An Architecture to Reveal the Landscape

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An Architecture to Reveal the Landscape

Titouan Chapouly & Muriz Djurdjevic


What is the purpose of a representational model? How does it help or hinder the project?

We believe that models are some of the best tools for exploring space, scale and materials. It plays an important role throughout all design phases, ranging from schematic design to very specific detailing or materialisation questions. When switching from one scale to another, physical models have this need of an adequate degree of abstraction that makes us constantly ask what the essence of the project is and how it could be best represented. The model represents a very helpful tool in order to communicate with clients/professors. It has this inner quality of showing architectural relationships between inside and outside, structure and detail, darkness and light far better than any rendering.

Through the collages and drawing you explore the proposal speculating on site and atmosphere, how does the tangibility of the model on a table work with these?

Both of these tools represents specific and different elements of the project. We often use physical models to speak of volume, landscape and structure – it shows the abstract and structural qualities of the project. While renderings are used to give an impression of the project’s atmospheric qualities. We believe in the use of both tools as complementary as they both have inner qualities that work even better when mixed. In order to find a coherence in the whole we carefully choose the materials we use to be able to switch from one representation to another and keep the sense of unity.

How do you construct an image as those in the Distillery ‘collages’ ?

During the design process, we used both physical and computer models to investigate space and atmospheres. Parallel to our physical models, we constantly also produced 3d-renderings such as the interior of the distillery. This image was first fully constructed in 3d using Rhinoceros and was then rendered through Cinema 4D. The still house – as the core of the distillation process – was a very important element in the whole design as the architecture derived from the dimensions of the machinery. It was therefore important for us to show the atmosphere of this specific space and it’s relation to the architecture itself. All these stills are the result of a deep research in the relation between shape, size, materials and final products.

How do you and Titouan decide on the treatment of an image, do you have similar approaches?

Rendering are means we both use to further develop and support our design ideas – especially to give impressions and atmospheres. We are not interested in producing images that are photorealistic, because we believe it is important to let space for reflection and imaginary. As all projects have different ideas and concept, we never treat images the same way. The imagery must be composed according to the design ideas we intend to communicate. It is also important to keep a certain abstraction and to make the image work on its own – to make it say something without needing other supports to understand it.

Birch Akvavit Distillery

How can an industry reveal the beauty of a landscape?
Starting from this paradoxal questions, we wanted to raise the question of how an industrial component, or structure, can speak about its surroundings and even, sublime it through a totally artificial construction. Heidegger’s concept of « the bridge that reveals the river and the landscape itself » interested us as metaphore of the project. This concepual image explains how artificial systems can enhance the all-natural physical conditions of a site. With the introduction of a site-specific industry, where potentials of productivity and preservation would meet, a new meaning for a place can be found.

Muriz Djurdjevic_2Muriz Djurdjevic_4

Photo by Douglas Mandry

Photo by Douglas Mandry

Muriz Djurdjevic_1

Photo by Florian Amoser

Photo by Douglas Mandry

Photo by Douglas Mandry


Titouan Chapouly and Muriz Djurdjevic are architecture students at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. They are both currently doing their diploma at the Laboratoire Basel (laba) with professor Harry Gugger.


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