Barents Lessons: Teaching and Research in Architecture

Barents Lessons presents the results of a research project in the remote, yet resource-rich and for this reason geo-strategically crucial Barents Sea region. Starting with the thesis that the ocean is an urbanized territory, master students at laba (Laboratory Basel) completed a one-year investigation, moving from the territorial to the architectural scale over two semesters. The three-part structure of Barents Lessons reflects the applied methodology: Part one [Analysis] presents a detailed, inter-disciplinary analysis of the region under five research themes and resulting in five “Territorial Constitutions” for the Barents Sea. Part two [Trip] documents a ten-day field trip in the region in February 2012. In part three [Projects] 13 architectural projects are presented as a synthesis of the knowledge and experience gained, and as specific architectural propositions based on one of the constitutions. These architectural projects act simultaneously as a “proof of concept” for the Territorial Constitutions. Spectacular maps and graphics conceived and designed especially for this book—some of them on large-size fold-out pages—visualize the analysis, striking photographs document the field trip, and numerous plans and images describe the architectural projects. Barents Lessons also gives an insight into the working process carried out by laba, a satellite studio of the Institut d’architecture et de la ville (IA) at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) based in Basel. Under the leadership of Professor Harry Gugger, laba publishes the Teaching and Research in Architecture series since 2008 to share the results of its annual research and teaching projects and to contribute to the discussion on the future of architectural education.

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