Weathering is how a building records atmospheric phenomena. Designing architecture capable of weathering is an aesthetic departure from the delusion of permanent newness and the eternal sterility of modern materials. Places allowed to weather blur the exterior/interior divide. Bubbles appear, pores and cracks open up, and these accumulate detritus, fine dead organic matter brought by rain and wind. Behind this sediment appears spontaneous greenery, wind-borne organisms settle, and animals climb over the roughness. Burrows, cavities, cocoons, nests, i.e., new microhabitats, are created. Weathering takes buildings out of our illusive control and helps them tune into the rhythms of nature.
Małgorzata Kuciewicz and Simone De Iacobis from CENTRALA believe in chronobiological architecture. Such architecture aims to build and reinforce the sense of being part of the rhythms of night and day, the seasons, and other planetary and weather phenomena. Therefore, they don't perceive weathering as degeneration, but as the beginning of regeneration, the return of matter to circulation.
At VI PER, architects from CENTRALA present their recent investigations. They explore architecture’s tools for understanding and designing microclimates. They question our openness to discomfort. They investigate the linguistic and formal richness of wetlands, the long but forgotten relationship of architecture and aquatic botany, and the potential that lies in forgetting the Vitruvian principle of firmitas and detaching architecture from the solid ground.
CENTRALA is a Warsaw-based architecture research studio that works with reinterpretations and spatial interventions aimed at renewing the language of architecture. In their architecture research practice, they examine the relationship between architecture and natural phenomena. They conceive of architecture as a process, considering gravity, water circulation, and atmospheric and astronomical events as its building materials.
Interested in memory and materiality of architecture, CENTRALA stimulates public debate on the protection of post-war architectural heritage. Learning from the legacy of Warsaw designers (including Zofia and Oskar Hansen, Viola and Jacek Damięcki, or Alina Scholtz), they restore forgotten architectural expertise: the grammar of the 1950s and 1960s Polish exhibition designs, the shared vocabulary of post-war modernism, or the use of aquatic botany in architecture.
Their work has been presented in solo exhibitions: Amplifying Nature in the Polish Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, and The Pavilion of Reverberations at the 2020 Festival Internacional de Arquitectura y Diseño de Logroño. They have collaborated as exhibition designers with numerous European museums and gallery spaces, including the Polish Pavilion at the 2016 Triennale di Milano. Together with Alicja Bielawska and Aleksandra Kędziorek, they represented Poland at the 2021 London Design Biennale with the exhibition The Clothed Home, which later toured to the National Museum in Krakow and the 2022 Lisbon Architecture Triennale. For more info visit https://centrala.net.pl
Image: Tomasz Kubaczyk
Installation photographs: Peter Fabo