Mark #59 explores the exciting architectural ancestry of eastern Germany, once home of the nation's famous reformer, Martin Luther. With the 500th anniversary of him posting his 95 theses onto the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg coming up in 2017, three towns in Saxony-Anhalt have constructed new museums or visitor centres.
Following the trip into the past, we look into the future with a collection of most recently completed projects by Chinese office Mad Architects, devoted advocates of merging architecture and landscape. Starting with Harbin Grand Theatre – whose architectural form extends the environment to become part of the landscape – and continuing to Beihai's Fake Hills – an 800-m-long ocean front development whose geometry combines two common yet opposing typologies of high-rise and groundscraper – and concluding in the city of Huangshan whose ‘mountain village’ consists of ten apartment blocks composed across the southern slope of Taiping Lake.
Next, we turn down the scale with two single family residences, a mountain cabin and a veterinary practice by Austrian firm Marte Marte architects. These small structures reveal the Marte brothers' true inspiration: the castles and lofty towers that fascinated them as children.
To top it off, filmmakers Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine show a building's impact on society's ways of life. Makers of Koolhaas Houselife – a cult hit in architectural circles – the duo's signature is to reveal the human side of architecture. A new set of film projects question the way we interact with buildings, live amidst their flaws and enjoy their peculiarities.
NAP / Hiroshi Nakamura; 2b; Lederer Ragnarsdóttir Oei; CtrlG / 51-1; Filip Dujardin; Diener & Diener; Jorge Suso; Elding Oscarson; Studio Prototype; Espen Surnevik; Robertneun; CF Møller; Tomohiro Hata; Raumzeit; Office O; Studio Archea; Lorenzo Castro; Bloot; Tham & Videgård
In the eastern Germany region of Saxony-Anhalt, three towns – nicknamed Lutherstadt or Luther city – are sites of significant events surrounding Martin Luther's birth, life, work and death. All three towns have constructed new museums or visitor centres to commemorate the famous reformer.
• Mad advocates a merger of architecture and landscape
• Toyo Ito’s interest in a renewed relationship with nature is reflected in cultural centre Media Cosmos
• Carvalho Araújo completed two houses that are dug into the ground
• Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine show how buildings can have an impact on the way you live
• Marte Marte’s projects pay homage to the castles and lofty towers that fascinated the architects as children
• Rolf Bruggink and Niek Wagemans renovated a coach house using demolition materials harvested from an old shed
• Sanaa designed spaces for public gatherings in the form of a meandering river
• Małgorzata Szczurek, Przemek Dębowski and Magdalena Hajduk-Dębowska introduce contemporary architecture to the Polish audience
Order your copy of Mark #59 here.