What prompted you to partake in the Non Architecture competition?
It’s a year that we are doing competition together, even thought we don’t live in the same city anymore, and we are always trying to challenge ourself with different kind of competition and topics.
Non architecture competition aroused our curiosity because all the proposed past editions have completely alternative subjects to research and really challenge the creativity of the participants.
We have applied to the Re-Draw competition because it was a new experience for us: to understand an outstanding architecture and express our critiques and ideas through just one drawing.
What is your take on competitions as these which aim to challenge the power of the drawings within the realm of architecture?
We think that this kind of re-drawing competitions are a great source for the realm of architecture in general but also as a personal resource tool. It is a powerful exercise to study an architecture in its complexity, to read about it and of course understanding it. But we think that the most important step is actually the re-drawing, because it is in this phase that you can express the building with your own view, maybe alternating and somehow re-designing according your personal critique.
That helps you, again, not only to study a contemporary and iconic architecture through its drawings, but also it allows you developing a personal and critical thinking.
How did you approach the research and understanding of the building of Casa da Musica?
We started following two different approaches. We have focused on the same time to the external view and how the building is related to the context, but in the meantime we have interrogated the interior of the building with more technical drawings. We have tried to develop our personal idea about The Casa da Musica from the ample gallery of pictures and drawings in the El Croquis and in a second time we have started to read many articles about the building to see if our idea was related or not to that.
Through this method, we investigated how contemporary architecture could be used and lived, going beyond its aesthetic and functional role.
Had/ have you visited the site before? If not, how did you acquaint yourselves with both the building and it context? How pivotal was the interest and google maps?
We haven’t visited the site before. We used mostly google maps to understand the site and the context and the gallery of images in El Croquis. Also we found really useful the video realised by Tomas Koolhaas, the documentary about the Casa da Musica, showing how the building is lived by an unusual user.
What informed the response to the brief and structure?
We wanted to investigate one of our favourite theme in architecture: the relationship between the architecture itself and the everyday life; to do that, we analyzed Casa da Musica and its spaces through the images that we found on El Croquis.
We imagined, also, a story between architecture and three different users, based on the main functions of Casa da Musica: the orchestra, the audience and the cleaning staff, linked to the drawing we wanted to draw.
The final drawing is the main inner space of Casa da Musica divided in two different scenes: the first one wants to represent the space during a concert, highlighting the relation between the architecture, the orchestra and the audience, while the second one represents a post-concert and the relation between the architecture, the audience and the cleaning staff.
The image is mirrored to highlight the fact that all the actions can happen in the same space, but in two different moments.
How do the words selected drive the image and vice versa?
Our drawing started from the words and from the concept beyond them. We would like to express an idea that is not the main point in most of the architecture magazines or sites, that is why our first word is #MagazineCrit. Based on it we have linked the other words and we have started the drawing.
Once the image was done we have done some changes to the words to be more powerful and self-explaining; for us, it was fundamental try to explain that our goal was to highlight how contemporary architecture is really lived by different users, not only through photos on catalogs but trying to imagine two every-day-scenarios inside architecture itself.
What is for you the power of the image within architectural discourse?
Nowadays, images are an amazing tool because, through them, you can highlight a point, express a critique, support an idea or go against it. With a drawing you are somehow analysing all, or just some of all the layers of the architecture and when you start to draw your image you are also giving it a new and maybe different concept to the reality.
We think in the last years the power of the images is raising incredibly. There is an amazing research and share of the architecture on paper, this is how our generation of architects could express their ideas and theory.
What is for you the architect's most important tool?
We think that one and only one fundamental tool exists but trust in the use of a combination of tools and medium.
It’s important to study and learn how to read the architectural drawings to develop a critical method and a personal way of thinking.
The drawing itself it’s the architectural tool par excellence; through it, architects can explain their ideas and visions, so it’s important to establish a strong general concept first and then express your ideas with a super detailed drawing or with just one line, depending on what you want to say by the image.
The aim of the “Re-Draw” competition is to develop one visual to ‘represent’ an iconic architecture.
The participants are asked to draft one image, with absolute freedom of scale, technique, and level of abstraction. We encourage creativeness, criticality, and innovation. The drawing can highlight functional aspects of the building, showing a deep understanding of one or more design aspects. It can focus on the aesthetic qualities, experimenting and mastering a drawing technique with hyper-realistic outcomes, or it can be an optical deformation, a caricatural interpretation, a distant abstraction of the built architecture. The drawing can strengthen a conventional interpretation of architecture, or explore a new angle, a new point of view, intellectual and/or physical. The building can be portrayed as a whole, a part, or a collage of disconnected moments. The entry is completely flexible and adaptable to the participant’s interpretation.