History, Lightly and Untimely

Jean-Louis Cohen 

Biblioteca de la Escuela de Arquitectura, 2010-2014, Gante (Bélgica)

Questioned on the appropriation of existing forms in OFFICE’s projects, Kersten Geers has affirmed in 2017: “We are interested in references, but we use them ‘lightly’.” This modest statement provides an initial orientation for the analysis of the work Geers has conceived with David Van Severen since 2002. It is perhaps too easy here to refer to Walter Benjamin’s commentary on Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus to shed light on an abundant collection of meticulously numbered projects, which passed the 300 mark in 2019. Yet the figure of the winged creature driven irresistibly into the future by the storm of progress, while trying stubbornly to keep looking backwards is an apt allegory for the stance of OFFICE. Few contemporary teams have managed to navigate the muddled waters in which contemporary form and historical consciousness merge – as in the part of the Atlantic Ocean into which the fresh water of the Amazon percolates, changing the color as far as three hundred kilometers away from the shore... 

Included Tags: