Lecture at Zhejiang University

Libin Chen, partner in the Shanghai office, will give a lecture at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou Friday 28 April. Titled ‘The extraordinary in the ordinary’, the talk will use examples of current and previous work to demonstrate the practice’s design approach. The talk will start at 13.30 in the An'zhong building and is open to the public.

Valentino Ginza flagship store opens in Japan

The new Valentino flagship store, located on Chuo-dori, Ginza’s main shopping avenue opened last Thursday. It forms part of the recently completed Ginza Six, a mixed-use development which is currently the largest retail facility in Tokyo’s famous shopping district.

Designed by DCA Milan, the five-storey store has an area of over 1,330 m² making it one of the largest Valentino flagships and the design represents a further evolution of the established concept. The main façade, which covers all five floors, is a contemporary interpretation of the traditional Japanese Noren and Shoji screens. Made of a stretched aluminum mesh and featuring integrated lighting, the screen generates different levels of permeability/visibility during both day and night.

DCA Milan has been working with Valentino since 2008.

Ria de Arousa update

The first few weeks of the second phase of the Ria de Arousa research project have seen the team focussing on the region’s urban and port areas as well as its infrastructure. Establishing and cataloguing land and building usage, and setting these into the wider urban context, they have been investigating the role of the ports, their future use, and how they can help re-connect the towns with the sea. The region’s infrastructure has also been analysed and will inform a plan for more sustainable mobility and access as well as improved roads.

In parallel to this research, meetings have been held with representatives from the Galician government, local authorities, fishing industries and sustainability bodies as the team seeks to build new and strengthen existing connections.

Progress will next be presented to the public at the 6th annual Forum of Restoration in Rianxo on 7 May.

The Ria de Arousa research project began in 2016 and its second phase started in February of this year.

1000 visit DCA Milano

Over 1000 people visited the David Chipperfield Architects Milan archive and atelier over the weekend, the opening of which coincided with the Fuorisalone 2017. The extensive archive contains original documents and models which were on display to the public. 

Image © Paola Pansini

Wish Magazine – Straight Lines

Wish Magazine, a monthly supplement in The Australian, features an article by Luke Slattery based on an interview with David.

Installation lights up RAM façade

An exhibition of recent work by Chinese artist Song Dong is on display at the Rockbund Art Museum. The entire building, which was restored and extended by the practice in 2010, has been transformed for the exhibition which is divided into seven ‘chapters’ following the Chinese literary tradition. Each of the building’s six floors are dedicated to a chapter, with the seventh, ‘Illumination’ reserved for the building’s exterior. LED lighting traces the contours of the 1933, former Royal Asiatic Society building’s façade.

The exhibition is open until 11 June.

Image: Zhexu Du for DCA

DCA Milan open day

David Chipperfield Architects Milan opens its doors to the public this weekend, on the occasion of Fuorisalone 2017. Together the atelier and archive hold around 70 study and presentation models developed over the last 10 years.

Open from Friday 7th until Sunday 9th April, from 10:00 until 18:00

Via Vigevano 8, Milan

Image © Paola Pansini

Walking through Whiteness

DCA Milano has designed a temporary installation in the Cortile d’Onore of the Palazzo Brera for the Milan design week. It is included in the White in the City exhibition curated by Giulio Cappellini, part of the Fuorisalone. Entitled Walking through Whiteness, the installation fuses the essential qualities of white – its nature, science and symbolism – into a single experience.


A white cube enclosing a room, the work is a space in which the qualities of white as the achromatic colour of maximum lightness and clarity can be explored.

Externally, it measures as a perfect 2.5m cube composed of white chalk beams. These beams, the first of three components that form the installation, are cut by Laboratorio Morseletto and slot together forming the horizontal courses of the structure.

Internally, the surfaces merge to create a space of whiteness in three dimensions, dissolving any sense of materiality. Covering the floor is the second white component: salt. This crystalline mineral element, an enduring symbol of life and purification, accumulates from the square perimeter of the room into a round central mound like a naturally occurring salt cone.

The third white component is a 5000-degree Kelvin beam of LED-light piercing through an aperture in the ceiling. Made by Viabizzuno, it is one of the whitest lights in existence and illuminates the salt crystal cone which reflects white light onto surrounding surfaces to generate an interplay of white references: concentrated/unsaturated, light/shade, smooth/rough, matte/bright – contributing to the sense of metaphysical space.

Image © Paola Pansini

Lezioni di Architettura e di Design

David Chipperfield Architects - Empirismo Idealista, has been published by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. This new, 144-page, pocket-monograph was produced in collaboration with the Architecture and Urban Studies Department of Politecnico di Milano and Abitare magazine. It features projects from all four offices and includes an interview with Prof. Ferruccio Izzo and Francesco Prosperetti. The volume can be acquired directly from Corriere della Sera.

Lyon Confluence

French magazine Le Moniteur has published a video on the Lyon Confluence project featuring interviews with the architects involved. The London office, together with Aires Mateus and Atelier VERA & Associés Architectes are designing eleven new buildings across two plots within a masterplan designed by Herzog de Meuron, situated at the meeting point of the Rhône and Saône rivers.

The interviews focus on the collaborative nature of the project – across European borders – which merge urban, architectural, and social ideas. The importance of a strong guiding framework in the creation of a successful city, as well as the use of large-scale models in the design process, are also discussed.

BLAU Magazin

Margit J Mayer talks with David in a wide-ranging interview published in the latest issue of German art magazine Blau. The article is the transcription of a conversation held at an event in Berlin earlier this month. Among the topics covered are the differences between artists and architects and the advantages of working within the cultural sector. 

‘Wir Zusammen’

In 2015 the Berlin office supported an exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt which drew attention to the social isolation of refugees in Germany. Inspired by contacts made, and realising that more could be done, the office subsequently set up a one-year trainee program for refugees which has been in place for over a year.

This commitment has now been formalised through a partnership with ‘Wir Zusammen’ (We together), a platform designed to assist companies looking to help refugees into the German workforce. Work is an important basis for integration in to a new environment and almost 200 companies have now signed up, recognising the many skills that migrants can offer. Beyond professional training, the practice enables the new employees to make contacts and learn a new language.

Ria de Arousa phase II begins

Last year, a research project was launched for the Ria de Arousa in Galicia, (in the north of Spain) which looked at ways of developing local economies and protecting natural and cultural assets in this unique coastal area. The first phase ended last July with a draft report presented to the regional authorities. A small team has now moved in to a temporary office in Ribeira, as the project enters its second phase. For the next five months, the team will map out issues relating to development and environmental protection through research and field work. 

A series of workshops and public presentations are to be held over the coming months and the findings of the study will be developed into a set of actions and strategies that centre around urban, architectural, environmental, cultural and economic issues. 

Image: View over A Pobra do Caramiñal and the Ria de Arousa by Adrian Capelo

Mixed-use complex in Munich

Following an international competition, the Berlin office has been commissioned to build a mixed-use complex on a site to the north of Munich’s central station. The area is presently dominated by manufacturing and light industry and the project supports its transformation into a more urban neighbourhood.

A new cubic volume with pre-fabricated concrete elements with added natural stone aggregate will bear reference to the freestanding industrial buildings in the vicinity. Mainly dedicated to office use, it will feature a central, internal courtyard framing a publicly accessible square. The project is due to complete in 2020.

Rockbund 6 nearly complete

Six years after completing the restoration of several historic colonial buildings in central Shanghai, the final piece of the development, a tower on the southern fringes of the site, has topped out. The tower is one of the new additions to the historic ensemble and rises from the 1897 Andrews & George building, adding eleven storeys above the three-storey listed façade. Clad in red brick, it refers to the urban fabric of the colonial buildings while its height mediates between the historic Bund and the high-rise city beyond

Kunsthaus Zurich

The Rotary Club in Zurich is hosting a lunch 17 March with David giving a lecture on the Kunsthaus project. Work started last autumn on the construction of the new building facing the existing museum across Heimplatz.

On 1 April the institution will host an open day, including hardhat tours of the construction site, with members of the project team. Construction progress can be followed via webcam.

Company headquarters in Paderborn

Work on the conversion of the former St. Vincenz hospital into a new headquarters for a family-run company in north west Germany, has started. The existing ensemble emerged from the war-damaged ruins of a former 17th century Capuchin monastery which had become a hospital. The project involves the removal of the post-war additions, exposing the historic building fabric, and the introduction of contemporary structures. 

Nobel Center in Swedish press

Two Swedish architecture magazines, RUM and Arkitektur have published interviews about the Nobel Center in Stockholm, which recently gained detailed planning approval.

In the latest issue of Arkitektur, David speaks with Julia Svensson about the increasing role of private finance in public building and how the architect can attempt to bridge the gap between commercial and public gain.

The February issue of RUM, which can now be read online, includes an interview with Mark Isitt about the role of criticism in shaping architecture, the civic nature of the Nobel Center and the consequences for the programme of altering the building’s size. The interview is accompanied by case studies of selected projects, including the Neues Museum, the Hepworth Wakefield and the private house in Corrubedo. 

Relaunch of Perm opera house project

Following a meeting on 3 March with the acting governor of Perm, Maxim Reshetnikov, David Chipperfield Architects has been invited to develop design proposals for a new free-standing building for the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre on the southern bank of the River Kama.

The exisiting opera house is one of the oldest and most important in Russia with historic and artistic ties to Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky and Sergey Diaghilev. Today it houses one of Russia's most prominent opera and ballet companies and the MusicAeterna orchestra and chorus, under the overall artistic leadership of Teodor Currentzis.

In 2010, the practice won an international competition for the refurbishment and extension of the historic opera house, pictured.

Topping out of Amorepacific

Construction on a new headquarters for Korean cosmetics company Amorepacific has reached a key stage with a topping out ceremony held on site in Seoul. The final beam was ceremonially raised to the top of the 22-storey tower. The building is designed around a central courtyard and has three large openings puncturing the squat volume, bringing light and air into an otherwise deep building plan. These openings will contain elevated gardens with generous views across the city. As well as office space, the new building will contain conference facilities and a new home for the Amorepacific Museum of Art. The project will be fully occupied in 2018.

RA Schools Auction

The Royal Academy will hold its annual dinner and auction Tuesday 14 March to help raise funds for the RA Schools.

The practice is currently overseeing the remodelling and redevelopment of the Royal Academy of Arts which will see Burlington House, home to the RA since 1868, connected to 6 Burlington Gardens, a 19th century building to the rear. A central public link will connect the two Grade II listed buildings, opening up access to the Royal Academy Schools and creating new public areas. Casting of the sculptural bridge that will connect these two buildings began on site last week. The project is expected to complete in time for the RA’s 250th anniversary in 2018.

To support the RA Schools, you can bid online until Monday 13 March.

The Museum and National Identity

David will take part in the third edition of the New York Times' 'Art for Tomorrow' conference in Doha next week. The conference brings together artists, architects, curators, museum directors and other cultural professionals for a series of discussions revolving around the theme of ‘Boundaries, Identity and the Public Realm’.

David will join Pedro Gadanho, artistic director of the MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) in Lisbon, for a discussion on the role that museums – both the buildings and the collections themselves – can play in defining national identity. The discussion will be moderated by Robin Pogrebin of the The New York Times and will take place at 10am local time on Saturday 11 March. 

UK-India Year of Culture

A reception to mark the launch of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017 was held at Buckingham Palace on Monday. A programme of exhibitions and activities in both countries will celebrate their close ties, with a focus on collaboration and interactivity. The practice’s first project in India, the Mughal Museum, is currently being built on a site close to the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Image: British Ceremonial Arts Limited

Picture of my life

For the ‘Picture of my life’ feature in the German Art magazine Weltkunst, David Chipperfield reflects on his personal fascination with Roger Fenton’s 1854 photograph of the Rievaulx Abbey ruins in Yorkshire.

Image: Gilman Collection, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2005

Ulises Carrión at Museo Jumex

A retrospective of one of Mexico’s best known conceptual artists, Ulises Carrión recently opened at the Museo Jumex in Mexico City. Under the title ‘Dear Reader. Don’t Read’ the exhibition contains nearly 350 pieces of the late artist’s work including books, magazines, film and sound pieces arranged across the naturally lit top floor galleries.

Carrión’s interest in structure and language, which was developed through his work as a writer and editor, takes shape through a series of freestanding cabinet-like structures forming a rough grid which refers to, but is separate from, the geometry of the gallery space. The cabinets contain printed artworks, writing and objects with videos shown on low tables and the perimeter walls.

The exhibition is open until 13 April.

Valentino London in AIT

The Valentino Bond Street flagship store is included in the latest issue of the German architecture and interiors magazine AIT which looks at the theme of 'Retail and Presentation'. The store, which opened last year, is part of an ongoing creative collaboration between David Chipperfield Architects Milan and Valentino.

Creative Talk – Form, Space and Materials

Mark Randel, partner in the Shanghai office, gave a public talk at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre on Friday 17 February as part of the Bangkok Design Festival. He spoke on dealing with historic fabric, the significance of ‘useless spaces’ and the importance of material choices, using projects from all four DCA studios. The conference was organised by ‘Art4d’, a Thai architecture and design magazine.

EU-UK Culture and Education series

The first event of the British Council’s EU-UK Culture and Education Series took place in Berlin on Thursday. David Chipperfield delivered the opening statement and participated in the day’s sessions. He spoke of his deep regret in seeing the UK vote to leave the European Union and the difficulties facing the creative industries moving forward.

Two further events in the next six months will gather together policy makers and representatives in the fields of culture, research and education from across Europe to discuss the practical implications of Brexit.

Jane Street approved by Landmarks Preservation Commission

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has given their consent for a six-storey apartment building located in the Greenwich Village Historic District. The revised scheme is inspired by the local vernacular and utilises slender red bricks with recessed lintels of pre-cast concrete and windows with bronzed frames. It will contain seven residences across six floors including two townhouses and a large penthouse at the top.

Nobel Center plans approved

The Nobel Center in central Stockholm has been granted detailed planning approval by the Stockholm County Administrative Board who have dismissed all remaining appeals against it. David Chipperfield Architects Berlin won the international competition to provide a home for the Nobel Prize on a prominent waterside location on the Blasieholmen peninsula in 2014. 

Der Spiegel – 11/02

Coverage of David Chipperfield Architects Berlin’s plans for the renovation of the Haus der Kunst in Munich has continued with an interview in the latest issue of German current affairs magazine Der Spiegel.

Südlicht interview on Haus der Kunst

In an interview with Bumillo, David Chipperfield explains the practice's plans for the refurbishment of the Haus der Kunst in Munich. Südlicht will air 8 February at 22:45 (CET) on the television channel Bayerischer Rundfunk.

Holocene oil lamp

A new oil lamp designed by David Chipperfield is being shown at the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair, part of the Stockholm Design Week. The lamp is made of sanded brass with two movable polished plates, which reflect the flame. It belongs to the Holocene series, by Swedish lighting company Wästberg, which also includes an oil lamp by Ilse Crawford and a candle holder by Jasper Morrison. The same company released the David Chipperfield-designed w102 table lamp in 2010. The Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair runs 7–11 February.

Image © Simon Menges

Edinburgh Concert Hall

David Chipperfield Architects has been shortlisted for a 1,000-seat concert venue in central Edinburgh. The new building will be located adjacent to the Grade A listed Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters on St Andrew Square, designed by William Chambers in 1771. It will provide a new home for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra as well as offering an additional venue for the Edinburgh International Festival. Richard Murphy, Barozzi Veiga, Allies and Morrison, KPMB Architects and David Adjaye make up the rest of the six-strong shortlist which was compiled from 69 expressions of interest. The winner will be announced in April.

Süddeutsche Zeitung – 28 January

Director of the Haus der Kunst Okwui Enwezor has written an article in Saturday’s Süddeutsche Zeitung on the restoration plans for the building. He points out that since World War II all exhibitions have acknowledged or even counteracted the building’s raison d'être and is adamant that it should be the institution’s programme, rather than the building itself that confronts the legacy of its Nazi-era construction. He is interested in repositioning the museum and transforming it into a contemporary institution while maintaining a serious rapport with its historical memory.

Is the building guilty? – A letter to The Architects’ Journal

In a letter published in The Architects’ Journal, David Chipperfield has defended the practice's plans for the renovation of the Haus der Kunst in Munich, which some critics have argued 'glorifies' the Nazi architecture. Questioning the need to hide the building, the scheme proposes removing the line of trees and opening the building up to the city. ‘The building that houses [the Haus der Kunst] must now assume new responsibilities beyond those inherited from its dark history, not by hiding its 'guilt' but by living with it, overcoming it, subverting it and leading it into an alternative future.’

In response The Architects’ Journal's editor-in-chief Christine Murray has written an opinion piece in which she calls the proposals ‘a brave leap in reclaiming this building for the city’.

Topping out of Zhejiang Museum

Work on the shell of the Zhejiang Museum of Natural History has completed in China. Set in an area of natural beauty amongst the forests and hills of the Zhejiang province, eight low-rise pavilion buildings are arranged around a central garden which serves as the main social area for the museum. Utilising the sloping topography, the landscape flows through the buildings towards a lake at the foot of the site. Green roofs and a façade of rendered plaster referencing the local earth tones strengthen the idea of a museum integrated into the landscape. With a total area of 54,000 m² the museum will be one of the largest in the world. It is expected to open to the public in March 2018.

Opening date for Carmen Würth Forum announced

The Carmen Würth Forum will officially open on 18 July 2017. The new building is situated in an open landscape in Künzelsau, southeast Germany. It houses an event hall with a capacity of 3,500 people and a chamber music hall with seating for 580. The uppermost level of the event hall rises as a glazed box above the surrounding landscape while the more intimate concert hall is situated below ground level. The forum will host company and external cultural events, providing an important new venue in the region. Shell construction of the project has now completed and work is set to begin on the interiors.

Image © David Chipperfield Architects

The year ahead

Best wishes for the new year from the DCA family.

This year will see the opening of The Bryant tower – a hotel and residential building in New York, the first phase of the Carmen Würth Forum – an event and chamber music hall in southern Germany, and on the other side of the globe the Inagawa Reien chapel project, set on a steep mountainside in central Japan.

Work will continue on numerous projects including Kunsthaus Zurich, Nobel Center in Stockholm, Amorepacific HQ in Seoul, the James Simon entrance building and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the Royal Academy of Arts and the conversion of the former US embassy in London. In China, work is expected to start on several new projects including the Zhejiang Medicine Headquarters and Shanghai Expo tower.

Further flagship stores with Valentino and Bally will complete and a first collaboration with SSENSE, the global online retailer, will see their inaugural store open in Montreal.

In addition to the built work, a major exhibition in Italy and a series of publications reflecting on the work of the practice are currently being developed.

Image © Ute Zscharnt for David Chipperfield Architects

10 anni a Milano

This year David Chipperfield Architects Milan celebrates its 10th anniversary.

The philosophy behind the new office space, opened in the Spring of this year, is conceived not only as a working and meeting space with an atelier-like character, but also as an area for presentations and socialising. 

We are thankful to everyone who has helped to form this great office.

Film by Raphael Chipperfield

Brioni Madison Avenue

Following the store concept designed by David Chipperfield Architects Milan, the interiors celebrate the fundamental architectural elements of columns – each crafted with precision from marbles rich in colour and history.

Film by Raphael Chipperfield

Valentino in Detail

Detail Inside, a special edition of the German architecture magazine focusing on interior projects, features a six-page article on the Valentino Flagship Stores in Rome and New York. The article describes the design concept of the Stores, the materials used and includes detailed sectional drawings of the shelf fittings, internal walls, and frames.

David Chipperfield Architects Milan has been working in close collaboration with Valentino creative management since 2008. The concept looks to create spaces of permanence and simplicity reminiscent of classical palazzi. A sequence of rooms, often in enfilade formation, are accessed through threshold portals and inhabited by seemingly transient lightweight display elements. Differing colours, textures, and light allow each space to possess a distinct atmosphere.

Image © Santi Caleca

European Cultural Heritage Year 2018

David Chipperfield has been named as an ambassador for the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 in a press conference held at the Altes Museum in Berlin. Funded by the European commission, the European Cultural Heritage Year will celebrate common cultural heritage in all its forms. In light of a heterogeneous European social structure and against the background of current political, social and economic change, the potential for identification, participation and development will be brought into focus. A programme of events across Europe in 2018 aims to raise awareness and education among younger generations.

‘The highlighting of our shared European heritage comes at a significant moment in our history. In these uncertain times, particularly for us British, it is a moment to reflect on the common values and shared history that unites us. Europe is a fascinating collage of cultural connections and differences. Nowhere is this more clearly documented and recorded than in our cultural patrimony. Alongside the other arts which are easier to acknowledge and protect, architecture and our built environment are more fragile representations of our shared cultural history. The future development of our cities and our society depends on an appreciation and understanding of the physical achievements of the past. The architecture of our cities is a physical record of our cultural and societal visions and a living document of the continuous sedimentation of the practical and the artistic, the monumental and the mundane.’

— David Chipperfield, 19 December 2016

Image © Dirk Dehmel

From left to right: Hermann Parzinger, David Chipperfield, Kathrin Hahne (BKM),

Helene Blum, Harald Haugaard, Janne Teller, Uwe Koch (DNK), Martina Münch

Evening Standard – 15 December

The remodelling of the Royal Academy of Arts is the subject of a feature article in the London Evening Standard. Architecture critic Robert Bevan visited the construction site of what will be the Royal Academy’s largest expansion since 1868. The masterplan includes a redevelopment of the two historic buildings which make up the Royal Academy: Burlington House, and the newly acquired 6 Burlington Gardens, situated to the north of the original building. A central link will connect these two buildings and open up access to previously unseen parts of the complex, while creating a public route between Piccadilly and Burlington Gardens. Coinciding with the Royal Academy’s 250th anniversary, the project is due for completion in 2018.

Mies under construction

The ongoing refurbishment of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie is the subject of an eight-page article in this month’s Bauwelt magazine. The museum was completed in 1968 and is currently undergoing major renovation for the first time in its history. Every detail of the building has been closely scrutinised to maintain the integrity of the original. The article describes the challenges of the restoration and includes recent photographs from the construction site.

David Chipperfield Architects Berlin was appointed to the project in 2012. The museum closed for refurbishment in 2015 and is due to reopen in summer 2020.

David Chipperfield Architects Milan in top ten

David Chipperfield Architects is the 6th largest architecture practice in Italy according to a new report released this week. The report, edited by Aldo Norsa, Professor of Architecture Technology at the IUAV (Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia), was published in Edilizia e Territorio, the weekly supplement of Il Sole 24 ore, Italy's business newspaper. The annual survey ranks Italian architecture and design firms by turnover. David Chipperfield Architects Milan recorded a turnover of 7 million Euros, a significant increase of 60% on the previous year. The result comes as the Milan office celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Lecture in Sydney

David Chipperfield and Christoph Felger will travel to Sydney next week to present the office's proposals for the Circular Quay Tower competition. To mark the visit David Chipperfield will give a public lecture focussing on the practice's recent work. The lecture is scheduled for Tuesday, 6 December at 6:30 pm at the Eternity Playhouse in the Darlinghurst district of the city

Baumeister curated by David Chipperfield Architects

David Chipperfield Architects Berlin and the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Public Building and Design have guest curated the December 2016 issue of the German architectural journal Baumeister.

The issue focuses on questions of perception and understanding of architecture. Gottfried Semper’s ‘Theorie des Stoffwechsels’, formulated in his opus 'Der Stil' (published in 1860) is used as a starting point. Usually translated as ‘metabolism’, in German the term ‘Stoffwechsel’ is more ambiguous, but it can be literally translated as ‘change of material’ (Stoff: material / Wechsel: change).

The magazine features articles by 13 different authors, an interview with David Chipperfield and Alexander Schwarz, and a series of photos taken in the shell construction of the James Simon Galerie on Museum Island in Berlin.

The German issue is available for purchase and an English version will be released shortly.

James Simon Galerie documentary to air 26 November

Ein Eingang für die Ewigkeit (An entrance for eternity) is a 45-minute documentary on the James Simon Galerie, the new entrance building for Berlin’s Museum Island, designed by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin and currently under construction. It is the 11th documentary on Museum Island by German filmmaker Carola Wedel, who has followed the rebuilding and restoration of the World Heritage site since 2001. Previous films include a 2009 documentary on the renovation and reconstruction of the Neues Museum. The programme will air on 26 November at 21:45 on the German channel 3Sat, with repeats on 4 December (ZDF) and 20 December (ZDFinfo).

Image © Ute Zscharnt for David Chipperfield Architects

First Phase of Selfridges Accessories Hall opens

The first phase of a major redesign and refurbishment of Selfridges’ Accessories Hall opened to the public today. The Accessories Hall occupies the ground floor of the classic East building and a later addition to the rear known as the SWOD (Somerset, Wigmore, Orchard and Duke Street) building. The redesign will give a consistent identity to these two spaces while a new entrance hall, the Somerset Street Link Building, will be inserted in between, connecting them together. The first phase sees the opening of the SWOD building section. The full project, including the Somerset Street Link Building, is due to open in 2018.

Image © Edward Park

Hepworth sculpture prize

A new sculptural prize, a first for the UK, was awarded to Helen Marten in a ceremony at the Hepworth Wakefield on Thursday. Created to celebrate the gallery's 5th anniversary this year, the biennial prize aims to demystify contemporary sculpture and is named after the great British artist Barbara Hepworth. David Chipperfield participated in the jury.
An exhibition featuring recent and new work by the four finalists, which also included Phyllida Barlow, Steven Claydon and David Medalla, opened in October and marks one of the most significant events in the gallery’s programme to date.
The exhibition is open until 19 February.

Image © Simon Menges

Grosvenor Square receives conditional planning permission

Following public consultation, the renovation and conversion of the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London, received conditional planning permission on Tuesday. David Chipperfield Architects will convert the iconic mid-twentieth century building, designed by Eero Saarinen, into a 137-room hotel with additional restaurants, retail and events space. The transformation centres around the preservation of the Modernist design while offering an accessible plan for its new purpose. All security measures and defensive characteristics will be removed, allowing the building to reconnect with the public realm of Grosvenor Square. The West side of the building will reopen the street, further reintegrating the site to its Mayfair surroundings. A vertically extended storey with a pavilion above will form a new crown for the building, and the landmark gilded eagle will remain on the façade. The project is expected to go on site following the embassy’s move to Nine Elms.

Planning permission for Sloane Avenue project

David Chipperfield Architects has received planning permission from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for the redevelopment of 60 Sloane Avenue. The proposals will now be put forward to the Greater London Authority. Built in 1911 to house Harrods’ motor car garage and workshops, the historic building is to be converted from office facilities to residential properties. Forty-nine lateral apartments of varying sizes will be arranged over six floors around a central open courtyard. The public realm at ground floor level will offer extensive retail spaces, as well as discreet residential lobbies and service yard facilities, with additional basement levels to house supporting technical functions and leisure facilities.

The redevelopment, inspired by the vision of the original architect C W Stephens, will complete the volume he intended. It replaces a three-storey glass extension from the early 1990s, with a stripped-down interpretation of the Harrods buildings' signature terracotta façade. An additional storey of attic style loggias extends the building, with a penthouse level above set back to recede within the townscape setting. 

Private studio in Berlin

A private studio, recently completed, is the subject of an extensive feature in this month’s Domus magazine. The two-storey former boathouse, which served as winter storage for the boats of the German lifeguard service, was given a new external cladding of glass and green timber elements. By placing this new façade in front of the former exterior walls, the original concrete remains visible while a dialogue is created between inside and outside, old and new. While the main characteristics of the original building, with its solid appearance remains preserved, the lighter skin lends the building a new openness. Generous floor-to-ceiling windows allow daylight to permeate the exhibition spaces and offer spectacular views over the lake.

Image © Ute Zscharnt for David Chipperfield Architects

Kunsthaus Zurich foundation ceremony

A foundation stone laying ceremony for the extension of the Kunsthaus Zurich took place on Tuesday 8 November. Guests from politics, business and culture attended the ceremony where David Chipperfield was one of six key figures to give a short speech. A time-capsule containing notes written by the speakers was subsequently buried on site.

Designed by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, the Kunsthaus Zurich extension will sit opposite the existing museum on a square in central Zurich. It will display a collection of classic modernism, the Bührle Collection, a contemporary art collection and temporary exhibition space. The distinct feature of the new building is the central entrance hall which connects a garden at the rear with the square at the front. This hall allows visitors to experience art in a publicly accessible space outside of the general museum activities.

image © Juliet Haller

Lecture in Zurich

To mark the occasion of the groundbreaking of the Kunsthaus Zurich extension David Chipperfield will give a public lecture at the Schweizer Baumuster-Centrale (Building Centre) in Zurich on 8 November. The Baumuster-Centrale is a public institution, founded in 1929, offering a forum for the display and discussion of materials and construction prototypes. The lecture will centre on the design for the Kunsthaus Zurich extension which will face the existing museum building across Heimplatz, a square in central Zurich. In keeping with the centre’s mission, the focus will be on the materiality of the new building.

Baukollegium Berlin

David Chipperfield has contributed an interview to the recently published book ‘Baukollegium Berlin’, edited by Berlin Senate Building Director Regula Lüscher. The Baukollegium is an independent advisory body made up of experts in the field of architecture, planning and urban development. The book reflects on the body’s role in the development of the city. It promotes the culture of building with examples that present their working methods and includes interviews and essays about Berlin. In his interview, David Chipperfield discusses the importance of good urban planning, looks at the differences between Berlin and London while considering the dangers Berlin faces moving forward.

Museo Jumex on RIBA International Prize shortlist

Museo Jumex in Mexico City has been placed on the final shortlist for the Royal Institute of British Architects’ inaugural global architecture award, the RIBA International Prize. Hundreds of entries from 50 countries were considered, with an initial shortlist of 30 including three of David Chipperfield Architects’ buildings, Moganshan Road, Saint Louis Art Museum and Museo Jumex. Today it has been announced that both the latter are among 21 buildings to receive an RIBA International Award for Excellence, with Museo Jumex one of six to be further considered for the ultimate RIBA International Prize.

A Grand Jury will visit the shortlisted projects in the coming weeks with the final winner being announced on Thursday 24 November. The jury includes Philip Gumuchdjian, founder of Gumuchdjian Architects and Chair of RIBA Awards, Billie Tsien, founding partner of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, Kunlé Adeyemi, founder and principal of NLÉ, Marilyn Jordan Taylor, Dean of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Fine Arts, and will be chaired by Lord Richard Rogers.

The Museo Jumex houses part of the Colección Jumex, one of the largest private art collections in Latin America. Defined by its tight, triangular plot, the ground level opens up to the city. Clad in locally sourced travertine the building is crowned by a distinctive sawtooth roof that brings natural light into the top floor galleries.

Image © Iwan Baan

Mughal Museum

Work is now on site for the Mughal Museum in Agra near the eastern gate of the Taj Mahal. The project is part of a larger masterplan led by Archohm for the surrounding area, which also comprises the Taj Orientation Centre and the Taj Ganj Visitors' Centre. The museum will accommodate 5,200 m² for permanent and temporary exhibitions and is dedicated to the history and culture of the Mughals, a dynasty that ruled over Northern India for over three centuries. Construction is scheduled to be completed next year.

Topping out of the Bryant

A ceremony marking the topping out of the Bryant in New York was held Tuesday evening on the tower’s 32nd floor. Invited guests and key journalists ascended the tower for a celebratory toast followed by a brief speech by David Chipperfield. The tower, which overlooks Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan, will contain a hotel and private residences as well as retail units on the ground floor. It follows the traditional New York tower tripartite arrangement of base, shaft and crown. Expected to be completed next spring, the Bryant is David Chipperfield Architects’ first residential tower in the United States.

Photograph by Billy Prendergast

LEAF Award win

Xixi Wetland Estate has won a LEAF (Leading European Architecture Forum) Award in the category of residential building of the year – multiple occupancy. The project, which was designed by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin and Shanghai, is located in a national wetland park on the outskirts of Hangzhou. The buildings are placed on stone plinths and sit in a water garden reminiscent of the wetland park.

The awards ceremony took place on the 14 October in London with the winner decided by a panel of nine judges.

Image © Simon Menges

David Chipperfield Architects assemble in Venice

Almost 300 members from all four offices in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai gathered in La Serenissima last weekend. All staff met in the Biennale grounds before visiting other sites in various parts of the city culminating in a grand party at the recently restored Scuola Grande della Misericordia in Cannaregio. The party was organised by David Chipperfield Architects Milan to celebrate their 10th anniversary and to mark the occasion of this remarkable gathering a photograph of the united offices was taken in the Giardini.

Image © Andrea Avezzù  

AIANY Rosenblatt Lecture

On Monday 17 October David Chipperfield will give the 10th annual Arthur Rosenblatt Memorial Lecture, an annual lecture on excellence in museum design hosted by the American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY) Cultural Facilities Committee. The lecture will centre on museum projects and look at the changing role of the museum.

Arthur Rosenblatt was the Vice President for Architecture and Planning at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for 19 years and director of the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the lecture series was set up to honour his long-term commitment to museum design. Notable former speakers include Richard Meier, Mosche Safdie, Todd Williams and Billie Tsien.

The event will be co-chaired by Scott Briggs and Heidi Kippenhan of the AIANY and hosted by the Center for Architecture in New York.

Image © Violet Office


In his new book ‘Nahaufnahmen – Fünfzig Gespräche mit dem Leben‘, the author, director and TV producer Gero von Boehm publishes 50 interviews with, amongst others, Lars Eidinger, Federico Fellini, Karl Lagerfeld, Arthur Miller, Helmut Newton, Peter Handke, Jonathan Meese, Susan Sontag, Patti Smith, Norman Mailer and David Chipperfield.


Gallery building ‘Am Kupfergraben 10’ donated to the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz

The family of art collector and curator Heiner Bastian has donated the gallery building ‘Am Kupfergraben 10’ in Berlin to the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) to be used as a centre for cultural education and communication. Completed in 2007 and designed by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, the building is located in direct vicinity to Berlin’s Museum Island. The Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz will use the new centre for workshops, lectures and roundtables relating to museum visits.

Image ©Ute Zscharnt for David Chipperfield Architects

Neues Museum drawing on display in Lisbon

The Neues Museum is featured in the 4th edition of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale. The Triennale is an open platform for debate, research and the promotion of contemporary architecture. This year’s edition, entitled ‘The Form of Form’ and curated by André Tavares and Diogo Seixas Lopes, aims to explore the possibility of architecture as a cultural device. The programme is structured around three core exhibitions: ‘The Form of Form’, ‘Building Site’ and ‘The World in Our Eyes’ as well as a number of further exhibitions and associated projects.

The ‘Building Site’ programme features a drawing mapping out the restoration of the ceiling of the Roman Room at the Neues Museum. The museum on Berlin’s Museum Island was rebuilt by David Chipperfield Architects and reopened in 2009, after more than sixty years as a ruin. The complex mapping of the restoration strategy demonstrates the multitude of individual procedures that were necessary for the conservation of the fragile original material. The drawing captures three distinct layers of information: the printed layer is a survey of the existing conditions prior to restoration; various codes and hatches instruct the conservators on how to treat the building surfaces; and the hand-drawn pencil annotations are added on-site, recording the work that has been done.

The Triennale takes place from 5 October to 11 December 2016. 

Topping out of the Carmen Würth Forum

Construction of the Carmen Würth Forum has reached a key stage with the topping out of the ‘event and chamber music hall’. The project, located adjacent to the Würth headquarters in Künzelsau, Southwest Germany, was designed by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin. The building is embedded in the landscape and will create a new plateau, with two retaining walls made of in-situ concrete framing an open courtyard in front of the main entrance. This space can be used for open-air concerts and other activities. The large indoor event hall is accessed from a naturally lit foyer. While the lower part of this hall is sunk, the upper part is glazed and rises above the terrain. A small chamber music hall is placed adjacent to the main hall and is only perceptible from the outside as an undulation of the landscape. Completion of the ‘event and chamber music hall’ is due in July 2017. A conference centre and a museum for the Würth art collection are to follow in a second construction stage.

Restorations and reconstructions: reflections on Berlin

David Chipperfield will give the keynote lecture at the 6th Baltic Sea Region Cultural Heritage Forum in Kiel today. The conference aims to raise awareness of post-war built cultural heritage and brings together experts from the heritage sector, architects, planners, researchers, politicians, property owners, developers and other related professions.

Under the title: ‘Restorations and reconstructions: reflections on Berlin’, the lecture will centre on work in Berlin and specifically the 11-year restoration of the Neues Museum and the ongoing refurbishment of Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie. The former is a balancing act between repairing, conserving, restoring and recreating while the latter is closer to the meticulous restoration of ancient monuments. Reflecting on different approaches the lecture will argue that energetic public engagement is crucial to the ongoing debate about the development and protection of our cities.

Image © Jörg von Bruchhausen

Süddeutsche Zeitung – 25th September

Following a public talk given by David Chipperfield at the Haus der Kunst in Munich on Friday 16th September, this weekend’s Süddeutsche Zeitung featured an article on the practice’s vision for the renovation of the museum. In conversation with museum director Okwui Enwezor, David Chipperfield elaborated on issues surrounding the design and renovation of landmark buildings before presenting his draft concept for the Haus der Kunst. The article discusses plans to better integrate the building into the city fabric and to bring parts that have been closed off for years back into public use.

Valentino London and Rome

Two Valentino flagship stores in London and Rome are the subject of an extensive feature in this month’s Domus magazine. David Chipperfield Architects Milan has been working in close collaboration with Valentino’s creative directors since 2008. The concept is centred on the idea of creating spaces of permanence and simplicity reminiscent of classical palazzi. The format replaces the usual superficial decoration and scenography often used for retail spaces with a timeless expression of architectural form in durable and solid materials. Both the London and Rome stores mark an important step in the store concept’s evolution. The store on Bond Street occupies the entire building with a new façade which introduces Portland stone to the palette, while a core element housing the lifts and staircases is entirely made of oak. Returning to Valentino’s original roots in Rome, new materials and local techniques have been added to the established vocabulary. Non-structural arches on the first floor have been finished with polished white plaster while on the ground floor double layers of brick combine both loadbearing and reinforcing arches.

Piranesi Prix de Rome 2016

A team from the University of Stuttgart led by Alexander Schwarz in collaboration with David Chipperfield Architects Berlin are one of three winners of the Piranesi Prix de Rome’s Imperial Forum competition. Organised by the Accademia Adrianea di Architettura e Archologia, the international ideas competition called for proposals that looked at the relationship between architecture and archaeology. The brief focussed on Rome’s central area, the Via dei Fori Imperiale which is situated between the Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum.

The design centres on the transformation of the 1930’s urban axis and the historic excavation area into a central park. Inspired by the tradition of the romantic landscape garden, the different archaeological layers are modulated into a continuous topography. Six new buildings, including a museum, a new main entrance to the Forum Romanum, a restaurant, a café and an underground antiquarium, are inserted into the landscape. 

Renovate/Innovate – Talk with Okwui Enwezor

On Friday 16th September Haus der Kunst in Munich will host a conversation between David Chipperfield and museum director Okwui Enwezor. The talk forms part of a series of public conversations being hosted by Haus der Kunst on the state of the museum as a cultural and social conductor in today’s global culture. The topic of the conversation will be 'Renovate/Innovate' and will look at issues surrounding the design and renovation of landmark buildings, the civic function of museums in the contemporary public sphere and the role of art institutions as spaces of creativity and production of cultural capital. In 2013 David Chipperfield Architects was commissioned to lead an extensive renovation of Haus der Kunst, and the series of talks marks the beginning of this process.

For tickets and further information please visit the Haus der Kunst website.

Image © Ute Zscharnt for David Chipperfield Architects

Topping out of the Inagawa Reien project in Japan

The topping out ceremony was celebrated this weekend for the new chapel and visitor centre of Inagawa Reien cemetery. Forty kilometres north of Osaka, the cemetery is situated on a steep mountainside of the Hokusetsu chain in the Hyogo prefecture. The two buildings are arranged around a new sheltered garden, serving as a threshold between the outer world and a quieter space for commemoration. Rough sandblasted red concrete volumes form an intimate complex that is in tune with the dominant slope of the site. Completion of the new building is due in 2017.

Idea-finding process published in Tagesspiegel

The German newspaper Tagesspiegel has published an article on the ‘idea-finding process’ for a site in Berlin’s Tiergarten.

The investor F&B Group invited David Chipperfield Architects, Studio Libeskind, Herzog & DeMeuron, Sauerbruch Hutton and Hadi Teherani Architects to submit ideas for a new building.

The site is adjacent to Hansaviertel, a small district in central Berlin, which is characterised by the protected ensemble of buildings from the 1957 International Building Exhibition.

No decision has been reached yet.

El Croquis 2006-2014

A new edition of El Croquis was released this week, featuring work by David Chipperfield Architects between 2006-2014.

The bi-lingual 632-page issue is a consolidation of the two previous editions on the practice, covering projects from all four offices, with additional material and interviews by Juan Antonio Cortés, Emilio Tuñón and Rafael Moneo.

New collaboration with Brioni

We are pleased to announce a New Collaboration with Brioni starting with the Paris Flagship Store that opened in July 2016. Situated at 370 Rue Saint-Honoré, the 590 sqm Flagship Store is the first to feature the New Concept developed by David Chipperfield Architects Milan as part of the new brand vision under the creative direction of Justin O’Shea. Depicting the contemporary essence of Rome where Brioni’s roots and tailoring tradition merge past and present, the design looks to combine ideas of luxury and simplicity, craftsmanship and industrialisation, tradition and a vision for the future.

Architectural elements are carefully articulated throughout the space, grey travertine - also known as ‘lapis tiburtinus’ and a reference to ancient Rome - lines the floors and walls. A sense of grandeur is achieved by large marble columns that assume their tectonic value expressed by their differing colours. A wide stage-like staircase links the two store levels without disrupting spatial continuity. The semi-transparent metal mesh partitions and the slim floor-to-ceiling studs that are used for display form a delicate counterbalance to the gravitas of travertine and marble.

Image ©Paola Pansini

Ria de Arousa study - Phase I completed

The successful first phase of the Ria de Arousa study was supported by numerous individuals and institutions who generously gave their time and ideas, these include the President of Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo; the mayors of Porto do Son, A Pobra do Caramiñal, Ribeira, Boiro and Rianxo; local fishermen and shipowners; entrepreneurs; the Architects Association of Galicia; professors from the departments of geography, architecture, economics and engineering at the universities of A Coruña, Santiago de Compostela, ETH Zurich and ETSAB-UPC; the National Asssociation of Canneries; as well as the European Association of Archaeologists and the Spanish National Research Council CSIC.

Ria de Arousa study - week 5

The fifth and final week of the study of Ria de Arousa culminated in a weekend-long workshop with David Chipperfield, experts and local authorities. The team presented their conclusion, highlighting the area’s dependence on natural resources and its direct effect on the economy. The marine ecosystem of the ria and the quality of water are crucial for both tourism and the local industry, in particular the shell fish and fishing sector. Through a discussion with experts from a diverse range of fields, including economy, urbanism, geography and cultural sectors, with representatives from the fishing industry, it was agreed that a catalyst was needed to address the problem and to initiate collaboration from all sectors.

The regional government and mayors gave their support to the future development of the study, ensuring financial contribution to continue the work. DCA will take part in the second stage of the study as it evolves in the next 12 months. 

Ria de Arousa study - week 4

As the study of Ria de Arousa enters its fourth week, the team has focused on the final workshop and presentation with David Chipperfield, held 9-10 July with local authorities and the mayors of the five municipalities. A cross-disciplinary and diverse range of guests and experts will also participate, representing fields including urbanism, civil engineering, restoration, geography and economics, with representatives from fisherman associations, water quality control and food quality control.

The second workshop follows up on the concluding themes of the previous, seeking to create a foundation for a collaborative network to share ideas across sectors, and to encourage a permanent program to develop and protect the region, with particular focus on the preservation of the natural environment.

Competition win in Lyon

Yesterday the Mayor of Lyon, Gérard Collomb, announced DCA London as winners of the competition for the development of a site in the Confluence area of the city. Uniting the work of British, Portuguese and Swiss architects for a French city and developer, the project is one of many examples of the importance of European collaboration.

A mixed-use development of 12 buildings is planned for the 10230 square metre site that sits within the wider masterplan designed by Herzog & de Meuron. DCA will coordinate the development and design some of the buildings, working closely with Portuguese practice Aires Mateus who have been appointed to carry the designs for 40% of the buildings. The team will also be joined by a Lyon-based architecture practice yet to be named. 

Fischli/Weiss 33 years of collaboration celebrated at Museo Jumex

Museo Jumex in Mexico is exhibiting Peter Fischli and David Weiss: How to Work Better. Opening this month, the exhibition offers the most comprehensive overview of their artistic collaboration to date. Occupying every corner of the museum, the exhibition features more than 200 sculptures, photographs, slide projections and videos from the Swiss duo’s 33 years of partnership. Arranged without any chronological order, the display reflects the timeless dialogue of their work and responds to the spatial conditions of the museum. The first floor multifunction space is used to display Suddenly This Overview, flooded by natural daylight. The series of miniature clay sculptures depict arbitrary everyday events, each exhibited on a single plinth arranged like a city scape. The darker and more enclosed spaces of the second level features Questions, a slide-show projecting hundreds of philosophical questions to the wall, in four different languages. At the very top of the building, the gallery space has been arranged into three separate rooms, showing the pitch black Rubber Sculptures, cast directly from domestic or natural objects, Airports, conventional photographs of airplanes, with sculptures of Cars. With constellations of mundane objects and popular culture symbolism, Weiss and Fischli ponder questions on reality and perception, the banal and the sublime.

The exhibition is open until 4 September.

Ria de Arousa study - week 3

For the Ria de Arousa study’s third week, the team has prepared for the first of two workshops with David Chipperfield and guests, held on 24-25 June. The team outlined key areas felt to have been exploited by a lack of overview and misguided priorities and looked in depth at how this had affected the natural, agricultural, industrial and built environments.


Day one of the workshop, the team presented their work to David Chipperfield, Fermín Vázquez (Visiting Professor at University of Barcelona and co-collaborator with DCA on the ‘City of Justice’), Simon Kretz (Senior Assistant and Lecturer for Urban Design at ETH Zurich) and Hans-Jürgen Commerell (Partner at Architekturforum Aedes, Berlin).


The second day of the workshop included additional input from Carlos Seoane (Teacher of Construction at University of Coruña , Juan Creus (Head of Project and Urbanism Department, University of Coruña), Xose Lois Martinez (Teacher of Urbanism at University of Coruña) and Fernando Agrasar (Director of School of Architecture, University of Coruña). The discussions identified the scope and potential of the workshop and final presentation. The team proposes that the preservation of the quality of the natural environment, particularly water, is of central importance to all sectors, helping to restore a more harmonious relationship between nature, economy, and development.  


Image ©David Chipperfield Architects

Office building Moganshan Road fronts Qianjiang Evening News

The front cover of Qianjiang Evening News, one of the most widely read newspapers in China, features office building Moganshan Road being shortlisted for the RIBA award for international excellence.The Hangzhou-based newspaper reports the local ten-storey construction belongs to the 30 best buildings in the world, following RIBA’s shortlist of their first international prize. DCA has two other buildings on the same list, Museo Jumex in Mexico and Saint Louis Art Museum in the US. The winner will be announced in December 2016.  

EU referendum

Please remember to vote on Thursday 23 June. 

Read David Chipperfield's statement why he is voting to for Britain to remain in the EU on dezeen.com

Image ©Wolfgang Tillmans

Ria de Arousa study - week 2

After spending the first week travelling around local municipalities and collecting information, the Ria de Arousa workshop group are now based in Ribeira where they are collating their findings and developing a methodology for protection and development strategies. Looking at the challenges and potentials of the territory, the team are focusing on three main areas: how best to promote a productive fishing culture; the impact of urban development on the local ecosystem; and an assessment of local industrial development across various sectors.

Alongside this research, the team continue to strengthen key connections with the community of the Ria and engage with wider discussions. Towards the end of the week ‘Colectivo 1aun’, a young practice from A Coruña, shared their extensive research on the Ria de Arousa with the group. In addition, Cristina García Fontán, a teacher in urbanism at the University of A Coruña, also shared some of her projects with the workshop, and provided key advice on research methods and presentation techniques.

Image ©David Chipperfield Architects

Valentino Roman flagship

The new Rome Flagship Store is situated on Piazza di Spagna, next to the historic creative headquarters of Valentino Maison. The Flagship is an important step for the development of Valentino’s worldwide retail and marks a key moment in the evolution of the store concept first developed by David Chipperfield Architects Milan together with Valentino Creative Directors, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli in 2012. Returning to Valentino’s original roots in Rome, new materials and techniques have been added to the established vocabulary.

Image ©Santi Caleca

Two million visitors for Turner Contemporary

Last week, the art gallery in Margate greeted its 2 millionth visitor since the opening in 2011. 

Turner Contemporary has exceeded its visitor target eight years ahead of prediction with 400,000 yearly visits, beating the original forecast of 150,000 per year. It is estimated that for 120,000 of these guests, Turner Contemporary was their first visit to an art gallery.

Currently showing are sculptural work by Yinka Shonibare and the exhibition Seeing Round Corners: The Art of the Circle, which features more than 100 historical and contemporary works centred around the circle.

Image ©Paul Riddle

EU referendum

"The EU protects your rights against these enemies of freedom. To leave the EU now, in these dangerous political times, is not patriotic, it’s simply foolish and it would send the wrong message to the enemies of European values. The EU is not perfect and it never was designed to be that way. The very way of it being a negotiating chamber of 28 nations, is the key to its success. It is not in the security interests of the UK to weaken the EU at this point in time. Whatever your feelings towards the EU, be aware that voting for Brexit has catastrophic repercussions for the whole of Europe and the world."

Wolfgang Tillmans

DCA London visits The Hepworth Wakefield

Last weekend members of DCA London visited The Hepworth Wakefield to celebrate the gallery’s fifth anniversary. The project architects led a tour of the building and reflected on its development from the early design stages to receiving the first visitors in 2011, as well as the building’s performance over the last five years. Since opening, the gallery has attracted 1.5 million visitors and its permanent collection has continued to grow through acquisitions and gifts.

Currently on display is a collection of works from the Kettle’s Yard gallery in Cambridge, 100 works from the recent bequest to the gallery by Tim Sayer, and a display of photographs by Martin Parr entitled ‘The Rhubarb Triangle and Other Stories’.

Image ©Rik Nys

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition features the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park competition submission by David Chipperfield Architects, in collaboration with Harry Gugger Studio and Robbrecht en Daem architecten, with Vogt Landscape Architects, Arup, Publica and Alinea Consulting.

It includes a 1:1000 jesmonite scale model with a drawing demonstrating a continuous public route that runs through the entire length of the project on a single level.

The exhibition is open from 13 June and runs until 21 August 2016.

Ria de Arousa study – week 1

The team of graduates and students participating in the study for environmental development and protection of the Ria de Arousa area have gathered in Galicia to begin their research. During the first week the group visited various municipalities and met with local authorities and stakeholders to gain an understanding of the current state of the industry, ecosystems, cultural heritage and urban planning in the area, as well as the complexities of their interdependence.  Among the places visited were the fishing port of Portosin, a shellfish cultivation area in Boiro, canning factories near A Pobra la Caraminal, the Patho Goian historic manor building, new urban developments in Allariz, and the Ecoespazo ecological farm.  

Over the coming weeks the group will collate their observations to define the key focus of the study. 

Image ©David Chipperfield Architects

Study for environmental development and protection of the Ria de Arousa area in Galicia

David Chipperfield Architects is coordinating a 12-month study of the coastal area of the north side of Ria de Arousa estuary in Galicia, North West of Spain. The study will consider the natural and built environment and bring together the needs of local industries and the often conflicting needs of development and protection.

A team of graduates and students are currently based in Ribeira in offices provided by the mayor and will present their work in a series of public workshops in June and July. It is foreseen that the study will be further developed in collaboration with the local administrations over the next year.

EU referendum – registration date extended

The deadline to register to vote for the EU referendum has now been extended to midnight Thursday 9 June.

Bally Beverly Hills Flagship Store

The two-storey flagship store in Beverly Hills is the third to feature the new concept developed by David Chipperfield Architects Milan since November 2012.

The store is located on North Rodeo Drive in a three-block stretch between the Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards, where David Chipperfield Architects Milan already designed flagship stores for Dolce&Gabbana and Valentino. North Rodeo Drive is renowned internationally for its luxury-goods stores and forms part of the larger business district.

Externally, the flagship features a two-storey monolithic façade in red marble (Languedoc) incorporating a series of large openings that reveal the depth of the façade.

In a similar way to the façade of the nearby Valentino store which was built in blue limestone (Petit Granit) in 2011, the idea is to create a sense of permanence new to this typology.

Internally, the store employs an evolution of the concept ideas previously applied to the London and Tokyo stores. The space is arranged along a rectangular floor plan that adheres to the typical long and narrow plot along Rodeo Drive. However, the sinuous timber wall within this rectangle generates a series of softer spaces. It also serves as a flexible display system onto which a variety of hanging, shelving and lighting elements can be attached.

Image © Santi Caleca

Joachimstrasse commended by Architekturpreis Berlin

Joachimstrasse was one of the two projects awarded a commendation during the Architekturpreis Berlin awards ceremony on Friday 3 June. The jury, led by Chris Dercon, stated: ‘The project unites exemplary architecture – meticulous details, selection of materials and technical know-how – with an urban approach that connects the interior and exterior with the inner-city context. It represents an idealised form of urban life and work and an important new intimate form of public space in Berlin.’

The Architekturpreis Berlin is the city’s main architectural award and is conferred every three years to architects and their clients for exemplary buildings, where architectural quality, creative power and technical innovation demonstrate commitment to the sustainable design of the urban living environment. 

EU referendum

“The official ‘Remain’ campaign feels lame and is lacking in passion. It also lacks an active drive to get voters registered – and with the deadline already falling two weeks before the referendum, this should be an urgent priority.”

Wolfgang Tillmans

Response to Simon Jenkins' article on "the luvvies' Brexit letter" in the Guardian

In dismissing the opinions of those he refers to as “Luvvies”, Simon Jenkins ensures that the debate about Europe continues to be limited to an imprecise and confusing argument about the financial consequences, which no one can be sure about, fragile prophecies about immigration and anecdotal stories of Brussels’ interference in our daily lives including dictating the size of bananas.

Europe is a common market that trades in ideas as well as materials. It is based on the premise that we can profit from each other, not only in fiscal but in social and intellectual terms. For those engaged in the arts and the creative industries Europe is a reality. Our artists, actors, musicians, dancers, designers establish collaborations and dialogue beyond the normal reach of the worlds of finance and politics. The forging of cultural connections and the search for common understanding cannot be brushed aside as the romantic drivel of the so called “Luvvies”. It must be regarded in our increasingly synthetic world as central to a healthy society, spiritually and commercially.

We cannot base this enormous decision on the anecdotal stories of European meddling in our affairs, on the fear of immigration or on foggy economic predictions. We must decide whether our future and the future of our children should be based on building up barriers or breaking them down. Given that we have emasculated our manufacturing base and that we are slowly realising the dangers of leveraging our future on an over reliance on the financial, don't we seriously need to build a society that engages wider ambitions than those measured in conventional terms?

There is one way of handicapping our intellectual and creative talent and it is, by cutting off its oxygen, suffocating it with our little island mentality, isolating ourselves from diverse influences and common interests.

David Chipperfield

Poster by Wolfgang Tillmans

EU referendum

“The official ‘Remain’ campaign feels lame and is lacking in passion. It also lacks an active drive to get voters registered – and with the deadline already falling two weeks before the referendum, this should be an urgent priority.”

Wolfgang Tillmans

A plea against Brexit

Read the full article by Alexander Gutzmer online here.


Translation: Chipperfield plea against Brexit


Architects and their observers like to pride themselves on their political relevance. Like a mantra, they demand more social commitment for their discipline. This stands in stark contrast to the reality in major debates where often little is heard from the architectural profession here.


Substantial debates regarding the present difficult European situation are also seldom to be found. The currently increasing nationalistic centrifugal forces are highly problematic - also not least for building culture and architecture and building culture. Something is falling apart to pieces here. Europe, which is rapidly drifting apart, is not only an economic region but also a cultural project. If this should fail, architecture in all countries of the continent will lose an important guiding framework.


In this context, I find the impending ‘Brexit’ particularly virulent. For me, Britain belongs to Europe and is a part of Europe. The Europe, in which I live and write, is the same that is being negotiated in Britain. I studied at the Goldsmiths’ College of the University of London, where I discussed European construction, the large cities on the continent but also Europe in general a great deal with architects. In a lecture titled “Reading the City” the sociologist Michael Keith, who currently teaches in Oxford, conveyed to me the flâneur-like exploration of the culturally defined topographies of European city centres. Rem Koolhaas held lectures at Goldsmiths and started joint research projects with my PhD supervisor Scott Lash. The local “Centre for Research Architecture” devised a highly fascinating socio-critical research project focussing on architecture and urban planning. These are all contributions to European architectural discourse that I would not want to miss under any circumstances. Especially considering the fact that Goldsmiths, with what feels like 90 percent non-British-European students, altogether constitutes one of the most European research institutes.


Another architect, who regularly stops by at Goldsmiths, is David Chipperfield. In 2014 he was part of the jury for a new art gallery on the South London campus. Due to his numerous buildings in Germany, this native of London is already one of the most European architects. He has now made a striking plea against ‘Brexit’. Addressing his fellow Brits, Chipperfield describes “his” Europe as a major cultural project. He wants to preserve this, not least in order to positively influence the mindset of the Brits themselves. For him, Europe is the chance to make Britain more culturally sensitive and in particular to enrich its architecture. He writes “Indeed it is difficult to imagine how our cultural institutions could function without these intellectual and practical connections, and how isolated our profession would become, detached from the influences and inspiration of our continental colleagues.”

This is a remarkable idea. And, coming from a Brit, even one we Europeans can take an example from. That is to say, we question too little, what we ourselves have from Great Britain. In doing so, we should have an interest in Brits taking on a more active role in Europe. I would not want to live in a Europe that forgoes Anglo-Saxon impetus. This also applies to the culture of individualism, which is quite certainly more pronounced in Britain than it is on the other side of the channel. I do not care so much for the continental European collectivism with its permanent overemphasis of the State. The UK could form a valuable corrective here, but only if London raises a strong voice in Europe. A voice, which Chipperfield presently finds lacking: “To be honest, our current lukewarm participation makes us look very weak from a European perspective. Our cultural connections are real, we share a history and, whether we like it or not, we share a future. The English Channel can no longer ‘protect’ us from the Continent.”

The channel is narrow and is becoming more so, says Sir David. Let’s hope he is right about this.

Naga Museum on show at Biennale Architettura 2016

The Naga Site Museum project is featured in the 15th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia under Alejandro Aravena’s theme: Reporting From the Front.

The ancient city of Naga is one of the largest historic sites in Sudan and contains the ruins of a former trading city that once belonged to the Kingdom of Meroë. It is situated around 150 km to the north-east of Khartoum and is only accessible via sand tracks. The new museum is primarily designed to protect excavated objects from the tough conditions caused by sun, sandstorms, rain and looters.

The exhibition, located in the Central Pavilion at the Giardini, provides an overall impression of both the project and its context and includes models, interviews with individuals connected to Naga, a film focusing on the archaeological excavation as well as a small range of objects from the excavation itself.

The 15th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia is open to the public from 28 May to 27 November 2016.

Image © Rik Nys

Libin Chen, partner in the Shanghai office, will give a lecture at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou Friday 28 April. Titled ‘The extraordinary in the ordinary’, the talk will use examples of current and previous work to demonstrate the practice’s design approach. The talk will start at 13.30 in the An'zhong building and is open to the public.