I knew this would be a good show

Over at Iconeye, they recently published a review of the show “First Works” at AA in London. I knew it would be an interesting show, as it focuses on the work of

20 practices which have collectively defined the contemporary architectural scene. Commencing with the North Penn Visiting Nurses Association Headquarters (1960) by Robert Venturi, 35, and concluding with the Blue House (1979) by Herzog, 29, and de Meuron, 29, the exhibition includes ten first buildings and a selection of competition entries, graduate theses and speculations.

The author notes that the shows’ catalogue makes the statement that the show is “a re-examination of how to begin a critical architectural practice”, yet he finds that after you strip away all the rhetoric and post-rationalization this quote by Toyo Ito seems to really get to the essence of the starting an office.

I’m amazed how I managed to sustain my office, which always had two or three staff members, when for more than ten years I was only able to secure small jobs. It sounds rather difficult, but in a certain sense my life was filled with joy and satisfaction I’d never experienced before. Day and night, I sat in front of a drawing board and drew. Next to my desk there was a record player endlessly playing Japanese hit songs.

Read more (here)

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