Nov 3–Dec 9, 2023

JEMS Architekci

The Matter of Layers
Karl-Marx-Allee 96, 10243 Berlin
Tue–Fri 2–7 pm, Sat 12 am–6 pm

The global economic and social changes as well as environmental conditions are discussed in many different ways in contemporary architectural discourse. In practice, however, mainly technical solutions are propagated for the radically changing framework conditions. Often, these require even more technology and thus create new problems or take up additional resources. Parallel to this, the fundamental understanding of architecture as the art of building to create durable, simple and universal objects is disappearing. A culture of living that synergistically combines use, form, material and environment is increasingly being replaced by "systems" that rely on complex technology, optimised functional processes and external energy.

Against this background, JEMS Architekci present six projects that focus on the simultaneous coexistence of sustainability, openness and multidimensionality. To achieve these qualities, the office often works with "layers", which are weighted and formulated differently depending on the design task. They can serve as material and ideal building materials, signify functional overlays, expand the boundaries between inside and outside, and enable the succession of different climate zones within a building. In addition to these concretely measurable properties, they define the cultural significance and, in the best case, the human dimension of architecture. In combination, they illustrate an integral, holistic vision of contemporary architecture whose components are in balance. The examples shown ultimately lead to the question of whether it would not be better to strive for radical simplifications and replace complex technologies with multi-layered buildings.

JEMS Architekci was founded in Warsaw in 1988 as one of the first private architectural offices in Poland and is one of the most successful there today. Its best-known projects include the AGORA publishing house in Warsaw (2002), the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2014), the Katowice International Congress Centre (2015) and the revitalisation of the Warsaw Brewery (2021). In 2013, JEMS won the competition for the new building of the Polish Embassy in Berlin, which will be completed at the end of 2023.

Opening: November 2nd, 2023, 7 p.m.
Speakers: Ulrich Müller, Claus Käpplinger

Discussion and book presentation: December 7th, 2023, 7 p.m.
Speakers: Maciej Miłobędzki, Marcin Sadowski, Marcin Szczelina