“Reflective nostalgia” is the principle adopted by architects Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, founders of the Neri&Hu studio, to develop their own specific approach to design. Freeing the term "nostalgia" from its negative connotation and interpreting it, inspired by the Russian-American scientist Svetlana Boym, as a value and therefore with a constructive and not just a reductive potential, the architects of the Neri&Hu studio use "reflective nostalgia" as a production lens through which to propose an alternative interpretation of the historical contexts in which they operate and therefore a new design process within that context.
A method directly explored in the exhibition entitled "Reflective Nostalgia" recently inaugurated at the Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin, which brings the works of a studio considered the Chinese avant-garde in architecture, research and teaching of the discipline, product and interior design to the attention of the European public.
“Reflective nostalgia”, adopted as a philosophy and design method, allows architects to resist a global and above all an Asian trend, where a development polarised by technological progress and a "kitschy historicism" tend towards a general flattening of cities, with the consequent disappearance of differences and perceptible characteristics of the places.
About 30 different projects created by the studio will explore the link with this design approach. Completed works or works still in the design phase, presented at the Aedes Architecture Forum through videos, numerous architectural models of various sizes and photographs. The works refer to transformations and new constructions carried out in more than twenty cities around the world, mainly in Asia, but also European projects including a restaurant in Paris, a hotel in London and, in Germany, the expansion of the creative Cologne-Ehrenfeld district with an office building. Multifaceted projects referring to buildings constructed following criteria of energy and resource saving, examples of the sustainable transformation of architecture and urban spaces, as well as of the specific approach developed by the Neri&Hu studio
Images courtesy of Aedes Architecture Forum and Neri&Hu Design and Research Office.
Exhibition Title: Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, Shanghai
Exhibition: October 15 – November 30, 2022
Venue: Aedes Architecture Forum, Christinenstr. 18–19, 10119 Berlin
Opening hours: Mon 1–5 pm, Tue–Fri 11 am–6.30 pm, Sundays and public holidays 1–5 pm
Project Images: © Chen Hao, © Derryck Menere, © Fabian Ong, © Pedro Pegenaute
Exhibition Images: © Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk
Captions and Credits
01, 03 Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat Neri&Hu © Pedro Pegenaute
02 Lyndon Neri & Rossana Hu © Jiaxi Yang & Zhu Zhe
04, 05 Aranya Art Centre Neri&Hu © Pedro Pegenaute
06, 07 Fuzhou Teahouse Neri&Hu © Hao CHEN
08, 09 Nantou City Guesthouse Neri&Hu © Hao CHEN
10 Rethinking the Split House Neri&Hu © Pedro Pegenaute
11,12 Singapore Residence Neri&Hu © Fabian Ong
13-15 The Chuan Malt Whiskey Distillery Neri&Hu © Chen Hao
16-17 Suzhou Chapel Neri&Hu © Pedro Pegenaute
18 Design Republic Design Commune Neri&Hu ©Pedro Pegenaute
19, 20 The Waterhouse at South Bund Neri&Hu © Derryck Menere
21-25 Exhibition View Neri&Hu Reflective Nostalgia © Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk