Foreign Office Architects
Alejandro Zaera-Polo was born in 1963 in Madrid. A graduate of the Escuela Técnica Superior in Madrid, he continued his studies at the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University (GSD). Farshid Moussavi was born in 1965 in Shiraz, Iran. Following her studies at Harvard University (GSD), the Bartlett School of Architecture in London and the University of Dundee in Australia, she was awarded a grant by the Renzo Piano Foundation in Genoa. Between 1991 and 1992 Farshid Moussavi and Alejandro Zaero-Polo worked in Rem Koolhaas’ firm, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), then went on to found their own firm, Foreign Office Architects, in London. In 1995, their firm won the competition for the Yokohama Ferry Terminal, thereby becoming a key operator on the international architecture scene. After teaching from 1993 to 2000 at the Architectural Association in London, they were invited to teach at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam (1997), Columbia University in New York (1998 and 2001), Princeton University (1999) and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) (2002).
The Yokohama project, an emblematic example of their architecture, tests the limit between nature and artifice through the complex interplay of surfaces that alternately become living spaces or vegetal floors. The firm is developing its architecture through the use of cutting-edge technologies and experimenting with the possibilities of organic morphogenesis. They published a book in 2003, Phylogenesis, in which they presented their research in this domain.
© Berlage Institute
this video :
Alejandro Zaera Polo speech video
Friday, 2nd October 2009
at Centre Pompidou
In pictures :
1. Bureaux Trinity EC3, Londres – Trinity EC3 Office Complex, London, GB, 2009
2. New Street Station, Birmingham, GB, 2010 –