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How do buildings talk? Embodied experience in the Rolex Learning Centre

Lookup NU author(s): Toby Blackman



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


The Venice Architecture Biennale in 2010, curated by Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima, co-founder of Tokyo-based practice SANAA, included a remarkable twenty-four-minute 3D film by the German director Wim Wenders depicting the practice’s Rolex Learning Centre in Switzerland. Entitled If Buildings Could Talk, the film ran in a continuous loop, without a tangible beginning or end, much like the building itself. Invited by SANAA to develop the film, Wenders found himself confronted with a new type of space that he had no prior experience of, and no vocabulary to describe: ‘The Rolex Learning Centre’, said Wenders during a talk given at the Biennale, ‘is more landscape than building.’

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yang J, Hale J, Blackman T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: arq: Architectural Research Quarterly

Year: 2021

Volume: 25

Issue: 1

Pages: 83-92

Print publication date: 01/03/2021

Online publication date: 27/07/2021

Acceptance date: 07/04/2021

Date deposited: 25/06/2022

ISSN (print): 1359-1355

ISSN (electronic): 1474-0516

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S1359135521000129


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