In Practice - The state of committed architecture in Europe
IN practice is a research project aimed at identifying, selecting and comparing works by the best European architecture firms operating outside of the so-called “starchitect” elite. The project involves 37 countries and over 100 practices: they will be included in a high-profile international network established through the cooperation between AIAC – Italian Association for Architecture and Criticism – and A10 new European architecture, promoted and supported by Studio Gnosis.
The world of architecture is becoming polarised between two extremes: on the one hand young architects, on the other a limited number of internationally recognised stars. As if there was nothing else in between. Instead, the vast quantity of quality projects come precisely from those who are difficult to place in either of these two categories. Thus, when Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi, president of AIAC, met Francesco Buonfantino, head of the Italian Studio Gnosis – a team with experience in the difficult world of construction and prone to testing innovative solutions – they wondered, together with Indira van’t Klooster, editor-in-chief of A10 new European architecture, if the time had not come to begin a Europe-wide research. The goal? To activate a reconnaissance and establish a network, a structure for exchanging knowledge and experiences, and to highlight quality architecture in Europe and provide a source of inspiration for younger generations.
The architecture practices were selected based on the following criteria:
– Experience: a minimum of 10-20 years of activity;
-Production: the completion of a minimum of 2-3 buildings with an international echo, within or outside of their respective countries;
-Identity: operating outside the “starchitect” elite, their experience, research and intelligent contributions to such contemporary challenges as sustainability, the innovation of materials and self-financed architecture makes them a source of inspiration for younger firms;
-Working Method: the experimentation with new horizontal and collaborative design methods.
Process and Timeline
The research was launched in October 2015, thanks to the collaboration between 37 advisors, comprised of Correspondents from A10 new European architecture and the AIAC network, and 7 editors from the PresS/Tinternational platform. Each advisor, an expert in the architecture of his or her own country, selected 3 to 4 practices: a total of 100 for all of Europe. For each practice the 7 editors selected the project that best represents the design philosophy of each office. In the months between December 2015 and May 2016 the projects are being published on the PresS/Tinternational website (en.presstletter.com). A “project-a-day” will publicly reveal the best European architecture built in recent years. At the same time the printed magazine A10 will publish articles and interviews.
The second phase of IN practice will take the research to the next step. A jury has narrow the selection of over 100 practices down to one representative office per country.
The jury members were: Indira van’t Klooster (editor-in-chief of A10 new European architecture), Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi (president of AIAC), Zaira Magliozzi (IN practice project coordinator) and Saskia van Stein (director of Bureau Europa).
The 37 European firms selected by the Jury are: Artan Raça arkitekt (Albania), AllesWirdGut (Austria), XDGA Xaveer de Geyter Architects (Belgium), Studio Zec (Bosnia Herzegovina), Aedes Studio (Bulgaria), Idis Turato (Croatia), DRNH (Czech Republic), Yiorgos Hadjichristou Architects (Cyprus), Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter (Denmark), KOKO Architects (Estonia), JKMM Architects (Finland), Platform Architectures (France), Sauerbruch Hutton (Germany), Nikiforidis-Cuomo Architects (Greece), 3h architecture (Hungary), Batteriid Architects (Iceland), dePaor (Ireland), Piuarch (Italy), ANARCH (Kosovo), Zaigas Gailes birojs (Latvia), Audrius Ambrasas Architects (Lithuania), Architecture project (AP) (Malta), Cepezed (Netherlands), Helen & Hard (Norway), JEMS Architekci (Poland), ARX Portugal (Portugal), Re-Act Now (Romania), GAD Architecture (Turkey), Hoskins Architects (Scotland), Jovan Mitrović (Serbia), SLLA architects (Slovakia), OFIS Arhitekti (Slovenia), Amann-Cánovas-Maruri (Spain), Bearth & Deplazes Architekten (Switzerland), White arkitekter (Sweden), Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (England), Ryntovt Design (Ukraine).
Advisors: Yannis Aesopos, Anita Antenišķe, Pedro Baìa, Helen Castle, Maciej Czarnecki, Stefan Devoldere, Kseniya Dmitrenko, Ivan Dorotić, Caroline Ednie, Björn Ehrlemark, Stefan Ghenciulescu, Nina Granda, Vendula Hnídková, Kim Hoefnagels, Anne Isopp, Relja Ivanic, Ömer Kanipak, Vlatko P. Korobar, Saimir Kristo, Rūta Leitanaitė, Vjollca Llimani, Salvator John Liotta, Mateusz Mastalski, Alessandro Melis, Tarja Nurmi, Triin Ojari, Petros Phokaides, Levente Polyák, Anna Roos, Emmet Scanlon, Joakim Skajaa, Peter Szalay, Graziella Trovato, Elša Turkušić, Aneta Vasileva.
Editors: Marta Atzeni, Julia De Vito, Elisabetta Fragalà, Federica Marchetti, Giulia Mura, Roberto Sommatino, Salvatore Spataro