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hintergrund 19

Lacaton & Vassal. Jenseits der Form

Anne Lacaton and Jean Philippe Vassal are among the important representatives of the diverse and exciting contemporary French architectural scene, opening up a new position in the international architectural debate. They create atmospherically dense, human spaces with a high degree of economic and social responsibility. The Architekturzentrum Wien became aware of their work early on and commissioned the two architects to design the "most beautiful place in the Museumsquartier" (NZZ), the cafeteria UNA (today's Café Restaurant Corbaci). The Hintergrund 19 sheds light on the multifaceted work of these two exceptional architects.



Lacaton & Vassal are probably the most radical architects of our time. Their radicalism is not driven by the invention of new forms, but by the permanent question of the adequate use of material means to achieve optimal atmospheres. It is fascinating to observe how they always keep the richest spatial offer as their goal in every building task, from the simple, cheap single-family house to the luxury hotel. In doing so, they liberate themselves in a fundamental way from all conventional images and ideas, constantly seeking to challenge the conventions they have practiced. At a time when architecture is seen primarily as a producer of spectacular images, it is downright provocative when the refusal of these images is propagated as a solution.

Her working method is just as radical as her architectural position. Nothing is captured by drawing. After intensive research, they spend a lot of time at the site to be built on and often the solutions, after many discussions and considerations, come from completely different fields of application. The material is not chosen by the two architects according to aesthetic aspects or cost-relevant premises. Based on the requirements of a design, the properties of various materials are examined in detail with the question of the usefulness of conventional construction methods and then used according to logical technical aspects.