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ARCHITECTS • LFA DIGITAL 2020  

MARINA BAUER
OPAFORM • BERGEN, NORWAY

When I met Ivan Jones, I was working on several housing projects. The portrait was taken at a building site outside the city of Bergen. The project was a family housing, the piece of land was tricky since half of it consisted of a rock and creating a building without demolishing the sites identity was key. We placed the house in extension to the rock, making the terrain an asset instead of an obstacle. The architecture joint forces with the surrounding nature and the family got a unique house with a strong connection between the indoors and outdoors. Maintaining the characteristic terrain and using sustainable materials resulted in a project that was published widely, proving that basic architecture can create great results for everybody. 

Me and my husband have been building our architecture office OPAFORM since 2012. Today we have a solid foundation for our practice and work, we are situated on the west-coast of Norway and work international with ongoing projects in Norway, Chile, California, and Finland. We target each assignment regardless scale with the same curiosity, our smallest housing project counts 12 m2, our biggest 2000m2. In all our work we look for the basics, all architecture starts with the need for shelter; raising a wall to stop a certain wind, putting up a roof to block the sun or rain, architectures primary function has always been to create a physical shelter from the climate. 

An important challenge for today’s architects is to develop intelligent ways of utilizing built environments without tearing them down. The city of tomorrow is to a large extent already built, acknowledging that resources are limited we know that we need new strategies that are visionary and on budget. Our practice is an ongoing research on the architecture of tomorrow, we experiment on architecture that is adaptable, flexible, and able to adjust to a world that is changing. The last years we´ve focused on re-using buildings and developed a concept that re-activates outdated architecture. By adding independent modules to old empty buildings that have lost their function and value, we´ve reprogrammed and invigorated old structures. Our research of such soft transformation of architecture has brought us to the 17th International Architecture Exhibition organized by La Biennale di Venezia, next May we will be exhibiting some of our work as part of the main exhibition titled How will we live together?

www.opaform.no