Intermediate 4 Athena Erato Thrasyvoulou, Volterra?s Code: A Therapeutic Memorial of Memories, Intermediate 4, 2017?2018


Arantza Ozaeta Cortázar and Álvaro Martin Fidalgo

‘... the art of making the familiar exotic and the exotic familiar’
– European Association of Social Anthropologists

Today’s social groups have multiple identities and values systems – weak ethics and strong aesthetics – ephemeral compromises and soft solidarities. Every one of us belongs to multiple (and sometime contradictory) communities and social groups with whom we share common values and ideas, tastes, political perspectives, religious congregations, cultural associations, food societies, urban tribes, sport clubs, academic classes, troops, crowds, gangs, circles, clusters, crews ... the list goes on and on. Daily interactions take place on specific architectural platforms. From formal congregational spaces to informal meeting points – from social media to direct contact – these diverse and social ethnoscapes strengthen our capacity to connect. We celebrate these singularities and conflicts to explore strategies of contestation, re-appropriation and network-making.

Intermediate 4 tackles the way we consume territory, architecture and resources. While some communities vanish and their common spaces are abandoned, others emerge and demand new spaces to inhabit. We aim to track these congregational architectures in the process of disappearance, and propose a new dialogue with them based on the emerging dynamics of social interactivity.

We interrogate the thin line between protection and destruction, preservation and progress; our projects claim that inhabiting involves not only construction but also adaptation; not only enlargement but also dismantling; not only discarding but also reusing, reducing and refurbishing.

Our ambition is the detection of areas of opportunity within a constantly changing European environment and the development of a set of operative tools for a generation of architects who must seamlessly respond to a rapidly evolving social scene with fantasy, innovation and precision. We will test our critical and creative conjecture through multiple conversations and workshops with specialists – historians and storytellers, ecologists and anthropologists, engineers and artisans – aiming to react to today’s urgencies through architecture, to bridge fictionalization and fact, and to ally today with tomorrow.

Extended Brief

Unit Staff

Arantza Ozaeta Cortázar and Álvaro Martin Fidalgo are architects, educators and founding partners of the Madrid-based office SOF-T which develops architectural spaces in environments that connect local identity with contemporary culture. They are recognised as one of the most promising young architectural practices in Europe. They have taught at the AA Visiting School programme and teach at the Polytechnic ETSAM and IE School of Architecture and Design (Madrid).

Intermediate School


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Projects Review 2018

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Prospectus 2018-19
AA Prospectus

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Special Programmes Course Booklet

Undergraduate Course Booklet
Undergraduate Course Booklet


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