Young Portuguese firm Fala Atelier, – after opening its doors contentiously at the end of the economic crisis in 2011 – has worked within a country full of collapsing, abandoned buildings and limited opportunities for a thriving architectural scene. However, given the blankness and halting nature of the city at this time, they took on a freedom to explore a field of their own references, obsessions and constraints; they began building their own vocabulary and language through unique representations. An architectural contemporaneity shows an industry full of image – jam packed with the same glossy concentrate. It is difficult to discover interesting ways of architectural representation within this saturation. However, the ateliers representation is surprising, for their particular ability to show us the essence of the project.
“We never aimed at cuteness. With all the internet (Facebook, Instagram…) agenda, there is clearly a conflict between architecture as building and architecture as representation. But why do we need to be ashamed of producing images? Architecture is inevitable without any kind of representation. As we try to develop our language in architecture, we do the same with images, shaping our own theories of compositions, compiling libraries, attempting to make order out of disorder, rethinking our own vocabulary and tracing its transformation. The drawing itself becomes a medium that defines your identity as an office. Images reflect the architecture and the architecture reflects its images. At some point we don’t even know where one starts and the other ends.”