What’s On? Architectural Exhibitions, February 2015 Edition

by | 05. Feb 2015


Among the many exciting exhibitions this month is BIG’s Hot to Cold that opens in Washington D.C., an exhibition of African Modernism and one of the impossible architecture of 20th century artists opening at the MARTa Herford in Germany. Also, two very different photographic exhibitions with Iwan Baan and Hélène Binet, in Frankfurt and LA respectively, and a Kenzo Tange retrospective in Tokyo.


BIG MAZE at the National Building Museum. Image © Kevin Allen

HOT TO COLD: an odyssey of architectural adaptation

January 24 – August 29, 2015

National Building Museum
Washington D.C.

The exhibition, HOT TO COLD: an odyssey of architectural adaptation, takes visitors from the hottest to the coldest parts of our planet and explores how BIG´s design solutions are shaped by their cultural and climatic contexts.

More than 60 large-scale physical models, showing 20 of the studio’s latest projects, will be suspended at the second-floor balconies of the Museum’s historic Great Hall in an unprecedented use of this public space.


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Walter Jonas: Modell Intrapolis, 1960-65, DAM Frankfurt. © Stiftung Walter und R. M. Jonas

Artists as Architects

February 21 – March 29, 2015
MARTa Herford
Herford, Germany

(im)possible! asks whether artists designing buildings can be more innovative, radical, provocative than architects, seeing as they don’t have to worry about building regulations, economic feasibility and the whims of investors?

The exhibition presents the whole spectrum of artistic border-crossings into architectural turf, offering a long line of striking examples from throughout the 20th century.


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Architecture of Independence. Photo © Vitra Design Museum Gallery

Architecture of Independence: African Modernism

February 20 – May 20, 2015
Vitra Design Museum
Weil am Rhein, Germany

When many countries in Central and Sub-Saharan Africa gained their independence in the 1960s, experimental and futuristic architecture became a principal means by which the young nations expressed their national identities.

The exhibition Architecture of Independence at the Vitra Design Museum Gallery, researched and curated by architect and author Manuel Herz, is one of the first presentations of this remarkable period in our more recent architectural history.


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Favela Painting // © Photo: Iwan Baan

52 Weeks, 52 Cities: Photographs by Iwan Baan

February 21 – June 13, 2015
Deutsches Architekturmuseum DAM
Frankfurt/Main, Germany

Iwan Baan is a master of his craft. In high demand among star architects, Baan photographs buildings all around the world by anyone from SANAA to Zaha Hadid.  However, Baan prefers to think and photograph in social contexts, and is far more interested in how people relate to architecture, take possession of it, use and thus change it.

52 Weeks, 52 Cities is a sort of visual travel diary and illustrates Baan’s view of globalized architecture, focusing bon slums just as much as boomtowns.



Hélène Binet: Fragments of Light. Photo © Hélène Binet, courtesy Ammann Gallery

Hélène Binet: Fragments of Light

February 28 – March 22, 2015
WUHO Gallery
Los Angeles, California, USA

For twenty-five years, she has photographed the work of leading contemporary and historical architects, notably Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind and Peter Zumthor. Her work captures the atmospheric qualities of architecture and emphasizes the interaction between structure and natural light.

Co-curated by Binet and Bills, Fragments of Light presents work that spans her career, including now-iconic photographs of Zumthor’s Therme Vals and Hadid’s Phaeno Science Center.


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Tange by Tange 1949-1959. © Toto Gallery·Ma

Tange by Tange 1949-1959: Kenzo Tange as seen through the eyes of Kenzo Tange

January 23 – March 28, 2015
Toto Gallery·Ma
Tokyo, Japan

This retrospective commemorates one of the most prominent architect of postwar Japan, Kenzo Tange. The exhibition places its focus on the decade from 1949 to 1959, during which Tange debuted as one of the architects charged with the task of rebuilding Japan, after the devastation caused by World War II.

Tange by Tange 1949-1959 presents a picture of Tange’s early years through a series of never seen before photographs taken by Tange himself during his extensive travels. The exhibition conveys a young, very contemplatve Tange deeply engaged with architecture, while struggling to find his footing.