David Chipperfield Stirling interview
The trophy ...?
Chipperfield: It is not tectonic enough.
Schwarz: It should have the capacity to age with dignity. Well, at least the names are great.
Do you have a favourite past winner?
Chipperfield: I think Laban is the best one. But, I'm not a great fan of Wilkinson (Eyre) because there is a certain type of English architecture which is little bit expedient.
What was your client's (The German Archive of Literature) brief?
Chipperfield: The client is a very respected institute and well known among academics and researchers, but it is not well known amongst the general public and this building was an attempt to build a bridge between the public and the work of the institute.
The exhibits [which include Kafka's original manuscript for The Trial] are not very easy to show. They are pieces of processes that are not designed to be looked at.
The building has been described as Fascist
Chipperfield: There is not a link with Fascism, there is a strong link with Classical architecture. Simplistically, in Germany the Classical tradition was hijacked by Nazis and so there was a period, very prevalent in south Germany, where architecture in Germany had to look much more informal and casual.
I think the one thing we have done in Germany that has been picked up is a legitimisation of a modern Classicism and from our point of view we are interested in the abstract qualities of Classical architecture.
The column is a Classical measure of man.
Schwarz: But somehow it is not even columns, it is sticks that allow voids next to them. It is the sticks and the gaps.
Chipperfield: On the one hand this is really modern, and on the other we recognise that there is a certain tectonic clarity.