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Current Work: Kersten Geers | OFFICE

Monday, September 23, 2013, 7 - 9pm

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OFFICE–Chambre of Commerce, Kortrijk, Belgium, 2008-2010 | photo: Bas Princen OFFICE–Computer Shop, Tielt, Belgium, 2007-2010. | photo: Bas Princen OFFICE–Wall, Brussels, Belgium | photo: Bas Princen
OFFICE–Chambre of Commerce, Kortrijk, Belgium, 2008-2010 | photo: Bas Princen

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Architectural League of New York.

Each year The Architectural League in its Current Work program presents the work of significant international figures who powerfully influence contemporary architectural practice and shape the future of the built environment.  Kersten Geers will present the work of his firm in a public lecture to be followed by a conversation with moderator Annabelle Selldorf.

Founding principals Kersten Geers and David Van Severen opened OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen in Brussels in 2002. OFFICE aims “for a literal architecture,” which the firm defines as “direct and precise spatial proposals, [or] formal compositions without ironic provocation.” As exemplified in “After Party,” the firm’s installation for the Belgian pavilion at the 2008 Venice Biennale, this emphasis on effect, tectonics, and experience over program and rhetoric demonstrates OFFICE’s belief in “phenomenological experience”–personal and sensory–as a basic function of form and space.

Recent work includes a computer shop and office in Tielt, Belgium; the Chamber of Commerce in West Flanders, designed in collaboration with Bureau Goddeeris and Bureau Bas Smets; and OASIS, an installation at the 2013 Sharjah Biennial 11 in the U.A.E. In addition to numerous residences, the firm has also completed the Bridge for the Handelsbeurs in Ghent and the competition-winning speculative scheme for a border-crossing center for pedestrians walking between the United States and Mexico.

Moderator: Annabelle Selldorf is the founder and principal of Selldorf Architects, and serves as the President of The Architectural League.


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  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

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  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.