A masterpiece that is not a building or a house but a column. A masterpiece that is quite modest yet extremely powerful. A single element, a fragment. A column that, according to the two authors, was tested on site in real size in paper. A column that is not a literal structure but a joyful compositional device. A witty celebration of a non-structural element (architects should be stealing more columns from engineers). A column that is not honest but then, “there is no honesty in the history of architecture”, as Maria Conen and Raoul Sigl say. A proudly placed figure that marks the transition from a living room to a terrace, tying the two spaces together using a peculiar language. The point where three different pavements meet. The column is slightly, yet deliberately, off-centred within an almost square doorframe. Its “body” is composed of two parts, the very classy shaft and the capital. A glossy white cylinder with a wooden cube on top. A carefully calculated (or maybe, a simply intuitive) proportion and the correlation between the two parts. The two finishes are matching the frame, white on its sides and wood on top. A moderate complexity is introduced within a fragment of a building. A fragment that then becomes the centre of gravity of the entire space. A figure with a very specific character that casts a decisive shadow. Could it be a reference to Siza’s rotating columns in the house of his brother, António Carlos Siza? To Loos? To Schinkel? The column that supports nothing, but rather standing there alone as a monument. That column unhesitatingly takes place in a long history of posts, poles and pillars.
Authors: Conen Sigl Architekten
Place: Zürich, Switzerland
Photographs: Roman Keller
fala is a naïve architecture practice based in Porto. Founded in 2013. Led by Filipe Magalhães, Ana Luisa Soares and Ahmed Belkhodja, while both hedonistic and restrained, the atelier takes lightness and joy very seriously.