the world as form

point supreme

a+u #637, 2023

fala have escaped reality. They managed to build a world of their own, a strange place made of a limited set of materials, colours and patterns. This world is empty in terms of mass but hyper-dense visually. There are lines, surfaces and shapes. Squares, triangles and half-circles. Stripes and grids. Pink, blue, green. Black and white. Concrete, mirror and marble.

In this world, architecture’s main elements are arranged in airy compositions, consistently reinvented, redesigned and highly formalized one by one: doors, windows, closets, ceilings, balustrades, handles, hinges. Floors are stripped, kitchens stepped, exhaustion hats pyramidal or arched, bathroom walls curved or double curved. Doors float without frames, handles and lights become circles, balls and cylinders. Grids appear simultaneously through tiles, glass bricks, metal sheets. Everything is specific, free standing, singular, lightly attached or even mobile; furniture pieces are mostly open, objects casually placed on the floor. Users too: there are no families, children or old people, but individuals, like objects in the spaces; single, free, colourful, aloof.

The entire repertoire of architectural tools and communication methods have also been reconsidered, every possible method attacked and appropriated; everything becomes a design topic worthy of concept, form, image. Collages, line drawings, photographs, professional or anecdotal, coloured or black and white, the website. Nothing is left out. Even text becomes subjected to design and is given a form, an image, an identity. Titles of projects, descriptions, categories, themes, become characters in regular appearance; tropes, heroes, careful accidents, pretentious kitchens, questionable handrails, light hearted pavements, masks, proud drainpipes…

Only real architecture geeks could have achieved this so well; fala love architecture, know it extremely well and have wholeheartedly dedicated themselves to it. Studying online maps and knocking on doors, collecting books and magazines, this group of young architects are beneath everything great architecture historians, something visible in their relentless appropriation of methods that extends to the world of the visual arts.

That is probably fala’s biggest skill of all; not only they refuse to surrender to the reductive constraints of our practice, they re-invent commissions in every possible way, designing all aspects, creating their own definition of a field of action. Visualizing and building their own idiosyncratic, hyper-formalized world.

Few architects have achieved an oeuvre so instantly recognizable, so soon, and this is a very valuable quality. fala have proven that there’s no excuse. Architecture and its side products can always be significant, unique, beautiful. Never dull or insignificant, permanently playful, pleasurable, fun.