A tribute to contextuality

Monday 13 Feb 2012

LAN explores new strategies to contextual architecture

LAN, created by Benoît Jallon and Umberto Napolitano in 2002, is short for Local Architectural Network, for its discourse is situated at the intersection of several disciplines. LAN works towards exploring new territories and addressing social, urban, functional and formal questions, in an attempt to find elegant, contemporary answers to creative and pragmatic concerns.

In a world where functions are constantly changing - to refer to a passage from the preface for the Italian architect Aldo Rossi's A Scientific Autobiography,  ‘we have to understand that to a certain extent, form transcends function'. By acknowledging this break with functionalist logic, LAN's intent is to conceive of a subversive architecture, stronger than its demand and more durable than the politics that generate it, an architecture that is invisibly ready to survive and adapt to change, that proposes novel scenarios and transcends its evolving use.

LAN believes that matter itself states a truth capable of forging an atmosphere and defying time, which make for the specific qualities of each architectural project, such as: the EDF Archives Centre in Bure, France, completed in March 2011, whose intelligent morphology and innovative skin enabled high energy performance, while addressing the landscape and the Student Residence in Paris, France, completed in March 2011 and designed with a desire for durability and the pursuit of a sober, refined and classical style integrated with the La Chapelle district.

Futher projects include the Gymnasium and Town Hall Esplanade in Chelles, France, completed in January 2012, an environmentally responsive civic building whose strong architectural identity was created through a double-skin façade with glass and copper-covered wood panels on the inside; the ALMA Hotel Residence in Atacama, Chile (competition 2011), a small-scale city project where habitat, commerce, education, politics and culture collide to form a response to an extreme environment; and the BankMed Headquarters II in Beirut, Lebanon, (competition 2011), a project of urban topography with volumetric gestures improving visual connectivity and relationships to the city.

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