Form Survives Function so That Life Overcomes Architecture

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Form Survives Function so That Life Overcomes Architecture 


Gosplan Architects



Who influences you graphically?

We’ve always been fascinated by Russian constructivism and by old american advertisings. Even if they seems to be poles apart, they both are primordial attempts of shared aesthetic languages for mass societies wired by the first communication technologies.  We studied these kind of graphics during our graduation thesis because we were interested in architecture as a mass medium and consequently we focused on its representation and communication. Nowadays every website, blog, social network, book, magazine, movie or exhibition is an opportunity to store up new visual impulses and generate a huge basin to draw from. We were born in the early ’80s, so we belong to the first generation of the so called “millennials”. As “millennial architects”, we have an overriding source of influences that’s the world wide web. Surfing the net, every image or graphic is contemporary and simultaneous, completely available.

On what basis do you decide to format a certain projects? (square, rectangle etc) how can this help highlight the proposals objective and or identity?

We usually try to tell a story behind every project. The project shape arises only after a long discussion about context, communication, typology, etc. Nevertheless, at the end of the process, the project has to be lead back to a synthetic form. That simplifies its communication, its assimilation and, in the end, its possible transformation in the future: because form survives to function, as Aldo Rossi pointed out.

To what extent does the juxtaposition of contrasting imagery through collage help in establishing a new language and connection for these fragments?

We often use dichotomy as a device to generate unexpected links between images. The sources have to be conceptually contrasting, but they have to be graphically, atmospherically, even emotionally related, so that you can generate an unexpected coherent new image. We think that the peculiarity of digital collage is that you can no longer distinguish the borders between the different sources, as Sam Jacob wrote in a striking post on his blog.

The images are always presented as inhabited by people who are portrayed graphically as ‘different’ to the landscape, how does the inclusion of these give life and help in portraying a specific atmosphere?

Since we believe that architecture is a mass medium, we think that his final task is to give people new chances of getting in touch. “People meet in architecture” – this is the point according to Kazuyo Sejima. Consequently, each collage or postcard or drawing we produce is mostly conceived and assembled to emphasize and make explicit the relationships between people who live that space. This way to represent architecture during his full occupancy has nothing to do with the fact that sometimes architects pretend to plan also the best way to inhabit their architectures: we strongly believe that life overcomes architecture just like reality overcomes every kind of fiction, narrative, article or thesis.

You explore drawings through both collage and simple line drawing, is there one medium you prefer more than the other?

No, there is not. Sometimes we combined them. The truth is that we would like to explore every time a new graphic. We use simple line drawings especially illustrating interiors, such as in the perspective plans and sections about the apartments we refurbish, and for landscape or conceptual projects, like the manifesto about Russia (a drawing that we love particularly). On the other hand, collage is the best way to portray an atmosphere, a light, a collective imagination we refer to, and so on. Summing up, we can say that simple line drawing is more speculative, while collage is more sensitive.

gosplan - after the ship launch

Guggenheim Competition Helsinki

gosplan - lifecycle

Guggenheim Competition Helsinki

gosplan - milan civic centre

Milan Civi Centre



gosplan - voronezh sea

gosplan - diga foranea 2

Diga Foranea

gosplan - diga foranea

Diga Foranea

gosplan - boccadasse house

Boccadasse House

gosplan - bamiyan


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Balbi House

gosplan - harbour attic

Harbour Attic

gosplan - einbahnstrasse




Gosplan believes in architecture as a mass medium.

As such, architecture is a production of forms, a tale about space. Like every medium, architecture is not based on the message occasionally transmitted (environmental sustainability, functional program, authorial code, etc.) but on establishing new connections: links between forms, concepts, people. An architecture aware of its role as a medium, knows how to evaluate its impact over the world, because at the ends of a medium there are always two realities.

Gosplan was established in Genova in 2010 by Federico Bellegoni, Nicola Lunardi, Veronica Rusca, Lorenzo Trompetto.



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