Reem Almannai was born in Muharraq, Bahrain. After her studies in Weimar, Venice and Zurich, she graduated in 2006 from the ETH Zurich, where she studied under Hans Kollhoff. After working for several architecture firms such as Cino Zucchi in Milan and Hermann Czech in Vienna, she began her professional career at Diener & Diener Architects in Basel from 2008 to 2010. In 2011 she started her own practice. She taught at the Chair of Prof. Florian Nagler at the Technical University in Munich from 2010 to 2013 and since 2015 at the Chair of Prof. Adam Caruso at the ETH Zurich. In 2014 and 2015 she was a Guest Professor for the ADSL Week at the University of Antwerp and is currently Visiting Professor at Uni Kassel. In 2011 she began her research on the work of Josef Wiedemann. A publication that focuses on three of Wiedemann’s buildings was published in 2014. In 2015 she co-founded the Housing Cooperative “KOOPERATIVE GROSSTADT eG” in Munich and is since then a member of the building committee. Since 2014 she works together on own projects with Florian Fischer, in 2016 she co-founded Almannai Fischer Architects.
Florian Fischer studied architecture at the Technical University in Munich and at ETSA Madrid and established his own architecture practice in 2006. He taught at the TU Munich from 2007 to 2013, at the HS Lucerne as a Guest Lecturer in 2014/15, at the University of Antwerp during the ADSL Weeks 2014 and 2015 as a Guest Professor and is currently Visiting Professor at Uni Kassel. In 2010 his project Haus Polz was nominated and shortlisted for the DAM Preis fuer Architektur in Deutschland. In the same year he was awarded the Weissenhof-Foerderpreis for young architects. 2017 the project Turnhalle Haiming won the Deutschen Holzbaupreis 2017 and was nominated and shortlisted for the DAM Preis fuer Architektur in Deutschland 2018. He publishes in various architecture magazines and is the editor of books on architecture, such as “25 Buildings of Chicago”, “Szenen Dreier Haeuser – von Gunnar Asplund” and “Wechselseitig – Zu Architektur und Technik”. In 2015 he co-founded the Housing Cooperative “KOOPERATIVE GROSSTADT eG” in Munich and is since then the chairman of the supervisory board. Since 2014 he works together on own projects with Reem Almannai, in 2016 he co-founded Almannai Fischer Architects.
The City of Glass
Conditions of Time and Technology within Architecture
We understand the teaching of design, at least in parts of it, as the creation of connections and relationships where one doesn´t suspect them at first or where they do not even exist. These gaps create friction and demands for answers of their own, which cannot lie in the mere imitation of references, but provoke students to own answers right from the first day of their studies. This teaching method follows an (artificial) restriction or, to a certain extent, a distortion of the starting point. In this sense our teaching is closely related to essential questions, with which we are confronted within our own architectural practice. All of our built projects so far base on highly precarious starting conditions and apparently unsolvable contradictory demands.
Our research interests lie in the combination of design methodological issues and their analysis on the basis of specific figures, positions and built examples – all against the background of their underlying social and technical conditions. We would therefore refer to our research method as a sort of “Typologischer Schnitt” / “typological section” – not to be confused with the research of typologies. But also not excluded.
As part of our current semester theme „Stadt aus Glas“ / “City of Glass” at Uni Kassel we have made a journey into the recent past of the Federal Republic of Germany: to various institutions, museums and companies and their buildings. The “Typologische Schnitt“ follows a cut through time, 1960 – 2000, and gives a precise framework to our consideration of the topic “Transparency in Architecture and Society of the Federal Republic of Germany from postwar to today”. The research seminar operates with a hybrid scientific-artistic method: through technical and artistic visualization, fragments of reality are placed almost associatively next to each other. Similar to the art itself, it is up to the observer and the discourse to draw conclusions, to establish or reject relationships, to formulate criticism or to set up a cognitive hypothesis. The resulting fragments do not claim to be statistically significant. The selection itself represents a hypothesis.