Essays

“La Chose Perdue” (© 2018 Till Schaap Edition, Bern)

(…) En définitive, aussi bien l’expérience de travail en collaboration avec Catherine que l’admiration pour son œuvre m’ont confirmé une fois de plus que les arguments auxquels nous recourons, en tant qu’artistes ou architectes, pour stimuler, produire, décrire, justifier une œuvre ou lui donner un sens, sont indispensables et, simultanément, fixent leurs propres limites et ne garantissent pas en dernière instance leur sens et leur valeur intrinsèque. Nous savons cependant qu’eu égard à leur signification ultime, l’art comme l’architecture partagent le mystère de l’ineffable. Ceci est particulièrement vrai pour l’œuvre de Catherine Bolle. Son sens et sa force sont intensément visuels et, en son sein, se suffisent à eux-mêmes. En feuilletant cet ouvrage, malgré toutes nos tentatives de “parler” de ses œuvres, ce qui impressionne le plus est précisément l’indicible : une mystérieuse capacité à procurer de la “beauté”, ce mot si galvaudé par l’intellect et pourtant si indispensable pour l’esprit. Texte complet


“Toward an Integral Practice of Architecture” (© 2014 Birkhäuser Verlag GmbH, Basel)

In the course of these essays we have reflected on a series of changes that are transforming the discipline of architecture in a significant manner. What are the questions suggested by these reflections? Is architecture yielding to a process of mutation that will lead to something new and perhaps better, which we must comprehend and to which we must adapt? Or are we living through a time of decadence that could incite more radical reactions and give rise to cultural changes more profound than the ones we imagine? And what should be our attitude toward all of this? (...) Complete text currently available in English


La soeur cadette par Ignacio Dahl Rocha in Catherine Bolle "Les ateliers contigus" (Benteli Verlags AG, 2011)

(...) Pour nous architectes, ce travail en commun nous apprend à récupérer l’acuité d’une sensibilité esthétique que les exigences de notre profession pourraient éroder. Elle nous apprend également à reconnaître et à accepter la valeur de l’ineffable dans le processus créatif, à jouir des moments de solitude et d’angoisse devant des décisions esthétiques sans se réfugier dans la rationalité et l’objectivité de la technique, à créer sans vouloir se justifier. (...) Complete text currently available in french

 

On Tact. Some Thoughts on the Architecture of Richter & Dahl Rocha by Jorge Francisco Liernur, translated by Inés Zallduendo in "The Architecture of Richter & Dahl Rocha” (Birkhäuser, 2007)

(...) The singularity of the architecture of Richter & Dahl Rocha resides precisely in the fact that it does not call attention to its “originality.” However, before it can be dismissed as just another déjà vu, it reveals a subtle resonance that may not be perceived at first glance. In contrast to the potent images proffered in mainstream architecture magazines, which capture the reader’s interest in an aggressive way, the resonance that we perceive in the work of Richter & Dahl Rocha demands from the beholder a sustained effort to comprehend it. And what is interesting about the work is that it achieves this subtle resonance by situating itself in a liminal space determined by the architects’ refusal to abandon the archaic realm of Architecture itself, and their resistance to the exaggerated rhetoric and histrionics of the mass media. They achieve this without losing sight of the field of practice defined by programs, modes of production, and public as well as private patronage. It is in the work’s ability to maintain this tenuous balance, almost to the point of its own disappearance, that we discover its appeal. (...) Complete texte



Introduction (continued) by Jacques Gubler in Richter et Dahl Rocha, architectes 1990-1996 (Lausanne: Editions RDR, 1997)

(...) On the one hand, the architects rejection of personal discourse, vindicating the physical presence of the work only. This presence would be strong in its own phenomenological right that architecture would become « normal » and go unnoticed. Such a standpoint comes up against materialisation problems. How can one build and reject image? What is ordinary should avoid any type of spectacle, display or expressive gesture, and the typology’s anonymity should respond to the social need for architecture, which is both money-saving (funds) and wise (constraints). The ideal postulates that the form effaces itself to the benefit of a single usage. Morally and physically, the architect attempts to incorporate the technical strategy of « sustained development » into the project. (...) Complete text


That impossible silence
by Jacques Richter & Ignacio Dahl Rocha in Richter et Dahl Rocha, architectes 1990-1996 (Lausanne: Editions RDR, 1997)

(...) Does the idea of vanguardism – of continually surpassing what came before- not imply permanent obsolescence? Is this compatible with the vocation of that built in as much as a cultural product destined to transcend and connect future generations in time? Should not innovation, rather than an a priori attitude, be the result of critical, creative and responsible attitude, which could admit the possibility of its own rejection ? (...) Complete text