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Enric Massip-Bosch on Architecture and Travel

Interview Date: 01-03-2013
(More interviews from this person)

VIEW the entire interview on VIDEO!

What is the importance of architectural tourism?

Tourism in general can be very negative. I would rather think that there is a difference between tourism and travelling, there is a difference between a tourist and a traveler. Perhaps, a traveler tries to understand the context compare to a the tourists which is compassion or just want to see things, and I think that architectural tourism as a post to architectural travelling can be very much an illusion of cities and architecture we have this problem all over the place not to mention in Greece for instance. It is a global problem that is not really easy to deal with. Except through education, I don’t know.

What is the importance of travelling especially for architects?

It is essential. It is very important to travel in order to have other experiences. I always suggest to my students to have other experiences in another country in another culture if it is possible try to grasp, as many things are possible for their own personality building. It is probably the most interesting part of architecture the one that deals with the complexities of the world and tries to bring them together into a single response, which is actually what our work is about.

What is the added value that architecture creates within a city?

Architecture does not create added value to a city, architecture is the city or the city is made of architecture, it’s a physical aspect. If you mean that architecture is somehow above near construction then we have a problem. Architecture should be everywhere, architecture should not be only flashy buildings, it should also be the background for our lives and this background doesn’t have to be special or really flashy, it is enough that it is moving and stimulating or just plain and simple an agreeable space to live. The city that is made out of a good background and with certain highlights is the city that is better than the city that is made only of highlights or only of background or a city that it was only made of contraction without any other aspect. We think about all the instant cities that have been built in the last ten or fifteen years in the world and most of these places are not places they are just spaces with people feeling in floors. They don’t have a real sense of place if they don’t think about the public space which I think is the glue than brings together the community and actually that gives a feeling of the identity of a place.

At last, can you please provide your personal proposal for ten buildings (constructed and visitable) that you are the most important worldwide and someone must visit anyway?

I really believe that you can only talk about architecture when you are visiting, we miss a lot of dimensions of architecture when we talk about it only from pictures but still I would like to point out emergence of many excellent architects in places. You can find excellent architecture in Somalia you can find excellent architecture in Tanzania which is beyond the excellent tradition of modern architecture, there are developments everywhere in places that are unheard and unexpected if I might say from my point of view. And I think for me this is the most interesting lets say the best ten buildings in the world I still haven’t visited, I hope I have the chance to visit all those places that are out of centrality of the west centrality.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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Enric Massip-Bosch

Enric Massip-Bosch

Country: Spain
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ENRIC MASSIP-BOSCH CURRICULUM VITAE. Born in Barcelona. Architect graduated from ESCOLA D’ARQUITECTURA DE BARCELONA — UPC-BarcelonaTECH. Associate Professor, Design Department — UPC-BarcelonaTECH. Obtained a Japanese Government Monbusho Scholarship to do research at Tokyo Institute of Technology— TokyoTECH and worked at Shinohara Atelier (1987-1989). He has lectured and participated in multiple seminars in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Saragossa, Seville, Vigo, Tokyo, Kawasaki, Chiba, Kyoto, Buenos Aires, Rosario, Rafaela, New York, Miami, Budapest, Amsterdam, Maastricht, Vienna, Paris, Bergamo, Milan, Piacenza, Pescara, Venice, Porto and Bucharest. His theoretical work has been widely published in magazines and books, among which are: Experimental Dwellings, 1971-1994 (Barcelona: Edicions UPC, 1996), Architecture on the Horizon (London: RIBA, 1996), Concealed Complexities (Tokyo: Toto, 1999), Diagonal ZeroZero (Barcelona: Lunwerg, 2011). He was co-founder and member of the editorial board of WAM-Web Architecture Magazine (1996-2001). Currently he is Member of the Advisory Committee to the City of Barcelona, Member of the Commissione finale di Dottorato in Progettazione Architettonica e Urbana—Politecnico di Milano (Italty) and of the Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del sistema Universitario e della Ricerca (Italian Government).

In 1990 founded EMBA_ESTUDI MASSIP-BOSCH ARQUITECTES with which he has won many awards and competitions. EMBA is an internationally-oriented practice developing projects of a wide range of scales and typologies for both public and private clients worldwide, offering a highly singular and integral service of architectural and urban design. Works and research by EMBA have been shown in many exhibitions and have been published in international magazines and, among others, in the books Top Young European Architects (New York: ATRIUM GROUP, 2006), ArqCat (Barcelona: COAC, 2008), Guia d’arquitectura moderna. Catalunya: 1880-2007 (Barcelona: COAC, 2007), Arquitectures dels equipaments públics a Catalunya 2000-2010 (Barcelona: GISA, 2010), Diagonal ZeroZero (Barcelona: LUNWERG, 2011), Office Architecture, (Hong Kong: RIHAN INTERNATIONAL CULTURE CO. 2012) and Skyscrapers (Salenstein (CH): BRAUN PUBLISHING AG, 2012).

Among the most recent projects by EMBA we can point out, by their geographical and typological diversity: Diagonal ZeroZero Telefonica Tower, Barcelona (FIRST PRIZE LEAF AWARDS 2011, PREMI CONTINUARÀ 2011, SHORTLISTED EMPORIS AWARD FOR THE BEST NEW SKYSCRAPER 2010, 2011, NOMINEE COUNCIL ON TALL BUILDINGS AND URBAN HABITAT CTBUH 2011 BEST TALL BUILDING AWARDS, WINNER PREMIO QUATRIUM 2010, WINNER PREMIO ACTUALIDAD ECONÓMICA 2009); Volpelleres-West mixed-use building (market, commercial centre, offices, housing, car park) St. Cugat del Vallès (Catalonia. SHORTLISTED LEAF AWARDS 2010, FIRST PRIZE competition 2003); 5-star Hotel and Commercial Centre, Ar Riyadh (Saudi Arabia, 2010); 110 dwellings, Sant Boi, (Catalonia. FIRST PRIZE competition 2009); Renovation of Place de la République, Leucate (France. first prize international COMPETITION ABITARE IL MEDITERRANEO, 2009; SHORLISTED 5TH BIENNAL DEL PAISATGE, PREMI ROSA BARBA, 2008; FIRST PRIZE competition 2005); 87 dwellings, elderly housing and civic centers, Barcelona (FIRST PRIZE competition 2008); Headquarters and Logistic Centre, Moscow (Russia. FIRST PRIZE competition 2007); Secondary school, Girona (Catalonia. RUNNER-UP BIENNAL D’ARQUITECTURA DE GIRONA 2007. FIRST PRIZE competition 2003); Urban planning and housing for a new residential area, Cunit (FIRST PRIZE competition 2006); New Penitentiary, Tàrrega (FIRST PRIZE) 2006); Medical centre, Sabadell (FIRST PRIZE. RUNNER-UP THIRD BIENNAL D’ARQUITECTURA DEL VALLÈS) 2005. FIRST PRIZE competition 2001); Secondary school, Artés (Catalonia. SELECTED PREMIS FAD 2004. FIRST PRIZE competition 2000); New general access and Traumatology building extension, Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Barcelona (FIRST PRIZE 2004); Riverside park and Pla de les Hortes Master plan, La Roca del Vallès (Catalonia. FIRST PRIZE 2004); Renovation of the Square Gambetta, Carcassonne, (France. FIRST PRIZE competition 2003).