Content of event:
The relationship between shell and core, between façade and constructive structure is one of the central questions of architecture. Whether the exterior of a house should reflect its interior is still a matter of disagreement today. According to Philip Johnson, modernism had ignored the issue of the façade; polemically, he wrote in 1959: "The façade is something you look at, it is an important part of the building. Ideologically, however, it has become the least important thing during the last thirty years."
In the contempt for the façade and the surface, which is also anchored in common usage ("only façade", "superficial"), the division of aesthetics into an essential and an accidental realm resonates, i.e. the devaluation of attached versus free beauty.
Since postmodernism, the subject of the façade has undoubtedly gained in importance, and in view of a multi-layered façade structure, the question arises as to how the various layers are combined and materialised - and how a monolithic façade concept is possible.
Hubertus Adam was born in Hanover in 1965 and studied art history, philosophy and archaeology at the University of Heidelberg.
Since 1992, he has worked as a freelance art, design and architecture historian and as an architecture critic for various trade journals and daily newspapers, especially the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. In 1996/97, he was editor of Bauwelt in Berlin, and in 1998, he moved to Switzerland and was editor in charge of archithese, which is published in Zurich. Since 2010, he has been artistic director of the S AM Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel, and between 2013 and 2015 was its director with overall responsibility. In this function, he curated about four exhibitions per year. His exhibition programme focused on the architecture of the post-war decades from 1950 to 1980 as well as transdisciplinary projects, among others on the media of architectural mediation.
Adam has published widely on contemporary architecture, 20th-century architecture, photography, art and sculpture around 1900, design history, landscape architecture, stage design and monuments. He is active as a juror as well as a speaker, moderator and guest critic for various international institutions and universities. In 2004, he received the Swiss Art Award for the sector of art and architecture education