American architect John M Johansen, whose futuristic work takes its inspiration from cutting-edge science, is in the country for the UK launch of his book, Nanoarchitecture: A new species of architecture. Johansen, who will be presenting some of his recent projects at the Building Centre in London's Store Street tonight (Thursday), was taught by Gropius, employed by SOM and Breuer, and won the admiration of Reyner Banham and Archigram.
The projects featured in the book rely on the still speculative, theoretical - some would say, fantastical - technology of molecular engineering. Molecular Nanotechnology (MNT ), Johansen claims, 'represents a new phase in the evolution of man-made structures'. Drawing on the coding properties found in DNA, 'atoms of various chemical make-up'would be assembled in patterns and 'programmed to replicate themselves'. Projects include a molecular engineered house for the year 2200 that emerges, over a nine day period, from a vat of chemicals, molecularly modelled to the architect's specifications (2000). After completion the house responds to the inhabitants'changing needs, 'expanding the living space to form a small study, repartitioning the master bedrooms and extending the wheeled legs to a new site'.
His multi-storey apartment building (2001) is grown in stages of four- or six-storey increments in response to market demand. Intricate coding allows for great diversity between the apartments.
To book a place, email events@building centretrust. org or tel 020 7692 6209.