ARCH+ news

ARCH+ features SToA: Expanded Photography – The Work of Hans Werlemann

Wednesday, 02 December 2020, 7:00 PM CET
Online event

© Hans Werlemann

Hans Werlemann & Claudi Cornaz (Hectic Pictures, Rotterdam) in conversation with Stephan Trüby and Zsuzsanna Stánitz


2042: The Villa Dall’Ava by OMA (1992)
Premiere of A Forgotten Film

Stream via
Facebook Live: ARCH+
YouTube: IGmA Channel
Twitch: K1-TV

With a background in advertising and years of setting up darkrooms for photographic film developments, in 1973 Hans Werlemann as a photography company was founded. As a photographer, Werlemann is dedicated to analogue production techniques and is mainly known for his collaboration with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Even though, the initial encounter with Rem Koolhaas ended up defining Werlemann's practice, his ouvre encompasses projects and collaborations that enriched the entire Rotterdam cultural scene.

Renaming Werlemann's company as Hectic Pictures was a subtle reference to the impact of the collaboration with a rather busy OMA reality, however it also signals the start of a crucial partnership that saw the filmmaker Claudi Cornaz joining Werlemann on his ventures. Hectic Pictures became not only the official photographer of the OMA projects, but a creative hub whose input was requested from model making through exhibition design to project developments. Their studio in the live-work community „Utopia”, situated in Rotterdam's iconic former watertower, provided the space for the building and documentation of OMA’s famous “La Villette” project in 1982, in which both Werlemann and Cornaz were involved in depth. The creative duo was also the creative mind behind OMA’s proposal of the ZKM project in Karlsruhe with a feature of a digital surface (1989).

In the course of the conversation we aim to unravel the unique position Werlemann and Cornaz developed and present it through a selection of photographs, models, installations and publications. For the first time, an almost forgotten and only rarely screened film by Hans Werlemann and Claudi Cornaz will be premiered in full length: 2042: The Villa Dall’Ava by OMA (1992), bringing together Jean Nouvel, Rem Koolhaas’ „Story of the Pool“ from Delirious New York, a real giraffe greeting the postman in and around the famous Paris house – a both surrealistic and futuristic montage, which was probably intended as an homage to Rem Koolhaas’ father Anton Koolhaas, who became famous for his animal stories. He died when the Villa Dall’Ava was just finished.

We do not touch however only on Hans Werlemann’s and Claudi Cornaz’ collaboration with OMA, but discuss their role in the wider cultural field in and beyond the Netherlands since the 1970s – from „Utopia” to the present; to MVRDV, Irma Boom, Riek Bakker or Martin Aarts.

SToA (Stuttgart Talks on Architecture) is an event series organized by the IGmA: the Institute for Principles of Modern Architecture (Design and Theory), University of Stuttgart.

Concept: Prof. Dr. Stephan Trüby, Philipp Krüpe / Production: Philipp Krüpe.