.One might claim that parts of architectural academia suffer from a Frankenstein complex that seems to feed a certain academic fear of dealing with the messiness of the real world. This professional fear that the political, social, technical, economic and legal realities will fundamentally weaken and compromise pure architectural thinking rests on the misperception that architecture is not, essentially, of our given lifeworld. Being the first major project of the emerging practice Element Architects, the Teachers' Union Conference Center highlights the importance of the architect as a skilled negotiator, not merely the provider of flattering design. Critically acclaimed for its unconventional approach to a well-known brief, the building is a prime example of how solutions for improved sustainability can be embedded architecturally in a way that enhances the spatial and architectural qualities. Through its innovative technical detailing, it also demonstrates the significance of the architect being able to understand and engage the full range of technical skills present in the interdisciplinary team of consultants. In his polemic essay Boris Brorman Jensen raises the issue of a perceived academic reluctance to acknowledge the impact of real-world pragmatics on the architectural expression of built architecture.
Essay by Boris Brorman Jensen.