Lets Talk about Houses: When Art Speaks Architecture

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Dublin Architect Studio Negri Lets Talk about Houses: When Art Speaks Architecture image

How can Architecture best respond to the need to provide a sense of cocoon? The theme of the 2010 Lisbon Architecture Triennale was LET´S TALK ABOUT HOUSES. The idea is to debate the question of housing, both literally and in a broader sense of housing in the world.

The Cocoon in Architecture

How can Architecture best respond to the need for a cocoon? What are the basic conditions required for an individual to feel safe – in relation to the use of space and building design?
Triennale of Architecture, Lisbon

Tom Sachs, Barcelona Pavillion (2002) Museu do Chiado, Let’s Talk about Houses, Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Portugal

The Triennale mostly focused on the artistic interpretation of these ideas of personal security and space.

Challenged by global conflict, art has reflected the need to think about the meaning of dwelling, the construction of space, and this sense of cocoon. In many ways, art seems to be speaking of architecture, constructing fields that are almost nameless in the place where sculpture, film, and architecture intersect.

Embrace (2010)

How can these elements of basic security be ingrained in building design? In 2010 Studio Negri offered a competition entry that attempted to respond to the primary fears of children. The result was Embrace – Here children could acclimatise quickly, meet new friends, and have suitable private and public spaces to rebuild their trust in the outside world. Child-centred space has been optimised and is at the very heart of the scheme.

Children's Centre Coolock

Studio Negri, Embrace (2010) Competition for the design of a Children’s Centre, Aoibhneas and RIAI [Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland]

The entry extended a welcoming arm from the existing building, which unfolds and embraces the main public space, thus providing a private children’s play-area concealed from the surrounding elements.

Concept of Children's Centre

Studio Negri, Embrace (2010) Competition for the design of a Children’s Centre, Aoibhneas and RIAI [Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland]

The site embraced the newcomer, and also embraced those who depart – those transformed by the services and facilities permitted by this design.

How can Architecture find the balance between design and contextual requirements, but also ensure that the inhabitants of these buildings can maintain that fragile sense of cocoon – safety from insecurity or safety from one’s monsters?


For more information, see the official Lisbon Architecture Triennale website : http://www.trienaldelisboa.com/