Architecture is the continuation of nature by other means

Bettina Götz und Richard Manahl, ARTEC Architekten
Art Front Gallery, Tokyo, 1998


Architecture is the continuation of nature by other means:  the simple form of the complex

In architecture we are interested in specific space and the aspect of the sculptural, the inevitable proximity to sculpture: Space, which in intensified form ideally influences our perception, as a landscape can, simultaneity of the known quantity and the unexpected.


What we strive for is not the exaggeration of nature, but a parallel to nature. We are fascinated by the spatial elaboration of an object and it’s peculiarity, not by a neutral or indifferent character. We designate objects as "sculptural" or "plastic" which demonstrate determination, whether coming from the non-programmed art circuit, or from the technical area ruled by laws. The sculptural impression occurs above all in buildings marked by a strong structural component.


The involvement with sculptures and their potential, the "typological" aspect of building, is one of the approaches to the process: Reduction and pushing to the limit of the materialized circumstances of the societal situation and the possibilities of production. That what has become evident can be elevated to principle, allowing one to concentrate on the essential.


Certain methods of the process are determined pre-emptively:

- the implementation of materials in full-format

- valuing the right angle

- the implementation of light to differentiate elements

- materialization of the context

- experimental dosage of light

- freeing the nature of the material

- pushing the surface to an extreme

- preference of the horizontal to the vertical


Beginning with the typological, general sheme, our architecture becomes specific by the superimposition of the context for which it is conceived. Thus, so-called difficult sites are of special interest to us: The more complicated the accompanying circumstances are, the more complex the solution must be. The built form arises from the concept; it is not designed:


Design is superfluous. Our architecture is not concerned with orders of magnitude. It's not a matter of large or small, but rather of recognizing the problem and the pleasure in the recognition of a solution. As opposed to the de(con)structivist crase for the accidental, we seek the complex beauty in chance. From an abstract thought process emerges concrete form. There are many concept-possibilities, but for each concept just one best path.