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Global Architecture Platform


ISLAND hosts architectures and architects which, while rooted in the local, are capable of constructing projects that form part of the global discourse.

Scoglio di Spinazzola © Chasper Schmidlin

Islands, finite, enclosed spaces: the limit as condition and presence, as unifying moment. Small worlds in some cases extended by repetition: the archipelago, at times an architectural metaphor.

Islands traditionally raise two issues:

First, the priority of nature as an argument. On the continuous horizon of the sea, the figure unfolds with all the rhetoric of the landscape: mountains, rocks, trees, vegetation … these will be the materials that construct the image.

Second, human presence in the activity of construction, until recently limited by the possibilities (scarce) and the impossibilities (large). Examples of astuteness and symbiosis with the environment. Versions of the vernacular. In the past.

Now we have to add the transformation brought about by tourism and modernity. Cosmopolitanism versus endemism.

Appearing in this instalment  of Transfer, populated by the mists of characters like Crusoe, Friday, John Silver, Verne and his mysterious island, the Island hosts architectures and architects who, while rooted in the local, are capable of constructing projects that form part of the global discourse.


28.Jul.2016 1804 views
Josep Lluis Mateo

Josep Lluís Mateo (Barcelona, 1949) is an architect graduated from ETSAB. He received his doctorate cum laude from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. From 2002 until 2014 he was Professor of Architecture and Design at the ETH Zürich. In 2015 he was Guest Professor at Harvard GSD. He is the author of “Bauen und Denken” (2002), “Textos Instrumentales” (2007) and director of a collective research published as “Middle East: Contemporary Architectural Conditions” (2012). His practice, mateoarquitectura, is globally active and tries to connect intelligence and artistic ambition with pragmatism and objectivity. His practice has won many prices and awards (NAN best Spanish project abroad 2010 & 2011), has been worldwide published (“Josep Lluís Mateo, Opere e progetti”, 2007, “On Building: Matter and Form”, 2012) and exhibited (MoMA, 2006, Galerie d’Architecture in Paris, 2013).

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