Samstag, 6. März | 18:30

Z33 House for Contemporary Art | Yangshuo Pavilion

As architects, we are always confronted with areas that were already inhabited, whether it is a landscape or an urban context. It is never a tabula rasa. The underlying question of our profession is perhaps how to successfully observe and recognise the “cultural structure” of a place, meaning those permanencies that cannot be ascribed to a language or a form, though inevitably express the cultural cipher, as well as the technique and availability of means and materials specific to an historical period and that therefore cannot be reproduced, and consist of spatial relationships that are specific to each place. These relationships, between human constructions and a topography and among the constructions themselves, are not parametric nor linguistic. Indeed, they can be identified and measured, but they do not address univocally a set of ratios nor a deterministic parametric rule; they seem to be the result of building gestures being repeated over centuries, with different phrasing and even contradictions. The question “how do we know what we know” arises. Observing human phenomena trains a sort of empathy. It does take patience and an open mind curiosity to overcome one’s own individuality and be able to read, as well as, to learn from the contradictory experiences of others’ lives and cultures. The privilege of our profession is that to offer us the possibility to arrange spatial dispositions which reflect these experiences, thus belong harmoniously to the slow phenomena of human culture, that unravels far beyond the lifetime of a human being.

Francesca Torzo, born 1975 in Padova, Italy. She established her studio in 2008. Since 2017 she holds professorship at BAS and at AAM. In 2020 she is winner of WA Moira Gemmill Prize. Z33 project (BE) is awarded the Piranesi award in 2018 and the Italian Architecture Prize in 2020.