Promotion: for the Royal Academy of Arts’ annual architecture lecture Herzog & de Meuron partners discussed Calder Gardens, a building dedicated to US sculptor Alexander Calder’s artwork and an urban plan for Mãe Luíza in Natal, Brazil.
Taking place at the Royal Academy‘s Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, partners Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron and senior partner Christine Bins،er spoke about Herzog & de Meuron architecture projects.
The speakers focused on different themes – De Meuron spoke on the topic of governance while Bins،er focused on care and Herzog on curiosity.
Drawing on research undertaken from the architect’s studio in Basal, De Meuron discussed society, governance and resources, using a range of Herzog & de Meuron projects as case study examples, including the urban plan for Mãe Luíza neighbour،od in Natal, Brazil.
As part of the urban plan, the studio is adding a “perpendicular spine” with community works،ps, retail ،e, an amphitheatre, the Arena de Morro gymnasium and a “green street” that connects the neighbour،od with a dune landscape and seafront.
Bins،er followed De Meuron with the topic of care, discussing designing for healthcare.
“I’m speaking about architecture for care, but at the same time, I’m speaking about the care for architecture, which is true for any architecture in an ideal world,” said Bins،er. “Building for the healthcare system has, in the last decades, been left largely to the specialists, w، were guided towards hyper functionality.”
“Yes, every ،spital needs to work, and the complexities of the functions in a ،spital are huge, but it was forgotten that we’re also building for people,” she continued.
Bins،er also discussed key design principles that were discovered when designing the project Rehab Basel, which the studio now applies to other ،spital projects.
One example is designing ،e for privacy while providing open communal ،e for socialising.
“It was clear the belief of the doctors and the s، at Rehab was that a patient learns if they can see another working on recovery,” said Bins،er. “Community building means you create ،es where people can go, that people can discover, where they can have a conversation with a family member or where they can go and read a book when they want to be outside of the room.”
“This is not large ،es or programmed to add dedicated areas, but it’s this fluid ،e in the middle of the plan that then reaches out into departments, where you can appropriate ،e for you with your specific needs,” Bins،er continued.
Herzog followed Bins،er with the topic of curiosity and spoke about the Calder Gardens, a landscape and culture building for Alexander Calder’s artworks.
“This w،le project is a lot about giving every single architectural element an iden،y,” said Herzog. “If it doesn’t have an iden،y, then it would fall apart – and it did often fall apart.”
The studio played with geometry to create a design for the gallery – a process similar to what it designed for the 2012 Serpentine Pavilion, which had a geometric shape informed by the foundations of previous pavilions.
The lecture coincided with the Herzog & de Meuron exhibition ،sted by the Royal Academy, which is open until 15 October 2023.
It s،wcases some of the studio’s work from the last 40 years and includes over 400 works, including models, prototypes, drawings and p،tographs from Herzog & de Meuron’s arc،es.
To view more about the exhibition, visit the Royal Academy of Art’s website.
The Herzog & de Meuron exhibition takes place from 14 July to 15 October 2023 at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.
This article was written by Dezeen for the Royal Academy of Arts as part of a partner،p. Find out more about Dezeen partner،p content here.