IaN+ in Conversation with Witherford Watson Mann Architects

23 February 2010, 7pm

Chaired by Pippo Ciorra

The Architecture Foundation presents Luca Galofaro of Rome based IaN+ in conversation with Stephen Witherford of London practice Witherford Watson Mann Architects , as part of the London_Rome International Exchange programme. They will discuss their respective professional outputs and contributions to the London_Rome exhibitions at the British School at Rome last year, in a conversation chaired by Pippo Ciorra, architect, critic, professor of design and theory at the University of Camerino, and co-curator of the inaugural exhibition at the Zaha Hadid designed MAXXI museum in Rome.

IaN+ is a multidisciplinary agency where architectural theory and praxis overlap to redefine the concept of territory as a relational space between the landscape and its human user. Steeped in the concept of an architecture of independence, their projects use architecture to question the contemporary urban condition, informed by the work of Cedric Price and J.G Ballard. Ian+ came into prominence in 1998 with their shortlisted entry to the international competition for the Mies van der Rohe Foundation headquarters. The entry has now been included in FRAC’s (Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain, Orléans) permanent collection. They have gone on to win the Gold Medal for Italian Architecture at the Milan Triennale, and at the 2008 Venice Biennale exhibited an ecological evolution of the Palladian villa as their entry to the Next-Gene competition , alongside entries from architects including Zaha Hadid, Kengo Kuma and MVRDV. They have also participated in the Beijing and Sao Paulo Biennales, ArchiLab, and the 2006 London Architecture Biennale. Ian+ are currently completing a seaside hospital in Napoli and designing a 170m high star-shaped tower in Dubai.

Stephen Witherford, Christopher Watson and William Mann began collaborating in 1997, following weekly walks through London's periphery. Their winning Europan 5 competition entry established the principles of their approach, based on careful observation, recognising the often surprising relation of city and landscape, and the mutual dependence of public buildings, collective space and everyday activities. The practice went on to win both Europan 6 and 8. Witherfrod Watson Mann have exhibited at the Sao Paulo International Biennale, the Center for Architecture in New York and in the British Pavilion at the 2008 Venice Biennale. Most recently, their partnership with Robbrecht en Daem Architects on the Whitechapel Gallery's rennovation opened to critical acclaim, and their Bankside Urban Forest masterplan was adopted as one of the three focus areas for the forthcoming London Festival of Architecture.

Image: IaN+, Teheran

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