In the words of Henrik der Minassian, director of the ROM Gallery, ‘It was high time that Oslo should pay homage to one of the international architects most committed to this city by virtue of his contribution to its modernisation and to its re-encounter with the sea. Juan Herreros has brought a new breath of innovation to Oslo in the form of projects which, though audacious, are nonetheless grounded on maximum intellectual proficiency. Engaging in reflections on the public content of architecture that Herreros proposes implies forming part and sharing the concerns of the international avant-garde in their quest for the meaning of the contemporary city in a world full of contradictions. Ample evidence of this is the profusion of media and forums all round the world that have echoed the project for the Munch Museum and its area.’
In Greek, the word BANQUET is synonymous with ‘symposium’; indeed, the philosopher Plato used the word as the heading for one of his dialogues. The sum of both meanings added to love, the subject of conversation among the philosophers who had gathered at Plato’s banquet, served as the inspiration for the configuration of this exhibition which, according to the architect, ‘brings together the materials that bear the imprint of the enthusiasm and effort needed to make ideas shine that are first intuitively perceived and subsequently developed, adapted and corrected a thousand and one times in a process of trial and error, both physical and intellectual’.
The exhibition will display fragments of real façades, such as that of the Hispasat office building; videos of industrialised architecture montages like the Garoza House or the Camera Oscura project; maquettes of experiments conducted in the sphere of rural development, such as the Fundación Ibarrola and the house in Artá; prototypes of projects under development like the series of Tensegrity lamps or the ‘Miombos Arco’; and large-format images of projects such as the Torre Panamá and the ‘Urban Hut’ in Korea. However, the exhibition’s star attraction is the Munch Museum and its surrounding area. Exhibits related to this ambitious project will include a series of maquettes illustrating the laborious adjustment process, experiments with façades at different scales, 1:1 drawings, versions still being discussed of housing typologies and a film in which Juan Herreros himself explains the project, which is destined to change the city’s physiognomy and, together with the Snøhetta Opera House, is already regarded as constituting the Oslo postcard for the year 2015. On the strength of this project, Juan Herreros was awarded the 2010 ‘architect of the year’ prize by the journal AD and, by virtue of its quality and stringency, he was given the special mention in the category of urbanism at the latest edition of the Bienal de Arquitectura Española. The Banquets
The exhibition, which can be seen until October 16 2011, besides showing and reflect the imaginary and the particular work method of the team led by Juan Herreros, will be accompanied by a programme of events called ‘banquets’, with contributions by international figures in the world of art and architecture such as Moritz Küng, Knut Eirick and Joseph Grima. Thursday September 8th at 19:00:ART + ARCHITECTURE:
Defining, designing, building and activating spaces is the creative basis for both art and architecture. We recognise the independence and the desirability of each of these professions, but… are art and architecture merely two parallel lines? And if this is not the case, how and where do they meet? Does the art + architecture formula exist?...
Thursday September 22nd at 19:00:NEW MUSEUMS
- Joseph Grima. Editor in chief of Domus magazine and ex-director of StoreFront gallery in NYC (EE.UU).
- Gunnar B. Kvaran Director Astrup Fearnley Museum of contemporary art.
- Sami Rintala & Dagur Eggertsson, Architects, Oslo.
- Knut Eirik Dahl. Architect and Professor at the Institute of Urbanism and Landscape at AHO in Oslo. Among others and the public.
The museum has become not only a place in which to exhibit art but also a space for education, for discovery of oneself and of others, and for comprehension of the past-present-future of ideas-culture-society through the encounter with contemporary culture. How does the ‘container’ affect the ‘contents’ and what influence do curatorial processes exert on these new museums?
Thursday October 6th at 19:00:CULTURE AS INFRASTRUCTURE
- Audun Eckoff. Director of National Museum of art, architecture and design, Oslo.
- Per Gunnar Tverbakk. Director of Kunsthall Oslo.
- Moritz Küng. Director of Canódrom, Barcelona.
- Klaus Schuwerk & Jan Kleihues. Architects, Winners of the competition for the new National Museum. Among others and the public.
If by infrastructure we understand something which allows something else to work, and we understand that new technologies augment the effect of any form of message, we may describe culture as an infrastructure in itself. But technology is merely a tool. Societies depend on new ideas, and these come from people. Is investment in culture an investment in infrastructure? Does investing in culture mean investing in our future?
- Llàtzer Moix. Journalist and architecture & design critic, Barcelona.
- Bartomeu Marí Director of Contemporary Museum of Modern Art Barcelona MACBA.
- Jan Åman. Curator and writer Stockholm, Sweden.
- Kjetill Thorsen. Architect, Principal of Snøhetta, Oslo / NYC.
- Stein Olav Henrichsen. Director of Munch Museum, Oslo.
- Antoni Muntadas. Artist, NYC. Among others and the public.
All conversation events will be attended by Juan Herreros, Jens Richter and a representative from LPO architects!About Juan Herreros
Juan Herreros is professor at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and at Columbia University, New York, responsibilities he shares with 25 years’ activity as a professional architect at the front line of the international avant-garde, as we learn from the profusion of his awards, exhibitions and publications all over the world.
His studio, Herreros Arquitectos, advocates a work philosophy based on the creation of platforms to which clients, experts and involved parties are invited to contribute ideas on the basis of which to develop technical research and the quest for a specific idiom for each project.
Herreros Arquitectos’s international activity is based on constant, successful presence at competitions and securing briefs in countries like Belgium, France, Uruguay, Mexico, Panama, Korea, Norway and the United States. The studio is at present engaged in building the Banco Panamá tower in Ciudad de Panamá, the Four Ways Cross in Gwangju (Korea) and has begun the design for a hotel, market, hospital, office and shopping centre complex in Querétaro, Mexico. Their most important work, however, is undoubtedly is the design and construction of the advanced district of Bjorvika (Special Mention at the Spanish Architecture Biennial) and the Edvard Munch Museum, both in Oslo.
Herreros has won awards such as the Solutia Internacional and Construmat prizes, as well as distinctions granted by the city councils of Madrid and Barcelona, the official architects’ associations of Madrid, the Balearics and Las Palmas and several Spanish Architecture biennials. He has also been runner-up for the FAD and Mies van der Rohe awards. Outstanding among the vast number of exhibitions of his work is his presence at the three latest anthologies organised by the New York Museum of Modern Art: Light Construction (1995), Groundswell (2004) and On Site (2006).
Juan Herreros is International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and has been nominated for the Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.