Shifting the View

SCI-Arc, Los Angeles, 1999

This book addresses one of the most significant absences in the architectural discourse today: knowledge about ordinary human experiences. The authors’ interests in understanding a broad range of activities, situations, and places led them to devise new modes of representation to document and analyze them. Without inventing anything, they adapted and manipulated the conventional techniques of architectural description—photographs, plans, sections, and axonometrics—to a new end. Their documentary techniques reveal a new world of experience—a reality that everyone knows intimately but that, in the absence of adequate representational tools, was conceptually invisible to architects. This underlines the centrality of representation to architectural thinking. These drawings provide information, grounded in sustained observation, to illuminate the multiple ways in which people utilize ordinary spaces. The clarity and specificity of the documentation provides an almost ethnographic level of description of how ordinary interior and urban spaces function.

From Preface by Margaret Crawford

Spreefeld Berlin is a collaborative design by BARarchitekten, Silvia Carpaneto and FAT Koehl Architekten for a three building cooperative housing project on the bank of the Spree. The buildings share a common structural system and a 'box' of standardized elements, that allows a high degree of flexibility. Each office was allowed to develop one distinct feature as a 'wild card' for their building. The 'wild cards' were principally used in the double-height ground floor.

Status: completed 2014

Nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture-Mies van der Rohe Award 2015.



< / >