Pierre D’Avoine Architects


The lecture was really interesting as it discussed the idea of the different sizes of architectural practice. The speaker specifically represented the small practice and his project of the ‘Opera on the move’.

A photograph of the ‘Opera house’

The project was proposed for Busan Opera House in South Korea and it is a performing arts centre including theater and opera. ‘Possibilities to sail and dock at venues around the world transporting touring theater troupes will produce an iconic symbol for it’s home port city as well as a global phenomenon.’ This will generate an idea and experience to the visitors about the Busan city. As a piece of the building detaches and sails away around the world the architecture becomes a performance in itself.

A photograph showing the Opera House floating on the water.

Personally I thought that a small practice holding about 16 architects would be more engaging and better than a bigger practice. It would connect the architects much closely with what they’re doing in their projects. It will allow them to communicate and socialize with each other much more than a large or extra large practices. The leader of the team would have a better control on the project and stay in touch with his colleagues and what they’re doing.

Also the lecture touched on the idea of transforming spaces and how one can change small things in their house to make it more suitable for him/her. I really liked the idea of how a person can transform his own space to suit his needs. However, the lecturer also touched on the idea of how this might effect the price of a property and what kind of effects it may have on the person who will buy it.

A definition of “home” was mentioned, and that is “a theater of memories, accumulation of things”. I liked this very much and found it closely related to the first project he presented, in a sense that architecture can become a theatrical act. To what extent do people imprint their identity to a new house or do they just buy a house with an already imprinted identity? I very much support the idea that in order to create a credible design you have to understand what the client owns and needs to make it a very specific building and thus imprinting the client’s identity from the very first sketches.

“A house without identity is like a person without soul”, Pierre D’Avoine

Review by Riam Ibrahem

Sadie Morgan, dRMM

An unexpectedly large practice but focused on mainly small size projects,  dRMM Architects cover a variety of domains within its team. In my opinion a very clever idea to have such a complex practice that can provide you with the full experience of a design, leaving nothing to chance.

Sliding House

  • private building – residence
  • Small scale

Designed as a hiding place after retiring, the Sliding House was a combination between the client’s desire to enjoy the countryside landscape and grow food, but also an affinity towards farm-like buildings, shared by the architect.

A seemingly simple concept containing three static structures -a house, a garage and an annexe, the spaces get much more complex once the outer shell starts moving. The structure moves on recessed railway tracks and the movement is generated by a motor hidden in the thickness of the walls.

Most likely a unique experience to live in a house that moves according to the weather or simply your mood. The Sliding House represents a step away from conventional architecture and towards a much more dynamic approach that has the main feature of changing over time.

Kingsdale School

A school with an existing spacious courtyard gets improved in order to give a boost to the self-esteem of the school community that ultimately affects the quality of teaching. A new oversized roof becomes the celebrity of the school, creating new spaces for students to eat, relax and hang out.

One of the main focuses of this project is an assymetric music performance and cinema auditorium, being part of the biggest space created within a British school.

What I liked about this project is the involvement of the “client” (in this case the students, the in the design process and the architect’s main focus on the wellbeing of the students.

Review by Alexandra Arad

The Truffle / Ensamble Estudio

When we started watching this video with my schoolmates I was certain that non of us knew what was it about. But as we were getting closer and closer to the end I’ve started noticing like everyone’s jaws starts dropping down. And there were we, watching this amazing piece of architecture, everyone sort of in his own world wondering how this piece could actually work and thinking that quantity always doesn’t mean quality.

This project was allocated in Spain. The Truffle is a piece of nature built with earth, full of air. A space within a stone that sits on the ground and goes with the place. They made a hole in the ground, in the middle of the hole they started pilling up hay bales and at the end the poured a huge amount of concrete all over it. Time passed and they removed the earth discovering an amorphous mass…

The land gave the whole thing such a extraordinary look/facade with its texture and color. Second phase of this project was to make few cuts in a way to discover the hay inside. To empty the interior they got a calf Paulina, and enjoyed the 50m3 of the nicest food, from which she nourished for a year until she left her habitat, already as an adult and weighing 300 kilos. And that was the first time when the whole interior started appearing…

Review by Jakub Klimes

David Kohn Architects

A Room for London

During the visit at London Met David Kohn talked us through about his projects. For me the most interesting was a project where he and his group of architects where working with artist Fiona Banner for the installation called A Room for London which is located on the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at Southbank Centre.

Together they had won a competition which aim was to design a room at the most visible and outstanding place inLondonwhere people could spent a unique night surrounded by architectural landscape. Mainly it is designed for the artists – writers, poets, painters, song writers, photographers etc. Place would be used as a muse to those people.

The idea of boat as a room came fromThamesRiver. Also Literature, which probably had the biggest impact for the design. For me it was very exciting to know that the people who are going to stay a night in the room will be able to record and write their own story of experience in the room.

Review by Kamile Sulinskaite


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