TV Architect meets Patrik Schumacher at Symposium of Experimental Architecture in Prague
The Symposium of Experimental Architecture attracted a stellar group of European and American architects to Prague in late October. Organized by the Jaroslav Fragner Gallery in Prague as part of the Experimental Architecture Biennial, the symposium presented progressive and innovative ideas and inspirations in readings by a number of renowned international architects, including Patrik Schumacher, head of the Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) studio in London; Austrian architect Wolf D. Prix, co-founder of the Coop Himmelb(l)au studio; and Preston Scott Cohen of the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
The TV Architect team was on site to talk to four of the architects about the views and philosophy behind their design work. We spoke with Schumacher and a junior architect at his studio, Jakub Klaška, Filippo Gilardi of MX3D, who 3D printed the world’s first functional pedestrian bridge in Amsterdam, and Prix, who presented his timeless designs at the symposium. We will broadcast the interviews on our website every day starting today until Tuesday.
Schumacher is up first. He talks about ZHA and his personal approach to the wide research his studio has been conducting over the years. “Architecture is something we should focus on less in the end,” he says. “We should focus on what we want to achieve with the architecture, how we want to frame, gather, allow to associate, re-associate and re-configure audiences in public spaces, in private spaces, in semi-public spaces and in all activity spaces we are designing for.” The ZHA research focuses on people’s behavior in buildings and analyzing if the space supports their comfort and communication. Schumacher also touches on robotics, which is becoming extremely valuable to architects. Without robots, it would not be possible to produce certain parts of buildings that architects design.
ZHA is currently working on a flagship project in the Czech capital called the Prague Central Business District, a redevelopment of the area between the Masaryk train station in Prague 1 and the Florenc metro station in Prague 8. Schumacher says that he recently met with the leaders of the investor and developer, Penta, as well as Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová to discuss the project. “It’s a very complex project at the interface of various urban districts, embedded in an urban fabric but also there is a lot of space to create something very new, a totally new urban square, a new center, recreating the fragmented no-man’s land behind the highway in particular, and the beautiful aspects of networking across the station roof with an urban plaza, so the whole area will be totally transformed, and that is the kind of projects we like.”