“Architecture is the art of permanence, not ephemerality. The principle it is subjected to can be eternal. Having a clear idea is essential in architecture.”
Manuel Aires Mateus.
(autotranslated) Manuel started, after an early collaboration with architect Gonçalo Byrne from 1983, the bureau Aires Mateus & Associados with his Francisco brother in 1988. Their projects – variable in scale and characterized by a tight game of mass and materiality – have helped to shape of contemporary architecture in Portugal. Known for converting traditional Portuguese form in detail-free surfaces and for their interest in sculptural rigor, they dragged for many awards, both nationally and internationally.
In addition to their professional activities, give the brothers also teach at prestigious universities such as Harvard University (USA), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Accademia di architettura di Mendrisio (Switzerland since 2001), Universidade Autónoma and Lusíada University (Lisbon, since 1997).
The approach of an assignment always begins with the invocation of an instinctive feeling. The brothers believe strongly in working with what is already known and what is there: leave the existing, here and now, it is of enormous importance. Starting from an internal and self-reflective basis, while the confrontation with the immediacy of the program, the site, materiality, etc., is entered, searching the brothers to the ‘permanent’, and this in the sense of ‘resist the Time. Their architecture strives to be both in continuity with the ‘now’, as the ‘now’ to want to transcend seeking a timeless quality.
Last year Aires Mateus won the competition to design a new school of architecture in Tournai. By eliminating spaces and alleyways, people are forced to move through the interior spaces. Emphasis is placed on creating public spaces, so the school is a connection between two districts. This design responds strongly to the urban environment and builds on the existing relationship between the university and the city. The proposal by the Portuguese team late co-finalists, including Lacaton & Vassal (FR) and Robbrecht & Daem / Van Hee, behind. Besides the demolition of some existing buildings, design of Aires Mateus includes the renovation of an old hospital for the purpose of administrative services and the conversion of two industrial buildings for classrooms and a library. First, the geometry of the adjacent structure is reflected, on the other hand the project also presents a completely new building, which barely touches on the adjacent stone volumes. Within the 7000 m2 of the project focuses on shared / public space.
The brothers Mateus create buildings around people and their senses. They reject the arbitrariness of intangible boundaries. Instead of two-dimensional thin partition walls are conceived as volumes that contain living spaces, large voids modeled by light and emptiness, freed from the rigidity of rules. These limits are also made in synergy with the existing context, with indoor and outdoor spaces. This deep sense of architectural space stems from the determination of their method, namely design and construction that seeks to lift the weight of the masses. Here they look for an expression that is separate from the many formal excesses in contemporary architecture. In the office Aires Mateus takes a long time before a project reaches completion, because time is taken to commemorate decisions and review. Just because it takes a long time to put a project on the right track, the brothers Mateus see time as their ally. They say about themselves: “Unlike fashion, architecture is an art That Endures and is characterised by this persistence. It is the art of permanence. It must persist not only from a physical standpoint, but ook conceptually – which Involves yet another aspect of “time”. An idea lasts longer than its physical manifestation. We see this sense of permanence as the relationship with eternal time, a concept That architecture HAS always Pursued through construction. Today it can be Achieved as a result of the overall consistency of a project. “
This lecture is part of the Design Week. After a very successful tenth edition of the expo W / O – We are the next generation, with 42 student projects from more than 15 creative Flemish schools, the next generation will again take the Budafabriek about from 28 to 31 October 2015. Bigger, better and bolder ! A selection of the best students of creative educational projects from the Kortrijk Flanders region within the design areas of product design, architecture and multimedia design from the 2014-2015 school year will be exhibited. The exhibition is complemented by a solid edge program consisting of lectures, workshops, networking events, and more!