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The Architecture of R&Sie(n) Princeton Architectural Press
By Giovanni Corbellini,Introduction by Franois Roche
9-1/2 x 6-1/2 in; 224 pp; 132 xolor and 105 b/w images
January 2010 ISBN 9781568988696 ISBN10 1568988699
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What do you call an architecture firm that draws inspiration from the most extreme aspects of nature and human psychology? When faced with this challenge in 1989, architect Franois Roche decided that the best way to express his firm's design philosophy would be to change its name every few years. Presently, the Paris-based practice goes by the name of R&Sie(n). Pronounced "heresy" in French, the firm's radical approachwhat they refer to as a "chameleon strategy"permeates everything they do, right down to their gender-bending, morphed anti publicity photo. Led by Roche, R&Sie(n)'s investigative approach to architecture focuses on developing technological experimentscartographic distortions and territorial mutationsin order to explore the bond betweenbuilding, context, and human relations. Each building is a process, a dynamic device with the tenacity of a parasite that uses every means offered by architecture to perform an ecologically useful function.Bioreboot features nineteen projectsillustrated with extensive plans, photographs, and renderingsalong with essays and interviews, providing the most comprehensive monograph of this elusive, intriguing firm to date. Despite working with oppositional relationshipsmachinery versus nature, purity versuscorruption, paranoia versus rationalitytheirs is an architecture whose primary aim is the ecological and social improvement of the place in which it exists. The 2003 Mosquito Bottleneck project mixes objective paranoia with a desire for safety. Designed as a trap for dangerous, West Nile Fever-infected mosquitos, the intestinelike private home in Trinidad weaves together all of its surfacesfloor, facade, and roofwith plastic wire and shrink-wrap. (Un)Plug, a speculative skyscraper project commissioned in 2000 by the Parisian electricity company EDF, features a glass facade of swelling, photoelectric pustules that allow the building to gain enough solar energy to disconnect from the urban energy grid. Bioreboot is a thought-provoking leap into the future and a clarion call for the development of a new relationship between contemporary architecture and the world of nature.
Giovanni Corbellini is an architect and architecture critic. He is a professor at the University of Trieste. Corbellini is the author of numerous articles on contemporary architecture and urban design. He has contributed to the online journal Arch'it since 2003.
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