Unbuilt Archive is an archive of texts about the practice of architecture without architecture. This project aims to constitute, thanks to the contribution of specialists, the written and theoretical history of a thought that distinguishes the architectural project from its physical realisation. The objective is to find the founding, manifest or symptomatic writings of an approach that does not consider the built form as the only medium for architecture. The current emergence of virtual reality validates even more strongly the hypothesis that it is possible to produce architecture without building it. This new culture echoes an older history of non-architecture that must now be reconstituted. Because as Erwin Heerich said, the best architecture is the one that has never been built.
Unbuilt Archive is an open-source tool to study this phenomenon. It helps to understand what has led architecture to distance itself from its original purpose and to approach architecture more broadly as a form of thought about space. Archiving will necessarily refer to what has been called Paper Architecture or Radical Architecture, but it actually defines, in a deeper sense, an architectural approach that is independent of the production of buildings. The project brings together the material for a series of symposiums planned for the coming years.
From ‘Everything is architecture’ by Hans Hollein -1968, to ‘The architect is not a bureaucrat’ by Gianni Pettena- 1978, ‘City metaphors’ by O.M. Ungers-1976, ‘The Sphere and the labyrinth’ by Manfredo Tafuri-1980, ‘Architecture without architecture’ by Simon Sadler-2005 or ‘The Reality of the Unbuilt’ by Raimund Abraham-1996.
Was in 1960 that Hans Hollein poem told us that: ‘Architecture is in exile now. On the moon. Or at the north pole. While people are building houses. Houses. Houses. Houses. Houses. Houses. Houses’.