10 X 10

by | 22. Aug 2012



10 x 10 is a unique document of current architecture: 10 architecture critics, curators, educators, writers and practising architects, have each singled out 10 of the most exceptional emerging architects practising today.

Intended to be a truly global presentation, many of the architects have yet to gain recognition worldwide, while others include those who have achieved international acclaim for their work over the last five years. 10 x 10 also includes one essay by each critic which examines the theoretical and practical issues facing architects today.

Photo: Luis Fereira Alves. Souto de Moura, Oporto, Portugal. Moledo House (1991 – 98). Portugal

Souto de Moura seeks to create architecture without artifice, with the naturalness and ease found in vernacular architecture and traditional typologies. Characteristically, his works are simple, serene forms which emphasize their sensual materiality. Rough granite walls contrast the insubstantiality of glass doors held in slender metal frames.
/ Tom Heneghan

10x10_3.jpgPhoto: Remco Bruggink. UNStudio Van Berkel + Bos. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Museum Het Valkhof (1995 – 98). Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

The work of Van Berkel and his collaborators are producing can be seen as both a renewed adherence to the spirit of modernity as well as a response to its failures. Van Berkel’s goal is to penetrate forms of objects and systems to understand the embedded meanings and often unseen mechanisms. His work assures that architecture can provide its own response to the next century.
/Terence Riley

Photo: Hiroyuki Hirai. Shigeru Ban, Tokyo. Paper Dome (1998). Gifu, Japan. Workshop and storage facilities for a building contractor.

Shigeru Ban has developed new techniques and methods for constructing buildings out of paper tubes. His projects have explored the spatial, formal, haptic and functional qualities of these structures, as well as environmental aspects – tubes made from recycled paper as a response to damage caused by deforestation.
/ Mohsen Mostafavi

Photo: San Millen. Soriano + Asociados, Madrid. Congress and Concert Hall (1992 – 99). Bilbao, Spain.


The work of Federico Soriano and Dolores Palacios is an ongoing reflection of contemporary phenomena which they set out to assimilate and redirect towards realization. One by one, the axioms of conventional architecture practice are dissected in a “multimedia” interpretation of architecture.
/Jaime Salazar

10x10_7.jpgPhoto: John Gollings. Denton Corker Marshall, Melbourne. Melbourne Exhibition Centre (1996). Melbourne, Australia.

The objective of architecture for five thousand years has been to expressively resist gravity. Denton, Corker Marshall attempts to go beyond this and push the limits of what architecture is – to the point where it becomes expressive not of programme and scale but of something else; it speaks of sculpture more than architecture and escapes, rather than defies, gravity.
/Haig Beck and Jackie Cooper

Photo: Luis Gordoa. TEN Arquitectos. Mexico City. The Centre for Dramatic Art (1994). Mexico City, Mexico


The work of the Mexican architects Enrique Norten and Bernardo Gómez-Pimienta stands out for its unconventional solutions. At the same time their work never ignores the need to respond to and enrich the urban surroundings.

The Centre for Dramatic Art is characterized by transformation and movement. The roof of the building can be read in two ways; from the town-planning point of view, it has the scale and degree of abstraction to be understood from a distance and from a moving object, but locally it is an element beneath which the different volumes and planes, defined by marble wood and glass, apparent concrete and natural stone interact, compliment and contradict one another.

/Jorge Glusberg

Photo: Ross Honeysett. Engelen Moore, Sydney. The Price/O’Reilly House (1995). Redfern, Sydney, Australia.


Engeleen Moore operates in the same tradition as the English minimalists; very white, very glass, very little else. In the Price/O’Reilly House the minimalist inclination of the architects was forced to an extreme degree by a very tight budget. Considering its austerity it is a house about senses, it is about space, air, light.
/Haig Beck and Jackie Cooper

Photo: H. Helfinstein. Gigon/Guyer, Zürich. Liner Museum (1997 – 98). Appenzell, Switzerland


Gigon and Guyer demonstrate that simple forms not only have their own restrained experimental pleasures, but that not all of architectural experience is necessarily visual. They also demonstrate that sensuality can be defined in terms that are disciplined, and calculated rather than, which is often the case, the opposite.
/Terence Riley

10x10_11.jpgPhoto: Jiri Havran. Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk, Oslo. Viewing Platform (1997). Sognefjord, Norway.

Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk is an architect of rare sensitivity and inventiveness. His buildings are complex fusions of balances of reticence and expressiveness, clearly designed with passion, intense concentration and profound care – they are beautifully fabricated, often, or at least partly, by Hølmebakk’s own hands.
/Tom Heneghan

10 x10 is an invaluable resource and introduction to contemporary architecture. The varied approaches of the architects featured converge in an inspiring global overview, offering the reader new ways of considering our current and future built environment. A substantial, beautifully illustrated book.