UNStudio: Architecture between Art and Airport
(Dieter De Clercq) The Low Countries - 2009, № 17, pp. 234-239
Unlike many architects of their generation, at UNStudio they have no need to cling dogmatically to any particular idiom or theory. Although Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos have expressed their views on architecture exhaustively in various articles and books, it is above all the buildings themselves that – often literally – unfold and develop their ideas. They generate new forms of organisation and elicit contrasting interpretations, thus expanding our understanding of them. UNStudio creates experiential architecture, ‘architecture between art and airport', as Van Berkel and Bos themselves put it. They see the network of airports as a hyper-condensed city where fiction and reality are constantly clashing, as a hectic and transient world where commerce reigns supreme and where such emotions as fear, happiness and sadness are experienced to extremes. At the other end of the spectrum is art, which is associated with purity, contemplation and reflection. It is in this area of tension between the sublime and the commonplace that UNStudio's experiential architecture unfolds for the viewer, user or occupant.
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