Interview: Maske+Suhren architects

Interview: Maske+Suhren
Image courtesy of Maske+Suhren

Interview: Maske+Suhren architects

Luca Curci talks with Maske+Suhren architects during BODIES+CITIES SKIN exhibition in Venice on May 2016. The office “Maske und Suhren architekten und designer” was founded in 1999 by Anna Maske and Jens Suhren. They shared their studies and several extended projects with W. Brenne Architekten to improve their architectural and design ideas and ability. From the creation of the office on, they have developed a large variety of projects in different scales and contexts, both in Europe and overseas, focusing on planning, conservation, exhibition conceptions and interior design, with high-specialized knowledge on premium movie theaters and related projects. Since mid-2015 the architect and professor Juan Almarza Anwandter collaborates as a member of Maske und Suhren design team.

 

Interview: Maske+SuhrenImage courtesy of Maske+Suhren

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Luca Curci – What do you think about the concept of this festival? In which way did it inspire you?

Maske+Suhren architects – Architecture talks about proportion, about our proportion. Means that we shape and evaluate our environment according to the measures of our body. We create locations and spaces that fit for us or contest our conventions. “Bodies+Cities Skin” describes perfectly our daily conceptual work. The festival gives us the chance to share this engagement with others in pictures and emotion. The festival is a great opportunity to communicate! Our proposal in Venice Art House is directly related to the festival concept. We show essential identities and characters of our city (Berlin), expressed in multiple “skin layers” and time. The transformation of men and buildings over time in dynamic patterns visualizes our memory. “Layers of Berlin – Berlin under the Skin” reveals the essential character and its expressions in selected case-studies.

L.C. – What are you currently working on?

M.S. – We are currently focused in urban and project developments, in transformations of historical areas, the visualization of lost contexts, and in knowledge-transfer structures, galleries, premium movie theaters and other cultural buildings.

 

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L.C. – Which project has given you the most satisfaction thus far?

M.S. – Difficult question. Movie theaters as the ZooPalast are an amazing symbiosis of historical research and forward-looking regeneration. To advance significant developments of the urban structure, as we did with the waterhouse project, is as challenging. That’s the pretty that in every architectural project we find a feature to be keen on.

L.C. – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?

M.S. – We allways considered architecture in the reflection of art and simultaneously, we appreciated its very pragmatic aspects. Early we started to realize our projects, conducted them to their very completion and joined in their construction phase. Probably this is our strongest quality: in our projects we generate a suitable cultural, functional and technical answer and can transfer it into the building process and completion. Thereby our buildings become complex and handy at the same time, they tell stories and are fond of humor.

 

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L.C. – How would you define your responsibility as an architect?

M.S. – Since the main task of architecture is to define and give form to the city and its inhabitants home and way of life, it is our basic responsability to propose adequate forms of dwelling commited with all the factors involved (cultural, social, historical, economic, political, etc), from an holistic and integrated perspective.

L.C. – Are you concerned about environmental and social sustainability in your buildings?

M.S. – Yes…German architects basicly are, because German construction laws provide the climate protection. But of course, every architect and architecture has its own focus and requirements. Consequently, the sustainability concept and result differ.
In an old, protected cinema, for example, we focus on energy saving concepts in installation engineering as for lightning, projection or air conditioning, because normally, we have to leave the building as it is. In the waterhouse project, a new construction, we will focus on recycling, green facades and low energy standards.

 

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L.C. – If so, what role does green building play into your work?

M.S. – Holistically, green buildings are the future. We consider the self-sufficiency of our buildings as a general need and as a respectful, economical and considerate exploitation of natural resources. In the last 20 years, we worked with several concepts of sustainability. Currently, new technologies allow much more efficient developments and require more intensive collaborations between planners and engineers. But our aim is still the same: to remain simple and, in this sense, inviolable.  

L.C. – What is your idea about It’s Liquid Group?

M.S. – It constitutes a very interesting and smart platform of interaction, that allows multiple ways of experiencing and being in touch with up-to-date trends in Architecture, Art and Design.

L.C. – Did you feel comfortable cooperating with us?

M.S. – Sure, it is a very good experience! We like the way you run the festival. Thanks to you and all the Borders organization team for your support and work.

 

Interview: Maske+SuhrenImage courtesy of Maske+Suhren

 

Interview: Maske+SuhrenImage courtesy of Maske+Suhren

 

Interview: Maske+SuhrenImage courtesy of Maske+Suhren

 

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