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gooood Interview NO.13 introduces Frank Barkow | Barkow Leibinger. More: Barkow Leibinger on gooood.
出品人：向玲 Producer: Xiang Ling
合作编辑：刘诗晴|哈佛大学GSD城市设计硕士 Guest Editor: Shiqing Liu|Graduate School of Design, Harvard University
编辑团队：苏昕，朱坤宇，陈诺嘉 Editor: Su Xin, Zhu Kunyu, Chen Nuojia
In 2016, the Serpentine Galleries expanded its program with 4 Summer Houses, among which, Barkow Leibinger’s design was both expressive and impressive. It reveals their researches on materials and construction method. Either factories, office buildings or small-scale installations, their designs are known for the airy and inspiring quality with cutting – edge materials.
gooood x Frank Barkow
In the 2016 Serpentine House project, undulating wood strips are organically folded to form the benches, structures and the canopies. How did you come up with the initial idea? What tools did you use and what interesting processes have you gone through to achieve its final performance?
The initial idea came from the discovery that architect William Kent built an initial, now extinct, summer house in the early 18th century on top of a little artificial mountain. This neoclassical temple rotated 360 degrees mechanically altering the view to the Kensington Parks below and, reciprocally, changed its appearance when seen from the park below. We liked very much this idea of a pavilion-in-the-round offering different views and orientations to the park. Rather than duplicate the kinetic idea of a rotating pavilion we began to build study models like a contour drawing or one with a continuous ribbon of material that is folded upon itself endlessly to form structure and form. By doing so we could create benches, walls, and canopies for passersby to appropriate for their own use during the months of the exhibition. So the idea really is about how you take a material and by doing something with it, folding and looping, it can produce a formal and spatial result.
The wood material was folded and looped to produce a formal and spatial result.
MORE: 2016 Serpentine Summer House
从小尺度的装置艺术到大尺度的建筑应用，事务所进行了很多传统材料的探索。事务所热衷于对材料的研究,同时可否举例为我们介绍一下在材料研发方面的突破呢？比如在 Urban Living 项目中，您设想使用了一种既能满足工程和结构要求，同时又保证美学要求和空间质量的轻质混凝土。能否更多地谈谈这种材料呢？除却传统材料，您又是怎样看待未来材料与建筑的关系呢？
From small scale installations to large scale architectural applications, Barkow Leibinger has done plenty of explorations on materials. Can you talk about your new applications of traditional materials? For example, in the “Urban Living – Residential Tower of Infra-Lightweight Concrete” project, the lightweight concrete that can satisfy both the mechanical/structural function and aesthetic/spatial quality is applied. Can you share more info on this material? Other than those traditional materials, how do you imagine the relation between future material and architecture?
This process is really one about discipline. Rather than beginning with an idea about architectural form we “forced” ourselves to select material from the beginning of the process for a “smart materials house”. Wary of smart automatically meaning high-tech we discovered infra-light concrete, a self insulated lightweight concrete, which we could combine with timber laminate floor plates. With this as a given starting place the goal was to integrate the aesthetic and sculptural potential of concrete with its performative possibilities (insulation, solar gain, self-supporting structural element, pre-fabrication). In this way we developed a kind of undulating building block that defines the perimeter wall of the building defining interior spaces and exterior balconies. This reverse design (starting first with a material system that leads to a formal and spatial solution) was a fascinating process that leads us to a new authentic architecture. It is a process that can easily be tested through other materials both existing/ historical and new emerging ones.
▽ 从材料入手，再探索其美学潜能的设计。Integrating the aesthetic and sculptural potential of selected material with its performative possibilities. MORE: Urban Living – Residential Tower of Infra-Lightweight Concrete
Barkow Leibinger has done many industrial buildings in industrially advanced Germany, e.g. the construction for Trumpf, HAWE, and the newly finished Warsaw technology center, etc. Can you share your ideas and thinking on industrial architecture design? Does certain technology in the factories in a way inspire/influence design itself or fabrication process?
There are many lessons learned from industrial architecture. As a planning exercise we master plan for industry where master plans must be “soft”, that is, an organizational system that is not clear and coherent but one that can adjust and adapt over time to changing in response to programmatic needs, site (lands available and where) growth over time, and flexibility. A factory is never complete and is always in flux. If Bauhaus architecture was influenced by industrial architecture, it is that typology itself that we focus on. Factories are pragmatic yet are in flux due to ideas of what the work place can be today combining white collar, blue collar, management and clients in a dynamic and flowing work space where work and leisure are combined.
Another lesson learned for us is from what factories produce: we have learned much from the products produced in factories and have appropriated many of them for the making of architecture. BMW introduced us to the idea of kinetic/ elastic skins for buildings. From Trumpf GmbH we learned about their machine tools for digitally forming sheet metal. This is a list of fabrication partners we continue to build for but also to collaborate with.
▽ 用机器对金属板进行数字切割以形成丰富造型。Using machine tools for digitally forming sheet metal. MORE: Warsaw Technology Center
在很多演讲中，您提到了通过“材料 – 工具 – 形式”这种与常见做法相反的设计过程，这一过程的实现也有赖于德国工业制造方面强大的合作伙伴。可以结合例子更深入地谈一下技术和工业制造方面的进步如何体现在建筑终端吗？工程师们又是如何参与到这一过程中来呢？
In many lectures, you mentioned a reversed design process through “material-tool-form”, made possible by many fabrication partners nurtured by the rich industrial soil in Germany. Can you use examples to talk more about how the advances in technologies/ industrial fabrication get expressed in the architectural end and the opportunities they bring for design? How do the engineers/fabrication partners get involved into the design process?
In Germany there is a term, which is “Tüftler”. A Tüftler is a kind of craftsman who is willing and able to reach a design goal by experimenting and crafting materials and techniques to reach an outcome, a kind of tinkerer. German industry is full of people like this who are curious and willing to try new things. This makes for a rich architectural environment where invention is weighed against economical restraint and feasibility. This also means we can move in and out of traditional architectural fabrication partners where we can access parallel industries that can be appropriated for architecture such as from the automobile or science industries.
A recent example would be our installation for the Princeton School of Architecture in New Jersey where we worked with a coat hanger company to digitally bend 2mm stainless steel rods to a length of 2.5 meters to form tessellated bundles that act as structural elements holding a floor and roof together to form a prototypical pavilion. In order to do this we work with consultants and engineers at the beginning of the process to determine a good outcome.
▽ 束状的钢条作为结构支撑其屋顶，形成了一个亭子原型。tessellated steel rods bundles that act as structural elements holding a floor and roof together to form a prototypical pavilion.
您在美国和欧洲多所高校从事教育工作经验丰富，而本身也是作为一个在美国出生长大 / 接受教育的建筑师在欧洲从事建筑实践工作。请问欧美两地的经历如何影响您作为建筑师的成长呢？实践和教学产生了怎样有趣的互动影响？您在来自不同文化的学生身上又看到了怎样的差异呢？
You have rich teaching experiences in the U.S. and Europe, and you yourself was raised and educated in the U.S while practicing in Europe. How did the U.S. and European experience influence you as an architect? Other than that, is there an interesting interactive relation established between teaching and practicing? What differences have you noticed from students that are from different cultures?
When we came to Berlin in the early 90’s, it seemed that Europe had become the more attractive architectural field for experimentation and critical work rather than the U.S., a sharp reversal of German emigree architects gravitating to America in the 30’s to find fertile architectural ground. Simultaneously both my partner Regine Leibinger and I were grounded in an American education at the Harvard GSD where we have returned to teach as well as other American institutions such as (currently) Princeton. So in this way we remain dedicated to American schools as a place for research and speculation while Europe has provided a better opportunity for us to realize such thinking. Every semester our teaching begins with one or two questions posed by us that students and their work answers. As we teach an international cadre of students, those cultural specificities differentiate their work. This offers a wider spectrum of results that resonate between a global response and a more personal one.
在 90 年代来到柏林设立事务所后，是否有从德国历史上的大师们身上(申克尔、密斯、格罗庇乌斯、夏隆、瓦赫斯曼等等) 获得灵感或汲取设计的原型？另一方面，当代柏林艺术繁荣，众多画廊开设，展览持续进行。事务所也参与了很多展览。这种繁荣的艺术景象如何影响了您的设计思考和应用？艺术与建筑之间的跳跃又为设计带来了哪些机会？
After you established your practice in Berlin in the 90s, did the historic German masters ,e.g., Schinkel, Mies, Gropius, Schauron, Wachsmann,etc., provide inspirations or prototypes for you? And nowadays, Berlin is continuously going through contemporary artistic boom where galleries are open and exhibitions are going on. Barkow Leibinger has been involved into many exhibitions. How do the art scenes influence your design thinking and application? What opportunities does the jump between art and architecture bring to design?
其实很多选择是为了生存而做的。1993年我们刚到柏林的时候，以为这里会是第二个魏玛：经历了两次世界大战的洗礼，先锋艺术和建筑的思潮涌现，城市重新变得开放，充满探索和创新的热情。然而事实与我们想象的完全相反，在Hans Stimman的规划下，柏林变成了一个极为保守、不愿接受新的建筑理念的城市，年轻有为的建筑师若想一展身手，只能去郊区或德国其他城市。你提到的这些建筑师，以及Egon Eiermann、Fehling、Gogol甚至是 Hans Poelzig等第二代建筑师，都为我们提供了有启发意义的模型，但在更广泛的德国语境中从未提供过生动的案例，因而影响甚微。他们不被大众理解，也没有以批判性的方式来影响当代德国建筑。
These orientations were a matter of survival. If upon arriving in Berlin in 1993 our expectations were of a second Weimar, that is, a flourishing revival of experimentation and openness as Germany experienced between the world wars driving an avant-garde art and architectural scene, this is not what we found. What we experienced in Berlin was contrary to that: a reactionary and conservative milieu directed by Berlin planning director Hans Stimmann. That meant that young ambitious architects had to work elsewhere, in Germany or in the peripheries. The historical architects you mentioned above as well as a second generation such as Egon Eiermann, Fehling and Gogol, or even Hans Poelzig offered inspirational models to us certainly but these have never provided vivid examples in a wider German context. They are poorly understood and tend not to inform contemporary German architecture in a critical way.
As dull as the architectural scene was professionally and academically here young artists flocked to Berlin where rents were cheap and progressive galleries followed and supported them. These artists became friends and collaborators and had much more impact on how we worked and thought than local architectural discourse. This has continued to inform how we think about materials, technology, and fabrication and how we instrumentalize them for our architecture.
▽ 对材料的研究与探索。Research on material.
德国在90 年代统一后，“透明”一度被认为是“民主”的代名词。投射在建筑领域，玻璃因能揭示建筑内部行为而在公共建筑中被广泛认可。根据您的观察，在柏林当代建筑实践中，这种理解是否还在左右建筑师们的材料选择？作为从 90 年代开始在柏林实践的建筑师，您对这一特殊的政治语境又曾如何回应？
After German unification in the 90s, “transparency” once has an implication for “democracy”. Projected in architecture, glass was once widely adopted for public buildings, as the “transparency” it created made the inside visible. According to your observation, in contemporary practice in Berlin, does the implication still affect architects’ decisions on materials? As an architect who started his practice in Berlin in the 90s, can you talk about your understanding and how did you respond to the specific political context?
“因为玻璃是透明的所以象征民主”这种说法是那个时代典型的无聊比喻。玻璃并没有比混凝土或者石头更能代表民主，后二者也不会更加代表极权主义，这完全取决于你如何使用这些材料。柏林的政治语境十分复杂，城市内充斥了作为纳粹意识形态代表的Albert Speer和被认为是民主意识形态代表的Benisch的建筑作品，因此我们在涉及到政治问题时会十分小心谨慎。我们对于材料的思考更多是在于如何在美学和技术及可持续性等功能之间进行协调。因此，比起可能的政治象征，我们的思考更着重于材料可以做什么，它们的造价和我们能从中获取多少价值。政治问题总是带着荒谬的成分，最好把它们永远留在历史之中，不要让它们影响现在的判断。我们很喜欢Richard Serra这样的艺术家，他们会拿出任意一种材料，对其做点什么，把它转变成其他的样子。这对于我们来说是很好的切入点。
This was a dull analogy that said “glass equals transparency thus represents democracy” that was typical of that time. Glass no more represents democracy than concrete or stone represent totalitarism. It depends on what you do with it. We are very very wary of architecture responding (or representing) political context/ content in a city that is full of examples from Albert Speer (Nazi ideology) to Benisch (supposedly representing democratic ideology). Our thinking about materiality has more to do with mediating between formal/ aesthetic ambitions and performative aspects (technology + sustainability). Therefore it is more important for us to think about what a material can do, what it costs, and how much can we get than its potential to “represent” a political context. Those kinds of things are a bit ridiculous and are best left to the past. We like artists like Richard Serra who talk about taking a material, any material, and do something to it. Transform it. That’s a good way to start.
Legislation is not necessarily a limitation for architectural imagination. You explored this issue through housing designs and your teaching. Can you share your design experience related to the housing shortage and legislation condition in Berlin? How far do you think architecture can smartly go beyond that and in what aspects?
We have gone from a housing shortage to a housing crisis in a very short time with over 1 million refugees flooding into Germany where we now need 10,000 apartments per year in Berlin. We are interested in understanding legislation as a design tool but also how you exploit it, challenge it or reform it to accommodate such a desperate need for housing. This is an ongoing process but one we (Frank Barkow and Arno Brandlhuber) set up for Harvard students studying abroad here in Berlin.
I think this is also an idea where architecture can go beyond formalism to look for conditions that drive an architectural outcome. By responding to and interpreting legislation sets up a pro-active way of thinking and operating which looks at a multitude of urban conditions and scales for generating density and a very heterogeneous city. Therefore responses can vary depending on situation and restraints where high rises, renovation, re-purposing, addition to existing buildings, block infill, new construction, or re-zoning are all strategies at the scale of a building or urbanism that offer means for adding density while negotiating and challenging existing legislation.
▽ 关于柏林住宅问题的研究与探索，Research regarding the issue of Berlin housing
▽ 哈威Karfbeuren工厂 ，网格结构下更加自由的平面布局。Grid-like structural system allowed for flexible floor layouts. MORE: HAWE-Werk Kaufbeuren
▽ Stadthaus M1 绿城酒店和公寓项目，以低技的立面设计达到“被动房”节能标准。Using low-tech facades to meet “passive house” standard. MORE: Stadthaus M1 – Green City Hotel in Vauban