Un/sustained: Over 50 (once) revolutionary office buildings worldwide

Aktivitet: Tale eller præsentation Foredrag og mundtlige bidrag


Over 50 (once) revolutionary office buildings worldwide.

This research presents a visual archaeology of iconic 20th century office buildings and by doing this, asks the question of what has endured and what has been subject to change or destruction. - Industry standards suggest the redesign of office environments every 7 to 10 years, managerial strategies change every 5 years and employee turnover every 2 years. These cycles are not in line with the lifespan of building materials, which can endure thousands of years. Moreover, to reassure clients and investors of their stability, offices developed increasingly spaces of wellbeing and happiness, of social interaction, and persistently heightened financial expectations. Most obviously, such expectations combined with ever changing spatial scenarios are not necessarily beneficial to the endurance of peoples´ professional and social relationships at the workplace.

How does the 21st century office look like, is the burning question for the contemporary architect? Instead of taking yet another guess, we ask what is it, that we can learn from office buildings, that were once considered to be revolutionary? Why did some architect´s visions, spatial compositions, structures and materials endure while others became subject to change or destruction and why? Our research aims at creating a different, architectural history of the 20th century office building. The target group goes beyond architecture historians and addresses architects, anthropologists and investors. We neither focus on highlighting individual star architect´s achievements nor do we concentrate on one specific geographical territory. Instead, we are aiming to bridge different cultural and geographical contexts. Moreover, we do not only want to look at the buildings at the moment of their inauguration, but try to see how they performed over time.

Architects work visually and so is the methodological approach of our research: What happened, once the lights were off, the cameras have left and the buildings are taken over by the users? By restaging iconic money shots of the buildings and
the interior workspaces at time of inauguration and juxtaposing these photographs with their historical counterparts, this presentation not only reveals everyday life in the buildings but also shows, how it modified, complemented or even destroyed the architect´s oeuvre over time.
Periode1 okt. 2021
Sted for afholdelseMiddle East Technical University. Dept. Architecture, Tyrkiet
Grad af anerkendelseInternational