Context and Matter

written by Jordi Badia


Can there be a national architecture?


It seems difficult to defend the view that the variety of architectures being produced in a single country, originating from architects coming from so many diverse generations and styles, could have some common features that would enable us to differentiate them from architectures being produced in the rest of the world. However, should we assume that it is possible to identify certain similarities in specific geographical zones, then we might concur that this is much easier to achieve in smaller countries. It is true that we often, without even being aware of it, speak of Swiss architecture, and link this expression with a certain type of architecture characterised by simple geometry and carefully executed details, just as, when we refer to Dutch architecture, we know that we are defining a completely different character, expressive and bold in form.