Marte. Marte – Appearing Sculptural

Vernissage 23.03.2016 19:00
Curator Michal Škoda


The Lecture by The Marte. Marte Architects



The brothers Bernhard / 1966 / and Stefan / 1967 / Marte studied architecture at the Technical University in Innsbruck. In 1993, they co-founded the Marte.Marte Architecten atelier at Weiler, a small municipality in the federal state of Vorarlberg in the Rhine valley. Apart from a number of private houses, they have also built numerous prize-winning buildings in the fields of culture, education, infrastructure and health care. Their structures are distinguished by their stringent sense of abstraction, reduction and understanding of their location. Countless successes at competitions and international awards testify to the merit of this studio, whose staff currently numbers 25 employees.

Typical features of the work of the brothers Bernhard and Stefan Marte include rigorousness of concept, a well-arranged organisation and a sculptural form. They are able to respond to a historical context with great sensitivity whilst providing convincing re-interpretations of existing structures. Apart from wood, glass and rammed earth, they also frequently use concrete.

The sculptural expression that Marte.Marte look for is not merely a matter of form, but an expression that offers more than that which can be seen. In this respect, idea and content constitute an obvious emotional basis. They are able to respond to the context of the environment with great sensitivity, and although their realisations, which include a sculptural signature, might provide the impression that they are responding to the natural surroundings in which they live and work, it is actually more about a place in the countryside becoming the key moment for the architects. As they admit, the crucial aspect within the sculptural language they employ for their forms is that it helps them achieve a total reduction to the very essence. A mere reduction, however, would fail to make sense unless it resulted in a strong form.

Thanks to the high quality of their projects, Marte.Marte have achieved a number of awards and won several competitions, all of which give them a high reputation, and at the same time their name is appearing on the international scene with increasing frequency.

Their personal signature, which may be found in the formal simplicity of their massive structures, becomes a means to redefine the context of the location and to achieve a positive tension in harmony with an order visible in the complexity of existing environments, which complete one another with high sensitivity. Concrete, the main material for the prevailing part of their realisations, is not only used because it is their favourite material, but also because it is required by the actual projects. Concrete, as a freely shapeable material, allows the creation of subtle spatial compositions with an obvious emphasis on the effects of light and materiality.

The exhibition prepared for the Gallery of Contemporary Art and Architecture in České Budějovice provides a representative view of the present work by Marte.Marte Architecten. It displays the concepts, thinking, materials, as well as the people behind these projects. The visitor is brought into an environment of a unique experience of space, form and emotion.

The exhibition is a contemplative and suspenseful presentation providing an insight into present-day confrontations with structures which have artistic and cultural purposes. The actual exhibition is based on the blending of two levels – one consisting of a white, object-spatial structure, and the other consisting of a remarkable series of films, created in collaboration with photographer and experimental filmmaker Andreas Waldschütz.


The exhibition also includes a book that conducts a survey of the present work by Marte.Marte, which was awarded the Austrian State Prize for book design, the silver medal for the most beautiful book in the world in Leipzig, the European Book Prize in Athens and the DAM Architectural Book Award.


The exhibition was prepared in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Chartered City of České Budějovice and the Austrian Culture Forum in Prague.


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