TYPICALOFFICE is an architecture practice led by Yony Santos and Nuria Fernández. Based in Geneva, the studio explores any field of knowledge related to architecture and urbanism, combining an empirical and theoretical approach at any scale of intervention.
Born in Switzerland, Yony Santos holds a MAS from Aalto University of Helsinki (FI) and has worked with Peter Zumthor and Jean-Christophe Quinton among others. In 2014, he became teacher assistant at the Accademia di architettura di Mendrisio and since 2016, he also works as architecture critic and editor for the Zurich-based architecture platform Espazium-Tracés. Nuria Fernández studied architecture at ENSA Paris-la Villette, ETS Granada, EPF La Coruña and also works as independent photographer. Awarded in several competitions, both partners are laureates of Europan Switzerland 2015 and have published a variety of architecture and photographic essays for Swiss and international publishers.
Recently, TYPICALOFFICE with Samuele Evolvi and Sébastien Le Dortz has built an experimental project named dataroom: an independent space for promotion and debate of architecture. Accessible 24/7 and remotely controlled, the project explores the relation between physical and virtual spaces, searching for a new kind of typological space related to contemporary human behaviour.
SAA: How would you describe the style of your office?
TO: We try to reach simplicity as a human expression of beauty.
SAA: How does architecture change the world?
TO: Architecture may not change the world, but it can make it visible by adding some emotional value to its multiple spaces. Somehow, to build is an act of awareness.
SAA: Tell us about a place/building/landscape that inspired you lately.
TO: The city is probably the most complex artwork created by man. Today, its conflicts and relations, as remarkable than detestable, are our main source of inspiration. Places where quality of an environment is measured by the balance between the various contrasts that occur there.
SAA: What is the most impressive building you visited lately? Can you describe why?
TO: Emotions do not have a proper scale, just a specific form of relationship. We recently experienced this feeling during our latest visit to the emptiness of Circus Maximus in Rome. How can the feeling of a non-existing building create such a powerful spatial emotion?
SAA: Do you think that architecture should become more socially/ecologically driven?
TO: In any project, context and needs always precede our architectural intentions. Beyond any specific condition, our aim is to synthetize any constraint in a precise and contemporary answer, no matter the nature of the question.