemata | Vo Trong Nghia | Fernanda Canales and Claudia Rodríguez | Aalto University Wood Program | Mesura | O’BVDSH | Junya Ishigami | Charlotte Perriand | Olson Kundig | Amin Taha + Groupwork | Lu Wenyu | Sigurd Lewerentz
Since objects and interiors are often sidelined from architectural discourse, this summer’s bumper issue explores shifts in design scales to unpick the relationship between architecture and furniture. Edwin Heathcote’s keynote discusses today’s ‘furniturisation’ of architecture: from summer pavilions to mobile pop-ups, he argues that architecture is becoming a series of extremely elaborate furniture.
As a counterpoint to Outrage, where Catherine Slessor laments starchitects’ production of trophy chairs as branding exercises, we turn to China and India, two cultures with strong handcrafted roots. Using historical knowledge as the catalyst for innovation, Lu Wenyu emphasises the virtues of craft and precision through both her teaching and built work, while the Indian 24/42 Chair is the leitmotif of a new publication by Bauhaus Lab, ‘Between Chairs’, our Book of the Month.
Throughout the issue, we explore the work of designers who blur the line between architecture and furniture: the daring buildings of Junya Ishigami, drawing from his early table designs; the kinetic gyzmos of Seattle-based practice Olson Kundig; the pivoting bookshelves and vanishing doors of Amin Taha’s new flexible spaces to live and work in Clerkenwell.
And we go back to St Peter’s in Klippan, a unique masterpiece overlooked by the AR at the time of completion. Sigurd Lewerentz’s enigmatic internal landscape still carries power and meaning in every brick, while Reputations looks back at the life and work of Charlotte Perriand, her chaise longue, her modular kitchen for the Marseille Unité and her preoccupations with l’art de vivre – Corb had little appetite for furniture and fittings.
Questioning the extent to which homes anticipate inhabitation, Pier Vittorio Aureli and Martino Tattara study Hannes Meyer’s Co-op Interieur, as both a representation of the precarious existence of the contemporary mass worker and the promise of a life liberated by the burden of domestic space.
Bringing the conversation to the present day, Anna Puigjaner argues that the house has now become a transmutable endless landscape defined by objects and technology. New technological developments and economic changes have, since the 1990s, paved the way for homeworking, and the boundaries between house and office continue to blur today, as Jeremy Melvin discusses in his piece on the home office.
This issue also features the results of this year’s AR House awards. Out of the sixteen homes shortlisted by the judging panel, six made it to the final round and were visited by independent critics before the judging panel decided on a winner.
Set in the foothills of the Zagros mountains, the Habitat for Orphan Girls was chosen as the overall winner by judges Amin Taha, Marie-José Van Hee and Mathias Klotz. By giving vulnerable children a safe and culturally sensitive environment, ZAV Architects present new and alternative forms of domesticity in Iran – read our full building study here.
Schemata Architects’ house in Nobeoka and Vo Trong Nghia Architects’ Binh House in Ho Chi Minh City by are both highly commended, while an additional three projects are commended: Casa Bruma by Mexican architects Fernanda Canales and Claudia Rodríguez, Casa IV by Barcelona-based Mesura, and Kokoon, a temporary housing prototype designed by Helsinki’s Aalto University Wood Programme.
All these projects are featured in the AR’s July/August issue – find out more about the judges’ comments here or view the full shortlist of 16 dwellings here.