The last wild house in Amden.

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From today on proud owner of a charming ruin.

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spring break 
So, quite a while since the last update. Too many balls juggled at the same time to have spare time here. This winter has passed fast, it seems the last foggy month all blend into one long day. Now the April winds are blowing, and a day from now they will shake our plane on the way to Portugal to get some rest.

I have started teaching in the first year at the Lucerne School of Architecture and Engineering. So far it has been a great and challenging experience. The studios there are organized by materials, in my studio we are focusing on brick, building little houses. Take a look at previous work done there in the yearbooks.

Then we lost one competition and won another. With more or less 1100 competitiors we were in a popular race for the future Cultural Centre in Bamyian, a competition organized by UNESCO. See our (and all the other) proposals here.

And we worked on a proposal for a school in Romanshorn in Switzerland together with Ricardo Bak Gordon Arquitectos. A inspiring collaboration with a winning outcome.

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Ceder forest - Atlas mountains

High altitude fir forest - Gailtal valley

Mixed virgin forest - Nahuelbue National park

Column forest - Gurker Dom

Column forest - Kanagawa Institute of Technology

Forests are spaces and can be described in architectural terms, their performance can be judged functionally, economically and emotionally. As a spectator I judge them mostly emotionally, with the eye of an architect. Forests always have a floor and a ceiling. Forests always have a depth and a density. As Ishigami has described, a forest is a collection of micro-spaces, created by its own elements.

Anyway, I am confused by the classic dichotomy of Nature and Culture. Our culture has created regulated terretories, mostly called National Parks, of which hardly any are of what I would call natural: not managed by humans for functional, economic or emotional purposes. The rest ist not nature, it is as much a designed and controlled space as are our cities or houses. And as in cities nature has found niches or ways to coexist even though it is a cultivated environment.

And now, on the other hand, there is a trend in architecture to search for a new symbiosis of architecture and nature. A "learning from forests" which Ishigami surely did.

But what if we could abandon this dichotomy alltogether? Do we really need to enclose parts of our landscape to protect us from ourselves? Can we not look at all the surface we inhabit in a coherent way? How would we have to adjust our judgement to make it work, again functionally, economically and emotionally?

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