AV Monografías presents a new monograph on E2A. Logic and Desire gathers twenty realized projects: from the first key projects, such as the residential buildings Broëlberg (2003), to the recently completed Water Police Zurich (2022). A foreword by Luis Fernández-Galiano opens the publication. In the following essay, Philip Ursprung explores the significance of the city and metropolis in E2A's work and places selected projects in context, scale, and time within this framework. Piet Eckert and Wim Eckert's contribution observes contemporary conditions within architecture production. Along this line, they discuss topics on urban, social, and political conditions and their impact on their methodology.
Publisher/Editor: AV Monografías
Foreword by Luis Fernández-Galiano
Contributions by Philip Ursprung and Piet Eckert and Wim Eckert
No. 248, 2022 AV Monografías, E2A - Logic and Desire
120 pages, Spanish / English
Geometry and Freedom
by Luis Fernández-Galiano, in AV Monografías, Nº 248, E2A - Logic and Desire
Piet and Wim Eckert see the bottle half full. Aware of the conflictive, changing environment in which they work, their projects offer hopeful responses, starting from the limitations of site or program to supply spaces open to transformation and appropriation. Behind facades of exact geometry and hermetic seduction they create realms of freedom that are never suggested with expressive excesses. Laconic and elegant, their buildings use few words to define their place in the city or their role in society, but that landscape of silences does not exclude a critical view of the current moment of architecture. Intellectuals who interpret the world, and designers who strive to change it, it would be easy to imagine them undecided between the pessimism of the intellect and the optimism of the will, but their role as architects prevails over their critical view, and each occasion offers an opportunity.
Few designers have their methodological vision, or their ability to analyze the social and ideological context of their works, which they address with the technical and formal toolbox of construction. Their contradictory snapshots, with which they try to illuminate what they call the ‘metacontext’ of the projects, move from the strategy that structures them to the objectives that guide each intervention, and their close reading explains the result better than a description. From essential issues like scale or density, which they aim to reconcile with freedom, to their focus on material sustainability and the economy of housing, the Eckert brothers combine their Swiss training with their Dutch experience to raise works where the constructive rigor of their home country is enriched with the pragmatic creativity we associate with the recent architecture of the Netherlands.
Our magazines have followed closely the career of E2A since the foundation of the studio in 2001: the two first works in this monograph where already published in 2004 and 2005 in and AV, and the maritime center that closes this list appeared in AV Proyectos in 2012, which devoted a dossier to the office in 2018; the Metropol Tower and the Escherpark buildings were included in Arquitectura Viva in 2016 and 2017, and the same magazine would take them to the cover in 2019, featuring in detail Bethanien, Moos, and TAZ. Each of these publications has put emphasis on the double soul of the office, which makes its work exquisitely built and admirably free, and no title sums this up better than the one given to the selection of ten projects four years ago, ‘Logic and Desire,’ so we have rescued it for this introductory note, turning logic into geometry, and desire into freedom.