Troy X

Troy X, an exhibition of student design from the prestigious Architectural Association in London, opens in Istanbul at the up-and-coming gallery Rodeo on 3 July.

The exhibition showcases innovative architectural explorations on top of the ancient site of Troy.

The work was produced by Diploma 3 in 2011/12, an AA design unit run by London-based architects Peter Karl Becher and Matthew Barnett Howland who curated the exhibition. As a critique on modern-day town planning, the ambitious objective of the project was to ‘reboot’ the Western city by drawing on the intriguing history of the hill of Hisarlik. The exhibited work describes proposals for the tenth layer of Troy – a contemporary self-sufficient city for 100,000 inhabitants of multi-cultural background.

Peter Karl Becher and Matthew Barnett Howland say: “We organised this exhibition because the results of the Troy X project were outstanding and we wanted to take the work to Turkey that was the inspiration for the project. Anyone interested in the historic site of Troy and contemporary architecture would enjoy this exhibition. The work on show is diverse, stretching from detailed building design to large scale urban design.”

Exhibition dates: 3 July – 27 July 2013. Private View Tuesday, 2 July 2013, 4-8pm
Location: Rodeo, Yeni Hayat Apart., Sıraselviler No:49 D:1, 34437 Taksim

“In 1870 Heinrich Schliemann began digging for Homer’s Troy at the hill of Hisarlik in west Turkey. He could not have known that over the next twenty years he would reveal nine layers of settlement remains piled up into an artificial mound of significant height. Built one on top of the other between circa 3,000 BCE and 500 CE, Troy encapsulates over three and a half millennia of the rise and fall of different peoples and cultures, from Maritime through Anatolian and Balkan, to Hellenistic and Roman.

As a critique on modern-day town planning the ambitious objective was to ‘reboot’ the Western city by drawing on the intriguing history of the hill of Hisarlik. The exhibited work describes proposals for the tenth layer of Troy – a contemporary self-sufficient city for 100,000 inhabitants of multi-cultural background.

Inspired by the oldest and most influential work on architecture in existence, Vitruvius’ Ten Books on Architecture written in 15 BCE, the enterprising venture oscillated between two scales: building design and urban design. This unusual span from infrastructure to façade sections and furnished plans made the venture into a project which, unlike typical building or master-plan projects, would inevitably stay fragmented.

Broken down into eight distinct but related ‘fragments’, the architectural project was situated within the bigger picture of a range of contemporary urban issues: from multi-generational housing to city growth without sprawl, from urban mathematics to fuelling and feeding the city, from approaching and entering the city to the protection of the hinterland, from post-fossil transport to the reintegration of domestic farm animals into the city. The fragments were then interpreted and assembled in an ‘archaeological’ manner to form an incomplete yet coherent thesis.

TROY X was inspired and critiqued by international professionals from various disciplines including archaeology, engineering and architecture, history and theory, and sculpture.

Peter Karl Becher & Matthew Barnett Howland”

Biographies of the unit masters and curators

Peter Karl Becher established Studio Becher in London in 2007 after working for Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, Beijing (Bird’s Nest) and London. He studied at the Städelschule in Frankfurt under Enric Miralles, Peter Cook, Mark Wigley and Cecil Balmond, as well as SCI-Arc in Los Angeles. He taught at London Metropolitan University, Kingston University and NTNU Trondheim before teaching at the AA.

Matthew Barnett Howland is co-founder of MPH Architects. He studied at Cambridge University and the Bartlett and has extensive teaching experience from the Architectural Association, Kingston University London, London Metropolitan University, Cambridge and the University of East London. In 2004 he was awarded the RIBA Tutor Prize.

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