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Let’s Talk About Houses: Between North and South

Dublin Architect Studio Negri Let's Talk About Houses: Between North and South image

‘A House in Luanda’ (1st prize, competition), Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2010

The exhibition Let’s talk about houses: Between North and  South examined dwelling conditions and the new solutions found in the specific contexts of various regions around the world. With a broad span of commissioners, the exhibition examined the meaning of the specificity of place, the modernist legacy, and new solutions to the question of the dwelling.

House – the ‘in between’ influences of Architecture

‘A house… is the representation of an idea of belonging; it is an exudation of those who live in it, changing, transforming, modifying, and subverting the plan,’ states head curator Delfim Sardo. So the discussion and exhibition was to be on the presupposed conflict between designer and user.

The main exhibition bore the sub-theme Between North and South, Portugal being ‘in between’. The exhibition centered mainly around depicting the influence of different cultures, climates and social circumstances on the living environment: in Portugal itself, in Brazil and Africa (i.e. former Portuguese colonies), in Scandinavia and in Switzerland.

Such influences can be seen in the 2007 private dwelling, by Dublin based Architect Studio Negri. The location is Seafield, South Africa but the design incorporates a confluence of Architectural Thought. The open plan design and tall ceilings, allowed by the warmer climate, demonstrates the obvious need to address the local variables.

The perimeter walls in face-brick use a Flemish bond – commonly used in Georgian buildings in Dublin – and not normally used in South Africa.
Studio Negri, Private House, Seafield, South Africa (2007)
The flat roof becomes a garden that maximises views. Most buildings in the surrounding area have pitch roofs, but this design can be seen as influenced by the modernist ideas of Le Corbusier – the roof garden being one of his five principles of design.


The Triennale proposes that we celebrate architecture in the way that it connects most directly to society, taking the house as its archetype and considering questions surrounding contemporary dwelling.


For more information, see the official Lisbon Architecture Triennale website:

For more information about the Architect Le Corbusier and his Principles of Architecture: also:


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