At Home. Projects for Contemporary Housing
April 16–September 5, 2021
Curated by Margherita Guccione, Pippo Ciorra, André Tavares and Sérgio Catumba
After one year in lockdown, literally "at home," we are happy to announce the opening of At Home, a pre-pandemic exhibition which demonstrates that architects have been long debating and experimenting with how and where we live.
What kind of houses do we live in? How do today’s architects design our homes? How have notions of housing changed over the last generation? This exhibition analyses investigations and answers to these questions through the work of several architects. Based on the collection of the MAXXI museum in Rome, the exhibition moves from small-scale shelters to large collective housing projects, revealing complex and hybrid experiences that bear witness to new relationships between individuals and communities. The exhibition takes pairs of projects as its starting point. Original materials from MAXXI’s historic archive of Italian architects provide a revealing counterpoint for works of contemporary architecture. In Lisbon, the pairs presented in Rome are each complemented by a Portuguese example, expanding the meaning and readings arising from the materials presented.
Within the multiple readings that the exhibition presents to the audience, there is a thread that discusses various concepts for contemporary housing. It starts from the idea of shelter, and which geographical conditions, minimum areas and key functions are required to call a home a home. The materiality of the house, the rationale of its construction, the care for detail and the technological prowess of architecture can together bring unique qualities to living, shaping the atmosphere and experience of daily life. These constructive qualities architects deal with constitute a sequence that is interwoven with the formal qualities of design, including specific typologies and arbitrary inventions. For instance, a courtyard can be the theme that brings together quite different houses, as a call for the imagination of both designers and users. Various projects illustrate these hypotheses, as in the case of continuous load-bearing stone walls viewed in dialogue with wooden porticoed systems.
The examples brought to the exhibition include new forms of living, as well as old forms that have maintained a substantial presence in contemporary society. From the different users of the city to the pressures of temporary touristic housing, to the challenging program of assisted homes for the growing elderly population, the focus is on users and how architects operate in response to the commons and collective life.
Architecture is a discipline that can bring plenty of joy, open possibilities for living, master rationales of construction, push forward technology and sensitive progress, illuminate the experience of our daily life and integrate all and other qualities within precise actions and forms. This exhibition offers an overview of how architects have dealt with, and are keen to keep working on, the way we live together.
The exhibition is accompanied by a public program including site and exhibition visits.
About Garagem Sul
Garagem Sul is a space dedicated to architecture at Centro Cultural de Belém, a cultural venue in Lisbon known for its music, dance and theatre program. Housed in a former parking garage, Garagem Sul offers a unique atmosphere for the presentation of architectural works and ideas. Projects at the Garage seek to present a wide range of different positions through which architects might redefine their role in society, and interrogate new means of building our world.