Bijoy Jain: “Architecture Is Not About an Image, It Is About Sensibility”

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MPavilion, Melbourne, Australia (2016). Image © John Gollings MPavilion, Melbourne, Australia (2016). Image © John Gollings Bijoy Jain, the founder of Indian practice Studio Mumbai, has long been well-known for his earth-bound material sensibilities, and an approach to architecture that bridges the gap between Modernism and vernacular construction. The recent opening of the third annual MPavilion in Melbourne, this year designed by Jain, offered an opportunity to present this architectural approach on a global stage. In this interview as part of his “City of Ideas” series, Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Bijoy Jain about his design for the MPavilion and his architecture of “gravity, equilibrium, light, air and water.”

Ahmedabad Residence, Ahmedabad, India (2014). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai Copper House II, Chondi, Maharashtra, India (2012). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai Carrimjee House, Kankeshwar, Alibuag, Maharashtra, India (2014). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai Tara House, Kashid, Maharashtra, India (2005). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai

561/63 Saat Rasta, Byculla West, Mumbai, India (2015). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai 561/63 Saat Rasta, Byculla West, Mumbai, India (2015). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
Vladimir Belogolovsky: Let’s start with your MPavilion design here in Melbourne. You said about this project, "I want it to be a symbol of the elemental nature of communal structures. I
Ganga Maki Textile Studio, Bhogpur Village, Dehradun, India (2015). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
MPavilion, Melbourne, Australia (2016). Image © John Gollings
Palmyra House, Nandgaon, Maharashtra, India (2007). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
MPavilion, Melbourne, Australia (2016). Image © John Gollings
Ganga Maki Textile Studio, Bhogpur Village, Dehradun, India (2015). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
561/63 Saat Rasta, Byculla West, Mumbai, India (2015). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
561/63 Saat Rasta, Byculla West, Mumbai, India (2015). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
Ahmedabad Residence, Ahmedabad, India (2014). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
Ahmedabad Residence, Ahmedabad, India (2014). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
Tara House, Kashid, Maharashtra, India (2005). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
Bridge by the Canal, Triennale Brugge (2015). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
Copper House II, Chondi, Maharashtra, India (2012). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
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Paulo Mendes da Rocha: “Architecture Does Not Desire to Be Functional; It Wants to Be Opportune”

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Museu Brasileiro de Escultura (MuBE), 1995. Image © Nelson Kon Museu Brasileiro de Escultura (MuBE), 1995. Image © Nelson Kon Paulo Mendes da Rocha is one of Brazil's most celebrated architects. And, in spite of the fact that very little of his work can be found outside São Paulo, his “Paulista Brutalism” is revered worldwide, earning him the Pritzker Prize in 2006 and, just last week, the Royal Institute of British Architects' Gold Medal. In light of the RIBA Gold Medal news, as part of his “City of Ideas” column, Vladimir Belogolovsky here shares an interview conducted with Mendes da Rocha in 2014. The interview was conducted in Mendes da Rocha's office in São Paulo with the help of Brazilian architect Wilson Barbosa Neto acting as translator, and was originally published in Belogolovsky's book, “Conversations with Architects in the Age of Celebrity.” Vladimir Belogolovsky: In your short text "The Americas, Architecture and Nature," you say
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Capela de São Pedro, 1999. Image © Cristiano Mascaro
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 1998. Image © Nelson Kon
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 1998. Image © Nelson Kon
Museu Brasileiro de Escultura (MuBE), 1995. Image © Nelson Kon
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 1998. Image © Nelson Kon
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 1998. Image © Nelson Kon
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Capela de São Pedro, 1999. Image © Cristiano Mascaro
Museu Brasileiro de Escultura (MuBE), 1995. Image © Nelson Kon
Museu Brasileiro de Escultura (MuBE), 1995. Image © Nelson Kon
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 1998. Image © Nelson Kon
© Andrea Altemulher
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Ricardo Bofill: “Why Are Historical Towns More Beautiful Than Modern Cities?”

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La Muralla Roja, Alicante, 1973. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill La Muralla Roja, Alicante, 1973. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill To the uninitiated, Ricardo Bofill might come across as something of a chameleon. Comparing the post-modernism of his projects in Paris of the 1980s, his recent glass-and-steel towers, and the stark stoicism of his own home and studio which he renovated in the 1980s, one would be forgiven for thinking that there is no consistent thread present throughout his work. However, as Bofill reveals in this interview from Vladimir Belogolovsky's “City of Ideas” series, his designs are actually rooted in concepts of regionalism and process which, while recently popular with the architectural community at large, have underpinned his architectural mind since his twenties. Vladimir Belogolovsky: Your office, a former cement factory, La Fabrica, built back in late 19th century here in Barcelona is fascinating. Would you say it is a manifesto project and is it
La Fabrica, Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona, 1975. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
Walden-7, Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona, 1975. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
The Pyramid, Spanish-French Border, 1976. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
Les Espaces D´Abraxas, Le Palacio, Le Théâtre, L´Arc New Town Of Marne La Vallée Region Of Paris, France, 1982. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
La Fabrica, Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona, 1975. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
La Fabrica, Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona, 1975. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
La Fabrica, Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona, 1975. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
Single-family house in Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain, 1960. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
La Muralla Roja, Alicante, 1973. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
Walden-7, Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona, 1975. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
Walden-7, Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona, 1975. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
Les Arcades Du Lac. Le Viaduc, Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines, Paris, 1982. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
Les Espaces D´Abraxas, Le Palacio, Le Théâtre, L´Arc New Town Of Marne La Vallée Region Of Paris, France, 1982. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
Nansha New City, Guangzhou, China, 1993. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
The Pyramid, Spanish-French Border, 1976. Image Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
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Project Meganom’s Yuri Grigoryan: “Freedom is When You Realize that Anything is Possible”

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Barn, Nikolo-Lenivets, Kaluga District, Russia, 2006. Image © Yuri Grigoryan Barn, Nikolo-Lenivets, Kaluga District, Russia, 2006. Image © Yuri Grigoryan Yuri Grigoryan founded Project Meganom in 1999 in Moscow with his partners Alexandra Pavlova, Iliya Kuleshov, and Pavel Ivanchikov. Together, the group all graduated from Moscow’s Architectural Institute, MArchI in 1991, the year of the Soviet Union’s collapse, and then practiced at the studio of Moscow architect Alexander Larin. Today Project Meganom is headed by Grigoryan, Iliya Kuleshov, Artem Staborovsky, and Elena Uglovskaya, and keeps in close contact with the theoretical side of architecture: Grigoryan teaches at his alma mater and until recently he was the Director of Education at Strelka Institute, founded in 2009 under the creative leadership of Rem Koolhaas, while in 2008 the practice was involved in the Venice Architecture Biennale with their San Stae project for curator Yuri Avvakumov's “BornHouse” exhibition. All of this gives Grigoryan an interesting overview of Russia's unique architectural
Barn, Nikolo-Lenivets, Kaluga District, Russia, 2006. Image © Yuri Grigoryan
Theater Mercury, Moscow, 2006. Image © Marco Zanta
Molochny Lane residential building, Moscow, 2003. Image © Yuri Palmin
Theater Mercury, Moscow, 2006. Image Courtesy of Project Meganom
Molochny Lane residential building, Moscow, 2003. Image © Yuri Palmin
Church of San Stae for "BornHouse" exhibition, Venice Architecture Biennale, 2008. Image © Yuri Grigoryan
Villa Rosa, Moscow, 2004. Image © Yuri Palmin
Theater Mercury, Moscow, 2006. Image Courtesy of Project Meganom
Moscow River Competition, 2014 (under construction). Image Courtesy of Project Meganom
Masterplan of former ZIL automobile factory redevelopment, Moscow (ongoing). Image Courtesy of Project Meganom
Theater Mercury, Moscow, 2006. Image © Yuri Palmin
Theater Mercury, Moscow, 2006. Image © Marco Zanta
Masterplan and renovation of The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (ongoing). Image Courtesy of Project Meganom
Barn, Nikolo-Lenivets, Kaluga District, Russia, 2006. Image © Yuri Grigoryan
1:1 Model of the Villa Rosa, Moscow, 2004. Image © Yuri Palmin
Masterplan and renovation of The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (ongoing). Image Courtesy of Project Meganom
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Interview with Zvi Hecker: “Good Architecture Cannot Be Legal; It Is Illegal!”

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Heinz-Galinski School Berlin, Germany, 1995. Image © Michael Krüger Heinz-Galinski School Berlin, Germany, 1995. Image © Michael Krüger

Throughout the course of his career, the forms present in Zvi Hecker's work have undergone significant changes – from the rigidly geometric shapes of his early work such as his Ramot Polin housing and Synagogue in the Negev Desert, to his more freeform recent works like the Jewish School he designed in Berlin. Hecker, though, sees all of his works as both consistent with each other and individual, describing himself as “an artist whose profession is architecture.” In this interview from his “City of Ideas” column, Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Hecker about his inspirations and the ideas that underpin his career.

Vladimir Belogolovsky: I visited the Heinz-Galinski school here in Berlin where your original idea came from the pattern of sunflower seeds; it was not the first time you used it. Could you talk about your fascination

Spiral Apartment House, Ramat Gan, Israel, 1989. Image © Zvi Hecker
Spiral Apartment House, Ramat Gan, Israel, 1989. Image © Zvi Hecker
Ramot Polin Housing, Jerusalem, Israel, 1975. Image © Rudolf Klein
Synagogue in the Negev Desert, Military Academy, Israel, 1969. Image © Zvi Hecker
Heinz-Galinski School Berlin, Germany, 1995. Image © Zvi Hecker
Heinz-Galinski School Berlin, Germany, 1995. Image © Zvi Hecker
Heinz-Galinski School Berlin, Germany, 1995. Image © Michael Krüger
Heinz-Galinski School Berlin, Germany, 1995. Image © Zvi Hecker
Heinz-Galinski School Berlin, Germany, 1995. Image © Zvi Hecker
Heinz-Galinski School Berlin, Germany, 1995. Image © Zvi Hecker
Heinz-Galinski School Berlin, Germany, 1995. Image © Zvi Hecker
Heinz-Galinski School Berlin, Germany, 1995. Image © Zvi Hecker
Heinz-Galinski School Berlin, Germany, 1995. Image © Zvi Hecker
Heinz-Galinski School Berlin, Germany, 1995. Image © Zvi Hecker
Heinz-Galinski School Berlin, Germany, 1995. Image © Zvi Hecker
Heinz-Galinski School Berlin, Germany, 1995. Image © Michael Krüger
Spiral Apartment House, Ramat Gan, Israel, 1989. Image © Zvi Hecker
Spiral Apartment House, Ramat Gan, Israel, 1989. Image © Zvi Hecker
Spiral Apartment House, Ramat Gan, Israel, 1989. Image © Zvi Hecker
Spiral Apartment House, Ramat Gan, Israel, 1989. Image © Zvi Hecker
Spiral Apartment House, Ramat Gan, Israel, 1989. Image © Zvi Hecker
Spiral Apartment House, Ramat Gan, Israel, 1989. Image © Zvi Hecker
Spiral Apartment House, Ramat Gan, Israel, 1989. Image © Zvi Hecker
Spiral Apartment House, Ramat Gan, Israel, 1989. Image © Zvi Hecker
Ramot Polin Housing, Jerusalem, Israel, 1975. Image © Rudolf Klein
Ramot Polin Housing, Jerusalem, Israel, 1975. Image © Rudolf Klein
Spiral Apartment House, Ramat Gan, Israel, 1989. Image © Zvi Hecker
Ramot Polin Housing, Jerusalem, Israel, 1975. Image © Rudolf Klein
Ramot Polin Housing, Jerusalem, Israel, 1975. Image © Rudolf Klein
Synagogue in the Negev Desert, Military Academy, Israel, 1969. Image © Zvi Hecker
Synagogue in the Negev Desert, Military Academy, Israel, 1969. Image © Henry Hutter
Synagogue in the Negev Desert, Military Academy, Israel, 1969. Image © Zvi Hecker
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Interview with Toshiko Mori: “Rather Than Working With Forms, We Work With Forces”

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Newspaper Café in China. Image © Iwan Baan Newspaper Café in China. Image © Iwan Baan As a Japanese immigrant who has spent much of her life in the United States, the architecture of Toshiko Mori occupies an interesting space: on one hand, the material and tectonic culture of Japan is, as she puts it, her “DNA.” On the other hand, her work clearly draws inspiration from the Modernists of 20th century America, and most notably from Mies van der Rohe. In this interview from his “City of Ideas” series, Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Mori (his former architecture professor) about materials, details, and the inspiration behind her work. Vladimir Belogolovsky: You came to the US as a teenager with your parents from Japan in the 1960s. Were you interested in art early on back in Japan or was it something that you discovered already here? Toshiko Mori: I was already interested in art as a
Syracuse Center for Excellence, Syracuse, NY. Image © Iwan Baan
House in Columbia County, NY with Antony Gormley sculpture. Image © Iwan Baan
Extension to Marcel Breuer's House in Connecticut II. Image © Paul Warchol
Cultural Center in Senegal (Thread: Artists’ Residency + Cultural Center). Image © Iwan Baan
House in Columbia County, NY with Antony Gormley sculpture. Image © Iwan Baan
Extension to Marcel Breuer's House in Connecticut II. Image © Paul Warchol
Addition to the Paul Rudolph-designed house near Sarasota, Florida. Image © Paul Warchol
Laboratory building for Novartis, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Image © Iwan Baan
House in Columbia County, NY with Antony Gormley sculpture. Image © Iwan Baan
House in Connecticut II, extension to Marcel Breuer. Image © Paul Warchol
Cultural Center in Senegal (Thread: Artists’ Residency + Cultural Center). Image © Iwan Baan
Darwin Martin House Visitor Center, Buffalo, NY, a visitor center to Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House. Image © Paul Warchol
Addition to the Paul Rudolph-designed house near Sarasota, Florida. Image © Paul Warchol
Guest house near Sarasota, FL. Image © Paul Warchol
Site model for Darwin Martin House Visitor Center, Buffalo, NY. Image © Toshiko Mori Architect
Cultural Center in Senegal (Thread: Artists’ Residency + Cultural Center). Image © Iwan Baan
Newspaper Café in China. Image © Iwan Baan
Syracuse Center for Excellence, Syracuse, NY. Image © Iwan Baan
Extension to Marcel Breuer's House in Connecticut II. Image © Paul Warchol
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