Emilio Ambasz: Architecture Toward Nature

What is architecture and what makes a building more than merely a sum of its parts? How does one inhabit a place? Can buildings peacefully coexist with nature? Should architects strive to create emotionally charged total works of art? These are some of the questions that are central to the work of Emilio Ambasz. Architecture Toward Nature exhibition, organized by the New York-based Curatorial Project, examines the ideas and buildings of Ambasz, an architect, designer, curator, and writer who has been designing and building radical green projects for 40 years. He is a crusader whose work and ideas were, in the words of James Wines, the “forerunner of Green Architecture.”

Ambasz believes that architecture must be pragmatic, but its primary reason for being is to move us emotionally. It is for that reason that his architecture has a very poetic and solitary quality. It does not belong to any particular age, and does not necessarily belong to any particular place either. His projects are more like dreams, in which one stumbles upon these fantastic fusions of architecture and landscape. The architect says: “The ideal gesture would be to arrive at a plot of land so immensely fertile and welcoming that, slowly, the land would assume a shape – providing us with an abode. And within this abode – being such a magic space – it would never rain, nor would there ever be hardships of any other sort. We must build our house on earth only because we are not welcome on the land. Every act of construction is a defiance of nature. In a perfect nature, we would not need houses.”


15 January 2018 to 4 March 2018


The Shanghai Study Center, The University of Hong Kong
298 North Suzhou Road
Hongkou Di Shanghai


The University of Hong Kong


Emilio Ambasz: Architecture Toward Nature