Studio Krucker Bates
During our architectural studies we had a great opportunity to attend classes at the design studio of professors Bruno Krucker and Stephen Bates at Technical University of Munich. The first one is a Swiss architect running an office called von Ballmoos Krucker Architekten in Zürich and the other lived in London, where he has its practice Sergison Bates architects (read more about it here). The course we have completed left us with a great deal of insights into creating a certain atmosphere with design and remaining faithful to the essence of things.
The main design tool at the studio was a physical model. By using this method we investigated the scale of the building, the play of light and atmosphere it creates, the relations between spaces. Sometimes the picture from the physical model was the final way of presenting the design, with no need of using computer renderings. We would then print textures of the materials and glue it on the surfaces, recreate furniture with wires and bits of wood so that we can understand the scale of the spaces and the picture looked as real.
One of professor's Stephen Bates fascinations was the character of seventeenth century Dutch paintings. The picture he showed most often during his enthralling lectures was of a painting by Johannes Vermeer called Het Straatje, meaning The Little Street. He talked about the multitude of worlds in that single frame, about the depth, the colours and the composition, textures of the materials which all constituted its atmosphere. There was even an assignment called 'Retracing atmosphere' where students had to reproduce the atmosphere of a real given place in a small scale model.
Professor's Bruno Krucker focus point was tectonics: the cohesion between the structure of things with their appearance. It translated into designs where the structural elements were seen as beautiful, because they play a crucial role and therefore should not be concealed.
The whole studio has a very distinctive character, which could be traced in the interiors of the teaching rooms: full of light, greyish wall paint and wooden furniture, in the graphic presentation of assignments and even in the way the professors dressed. Their style and teachings surely influenced our present design philosophy.