I always fear that too artistic architecture will become too academic.
Architects cannot just be artists. We have a great responsibility.
Ben van Berkel (1957) stadied at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and then at the London Association of Architects, where he obtained the title from him in 1987.
Before founding UNStudio in 1988 in Amsterdam together with Caroline Bos, he worked for Santiago Calatrava in Zurich.
In 1994 he served as visiting professor at Columbia University in New York.
In the search for spatial and novel solutions, which on the one hand lead to responses from the functionalist repertoire, but which; on the other, they also have the sensual and graphic character that today is expected especially from public buildings, the architects of UNStudio resort to mathematical models that, thanks to computer design, can now be investigated.
Likewise, the development of his built works must be interpreted as a research project in the field of folded, twisted and intertwined spaces.
In 1992-1994 the Wilbrink house in Amersfoort arose, whose roof falls down to the street so smoothly that it finally seems underground.
The concepts of above and below, inside and outside are mixed and redefined.
With the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam (1990-1996), the city gained a sign of identity that linked the new neighborhoods that emerged from the remodeling of the port complex with the urban center.
The concept of the Möbius house in Het Gooi, the Netherlands (1993-1998), is based on the Möbius strip, underlined by the contrast of materials, such as the combination of massive concrete surfaces with stained glass windows that rise to the ceiling.
With the conception of the NMR laboratory at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands (1997-2000), the architects folded exposed concrete surfaces around the central laboratory section.
The large La Defense office block in Almere, the Netherlands (1999-2004), wins thanks to well thought-out incisions on several interior courtyards, whose facades covered with a glossy colored film give the block an immaterial appearance.
At the new Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany (2001-2006), the interlocking spirals allow a continuous path to be followed inside the building, while skimming the barriers of the descriptive language of architectural space.
Gössel, P. (2007). The A-Z of Modern Architecture (Vol. 1). Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag.