Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron are without question among the best-known architects of our time, and their office, founded in Basel in 1978, is one of the most renowned in the world. For more than 40 years, the Swiss firm has challenged the usual notions of architecture. And they have created designs that have transformed cities, including the Tate Modern in London (2000 and 2016), the Laban Dance Centre in London (2003), the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg (2016), the REHAB in Basel (2002 and 2020), the M+ in Hong Kong (2021), the Royal College of Art in London (2022) and the Children’s Hospital in Zurich (completion 2024).
Under the simple title “Herzog & de Meuron”, the Royal Academy of Arts in London is presenting an exhibition by the critically acclaimed Swiss architecture firm from 14 July to 15 October. The show, curated together with the architects, is their first in London in almost twenty years. Four hundred objects from the design process give an opportunity to find out how H&dM’s projects come about and provide an insight into the thinking and approaches that guide them. The exhibition is spread over three rooms: in the first room, part of H&dM’s cabinet, an open storage and research space, is transferred from Basel to London. Models, materials, prints, photographs and film clips from various projects are presented on high wooden shelves. In addition, six large-format photographic works of selected projects by the artist Thomas Ruff will be on display, illustrating H&dM’s interest in the perception of architecture and its long-standing collaboration with artists. Using augmented reality (AR), visitors can also immerse themselves in the projects, which are brought to life in the exhibition through digital 3D models and animations. The second room shows a new film by Bêka & Lemoine depicting everyday life at the H&dM project clinic REHAB for Neurorehabilitation and Paraplegiology in Basel, as well as a film installation based on observations of people using and exploring H&dM projects. The last room focuses on a single project currently under construction: the Children’s Hospital Zurich.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication with texts by Ricky Burdett, Bêka & Lemoine, Beate Söntgen, Marc Forster, Henrik Schødts and Vicky Richardson. As part of the “32nd Annual Architecture Lecture”, Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron and Christine Binswanger will also present the office’s latest projects and provide insights into their working methods on 13 July in the Benjamin West Lecture Theatre (or via livestream).
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