We cannot beat Banham, but we can update you on what happened since 1972, when Rayner Banham published his seminal The Architecture of the Well Tempered Environment. C-Lab did extensive new research on the relation between installations, buildings and architecture…
“Architecture relies on machines. They make the structures of our cities liveable.”
Life in buildings is supported by pipes. Ducts, conduits, water mains, and cables support biological and social life in spaces that are today held together by air-conditioning, electricity, and telecommunications as much as by form and materials. But while pipes and the machines they connect are part of buildings, they are often left out of architecture.
It’s fascinating to see how architects dealt with pipes in history and what challenges they face today. How did Mies van der Rohe solve this issue, what was Norman Foster’s approach and what does someone like Bjarke Ingels have to say on this? They’ve come up with all sort of strategies, from deceitfully transparent buildings seemingly without any mechanical installation, to faux ‘oil refineries’ showcasing the machinery that makes the mechanism tick. The latest strategy is trying to do away with installations altogether and make the building itself perform without mechanical support: smart ‘downgrading’.
This issue of Volume presents C-lab’s research – which will also be a part of next year’s Venice Biennale in Rem Koolhaas’ Fundamentals show – and includes contributions by Mark Wigley, Kiel Moe, David Gissen, An Te Lui, Phil Bernstein, Filip Tejchman, John Hejduk and James Stamp. Also interviews with Matthias Schuler, Neil Denari, Christian Kerez, Bjarke Ingels, Tom Wiscombe, Andrès Jaque, MOS, Juan Herreros, Philippe Rahm, Mahadev Raman, Florian Idenburg and Lothar Schwedt.
Volume #37: Is This Not a Pipe? will be released on November 21st at the Architecture Foundation, London and on November 22nd at Post Office, Rotterdam.
Volume #37: Is This Not a Pipe?
ISBN 978 90 77966 372
Price: € 19.50
Release: November 2013
Editor-in-chief: Arjen Oosterman
Contributing editors: Ole Bouman, Rem Koolhaas, Mark Wigley
This issue’s editor: Jeffrey Inaba
Design: Irma Boom and Sonja Haller
Publisher: Stichting Archis