Durability and Erosion

© 2020 EPFL

© 2020 EPFL

Conférence de Ramun Capaul et Gordian Blumenthal, Capaul & Blumenthal architects à Ilanz, dans le cadre de la série Docomomo Switzerland / TSAM

The underlying needs, requirements and external influences relating to the origin of the building are changing. Buildings lose their original purpose and become obsolete. Simple structures such as barns scattered around the rural landscape are being taken back by nature as the years go by. The wind blows away the roof, the building is struck by lightning or the structure collapses under heavy snow. What happens to traditional semi-detached houses in a village that were conceived for an extended farming family that has not existed in this form for a long time? What about the old blacksmith in town when there are no more horses to be shod? When will existing buildings be replaced by new ones, and when should they be maintained, preserved, integrated, upgraded, transformed or extended? The cultural significance of existing buildings, the properties of material and construction, spatial qualities and presence in the rural or urban context lead to evaluations and approaches regarding the starting point and depth of the intervention, considerations on adding or subtracting layers, and the continuity, overlapping or redesign of constructional and spatial structures.

Gordian BlumenthaL (b. 1967) and Ramun Capaul (b. 1969) are architects who graduated from ETH Zurich. They founded the firm Capaul & Blumenthal in Ilanz in 2000. Their landmark projects, which have won several awards, include the Sil Plaz cinema in a former blacksmith’s shop in Ilanz (2010) and the beautiful restoration of the Thüralihhus (2010-2014) as part of the revitalisation project for the village of Valendas initiated by Schweizer Heimatschutz. Their latest project, a timber-framed apartment building in Bonaduz, is published in the latest issue of the magazine werk, bauen + wohnen (3/2020). They are visiting professors at EPFL in 2019-2020. 

Tuesday, 31 March 2020, 17h30

Live streaming : https://epfl.zoom.us/j/353979336