24 January 2008

Z connection - text

Back in 2002/03 I attended the Atelier Zumthor at the Accademia di Architettura, in Switzerland. In 2007 the Kunsthaus Bregenz had on display the most extensive exhibition of this architect, so far. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see those large-scale models and to feel once again the ‘atmosphere’ that Peter Zumthor was always talking about during his critics to the students. Furthermore, the building itself is definitely worth a visit! I thought this could also be a great chance to meet the people from 2002/03 Atelier Zumthor, who are now spread around in different cities… I decided to call the event the ‘Z connection’.
In order to make the meeting more interesting, I thought it could be nice to show each other’s a short presentation of what one has been doing over the last years… and for that I contacted the Kunsthaus asking whether they could lend us a room with a laptop and a beamer for a couple of hours. The answer was enthusiastic! I immediately started contacting people, and asked to spread the news to others that may have been missing in my email list. Soon I got some positive replies, while some others said they couldn’t join because they were living in Sidney or New York, or they had a deadline in London or Berlin very close to the proposed date. Meanwhile, the news started spreading to other students, assistants or former-students of the Accademia. Some people were telling me that they might bring their girlfriends or boyfriends or other friends that they hadn’t seen for a while… And so did I, asked friends I met during my other professional abroad experiences, in Basel and Barcelona. The group was growing and growing. In the end, there were people from 9 Nationalities (Argentina, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland), travelling from 13 different cities (Antwerpen, Barcelona, Basel, Braumschweig, Frankfurt, Lisboa, Mendrisio, Porto,Vienna, Winthertur, Wolfhalden, Zurich).
Those who presented their work were:
Ana Leite Fernandes (architect, Portugal),
Key Portilla-Kawamura (architect, Spain/Japan),
Nuno Travasso (architect, Portugal),
Paulo Moreira (architect, Portugal),
Rute Carvalho (designer, Portugal) and
Thomas Gantner (architect, Germany)- who unfortunately couldn’t be at the event but still emailed a ppt.
The ‘Z connection’ was a very casual and easy-going event and all participants considered it a success.
Two days later, a smaller group of friends and I met Peter Zumthor in the Therme Vals by chance. We said hello and told him about the ‘Z connection’… Zumthor’s reaction was ‘Ah, a meeting point… that’s a very good idea’. It was the beginning of the Z-A-interaction.

Paulo Moreira