NOX (Lars Spuybroek)


The architect, city-planner and teacher Lars Spuybroek not only designs buildings, but a large part of his activity is also based on the production of interactive installations, videos, books, magazines and websites. He was not only one of the first people to use digital design in architecture, but he also developed theories about it: attesting to this are his books Machining Architecture (2004) and The Architecture of Continuity (2008). NOX is based on plastic and digital procedureswhose end purpose is aimed, on the one hand, at creating a subtle space, with no right angles or flat surfaces, and, on the other, at the merger between the building, the body, the environment, and technology. His constructions, which express this notion of liquid architecture which Spuybroek has developed at length in his writings, are closely linked to the mobility of the occupant (FreshH2O Expo). Since the early 2000s, his line of thinking has focused on porousness: refusing to “make a hole” in a surface, he tries on the contrary to let holes and curves jointly emerge, basing his ideas on the research which Frei Otto carried out at the Institute for Lightweight Structures in Stuttgart between the 1960s and the 1990s (CRMA Nancy, SoftOfficeUK, Son-House). Some of the agency’s recent projects, such as myHouse (2006) and The Beacon of Amsterdam (2008-2011) are devoted to the variation of one and the same theme within a single structure; for NOX, the architecture of continuous variation is not one of free form, but one which inextricably reconciles structure, matter, expression, and experience.

NOX was founded in 1999 in Rotterdam by Lars Spuybroek (1959), and differs from other agencies both for the unusualness of its approach, the extreme plasticity of its productions (models and constructions) and its multi-disciplinary activities. An architect who graduated from the Technical University in Delft, a city-planner, and a teacher (he has a chair in architectural design at Georgia Tech in Atlanta), Lars Spuybroek has built the FreshH20 Expo (1994-97), the Blow Out toilets (1997), the V2 mediaLab (1998), the D-tower (1998-2003), the Son-O-House (2000-2003), and the Maison Folie built in Lille-Wazemmes (2001-2004). Among the many striking projects never constructed are the Centre Georges Pompidou in Metz (2003), myHouse (2006), The Three Graces, a hotel and office towers in Dubai (2008), and The Beacon of Amsterdam (2008-2011). His works are regularly shown in solo and group exhibitions (MoMA-New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Venice Biennale).
Nadine Labedade

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