“There are no indigenous materials anymore. You can find yourself in Italy being offered Indian marble because it’s cheaper, and that’s…it’s just very confusing. Or else the marble is Italian, but it’s being sent to India to be cut, and then shipped back to Italy. It means that unless you’re up in the Swiss mountains, or in the Cotswolds in England, where there are pre-described architectural languages that you should clearly respect, it’s a conceptual rather than practical issue. I do think it’s the case that because of industrialization and globalization everything is gradually starting to look the same, and the question is how can you stop buildings looking like each other? We just made a small office building (pictured) by the railway lines at King’s Cross in London, where they’ve recently dismantled the cast iron gasometers. I was inspired by all that Victorian architecture, which led to us making the columns from cast iron, which is actually a fantastic material. So in one sense, it’s a predictable and arbitrary connection to history, which is not necessarily right or wrong, but it’s a clue as to why you make a building different to others.”
-Architect David Chipperfield in an interview in The Travel Almanac. Chipperfield’s “Sticks and Stones,” an exhibition-cum-renovation prologue goes on view October 2 at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.