“Tomorrow’s Party”, HWKN’s vision for a user inspired, memory generating, urban environment; Rendering. © HWKN Architecture
German architect Matthias Hollwich and his New York-based firm HWKN have been dedicated to pioneering projects for over a decade, earning them a rank in Fast Company’s world’s Top 10 Most Innovative Architects. Most recently, Hollwich provoked with his publication New Aging: Live Smarter Now to Live Better Forever by turning stereotypical outdated building typologies “upside-down” to make aging a graceful and fulfilling aspect of our lives through designed spaces.
With their new exhibition on view at Aedes Berlin, Shape Tomorrow: Towards a Future-Oriented Built Environment presents the firm’s innovative design strategies through selected projects and tells stories in a playful interactive installation about how HWKN’s architecture aims to shape a better tomorrow.
Shape Tomorrow stems from HWKN’s past explorations and their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We knew we had to turn this crisis into an opportunity”, argues Hollwich. “Having seen how mutable society is, we recognized this as a rare moment for architecture, one where we could develop buildings that adapt to people’s needs, desires, societal demands and technological functions.” In its numerous international projects, HWKN is determined to create change with design that enhances emotions and strengthens the life force of the public realm, in addition to traditional goals such as rational organization and efficiency.
Hollwich and his team are not only concerned with the architectural potentials at the interface between inside and outside, but also with the transformation of vertical orientation in architecture. “Usually, the focus is on the top of a building, its facade and efficient organization, which are to be viewed from afar. Further, this organizing rationale usually reserves the base for entry, retail, and parking,” explains Hollwich. In cooperation with open-minded developers, HWKN turns these design principles upside down, by integrating identities and unique characteristics with each structure. Hollwich says, “We shape the base of the building, and focus on people’s activities, emotions, and memories, while adding interiors with personality. For us, the interface with people is the focus: creating places, which generate inspiration for everyone. The identity of the new building directly coincides with the experience on the street.”
Shape Tomorrow is open now through January 13, 2022.
Photography © HWKN Architecture.
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