Texas is oil, oil is money, money is capital. Capital means breathtaking architecture, but it also means art. Art needs museums, and museums often presuppose amazing architecture.
Perhaps for many of you, Texas may not seem an immediately obvious destination, but upon hearing names like Kimbell Art Museum by Louis I. Kahn, Menil Collection by Renzo Piano, Rothko Chapel by Philip Johnson, Ellsworth Kelly’s chapel ‘Austin’, the Judd Foundation and Chinati Foundation,… sparks the ears of many an architect! This architecture tour highlights the difference and similarities between monuments and monumentality.

Planopli takes you on this road trip (you read this correctly: we travel/drive by car!) from Dallas and Fort Worth to the surreal Marfa to finally end in the unimaginable Houston via San Antonio and Austin.

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Historically known for its textile and flax industry, today the city is establishing itself as a design region with a strong focus on architecture, urban planning, art and education. The Buda Island is exemplary for this, but so are the developments in the various districts such as Sint-Jan or Hoog-Kortrijk. This day trip bears the pertinent planopli hallmark: we offer unique entrances to architectural delights restricted or closed to the public by Office KGDVS, ATAMA, Barozzi Veiga, Robbrecht and Daem, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Michel Desvigne, Point Supreme and 51N4E. Kortrijk is characterised by a multitude of projects, a panoplie or range of outstanding examples where both young and renowned architects are given an opportunity to express themselves and help build a stimulating environment.

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When Mexico and art are mentioned in the same breath, the mind wanders to Frida Kahlo and the heart immediately beats to the rhythm of the passion radiating from her work. A closer look also overwhelms the fervour of Mexico’s world-renowned muralists Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros… and of pre-Columbian and pre-aztec murals. Architecture then, as now, was there not only as a support for this art, but also as its embodiment. We seek this interaction in a very specific selection of art-architecture. We make the most meticulous museum and gallery choices for you and pay attention to how spatiality can support and lift art. Artist studios and homes are also part of this exploration. We visit the homes that shelter and shape artists’ imaginations.

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With Pritzker Prize winner Alejandro Aravena and the refreshing architecture of Smiljan Radic as a guide, planopli goes in search of architectural emotion in the region where Argentina and Chile border each other or where dreamy wine production houses come face to face with social commitment.

The journey goes from coast to coast: after visits to the Chilean cities of Los Vilos, Valparaíso, Racangua and Santiago de Chile, we cross the Aconcagua-dominated Andes to wine paradise Mendoza and then take an inland flight to Buenos Aires.

Along the way, projects in Argentina stand out from the hands of luminaries Le Corbusier, sir Norman Foster and Santiago Calatrava, as well as local heroes such as Adamo Faiden, a4 estudio, Tom Hughes + Fernando Raganato + Eugenia  Mora, Juan Ignacio Ramos and PLANTA and, in Chile, by Emilio Duhart, Izquierdo-Lehmann arquitectos, Cristián Undurraga, Sebastián Irarrazaval, HLPS Arquitectos and Felipe Assadi + Francisca Pulido and, of course, by Smiljan Radic and Alejandro Aravena, among others.

This ‘primus’ trip can optionally be extended by two days to become a ‘perpetuus’ trip. We cross the water by boat to Montevideo to visit projects by renowned Uruguayan engineer and architect Eladio Dieste. As building elements, he used ‘reinforced ceramics’, cerámica armada, an assembly of brick, steel armour and a minimal amount of concrete, including for the Iglesia de Cristo Obrero y Nuestra Señora de Lourdes at Atlántida, a church building that was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021.

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Chandigarh was the impetus for this architectural quest. What remains and lingers after that quest is the feeling of having discovered essence. Architectural, cultural and human essence. It will not be a tourist trip. An important part of the architecture itinerary goes to cities that are hardly, if at all, covered in guidebooks.

We walk in wonder through a country with a history, a whirling mass, a hectic dynamism, abject poverty next to disgusting wealth, a living past with an alienating future. We see historic buildings as well as modernism and contemporary work. We see the work of Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, Charles Correa, Studio Mumbai, Balkrishna Doshi, Matharoo, Bimal Hasmukh Patel, Sir Edwin Lutyens, Raj Rewal, Joseph Allen Stein, Aditya Prakash… But above all, we see a world.

Eva and Dominique are prospecting in July, so you will read more in August!

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The Japan trip will be a balanced blend of contemporary, traditional and modern architecture. But culture, nature, art and Japanese life are also present. Planopli travels for a fortnight through the land of the rising sun, ending in Osaka where the World Expo will have started by then. This ‘primus’ journey can be extended by an additional, in-depth week: the ‘perpetuus’ journey!

Announcement under construction… more later!

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The largest enclave of Le Corbusier buildings in modest Firminy overwhelms us with poetry.
During an overnight stay in couvent de La Tourette, we embrace Le Corbusier’s Spartan dirigisme.
We discover Georges Adilon’s rare plasticity, on different scales: maison J and école Sainte-Marie Lyon Saint-Paul. Nothing remains undesigned.
Still fulfilling their original functions, the established values of le quartier des États-Unis (Tony Garnier), le quartier des Gratte-Ciel (Robert Giroud, pupil of Tony Garnier) and la cité des Étoiles (Jean Renaudie, pupil Auguste Perret) will convince us of their quality.
In Lyon, the Rhône and Saône rivers lead us unhurriedly to the Musée des Confluences, which announces livable urban space with acupunctures by Herzog & de Meuron, Jean Nouvel, Christian Kerez, Manuelle Gautrand, Diener & Diener

news release end July 2021: It is clear that many architecture travellers are taking a wait-and-see attitude with regard to the corona measures that keep changing even within Europe, not at least with regard to the delta variant… However, this means that there were not enough inscriptions for the September 2021 trip. But… we have done all the preparatory work and are therefore fully prepared to offer the trip again at a later date when the covid landscape looks a little calmer.

planopli met de k van kunst [working title] unveils a second triptych of artistic architectural adventures in Ghent, Mallorca/Menorca and Japan. They will devote to the simultaneous experience of art(s) and architect(s). The first trip gives a unique insight into the carefully designed places where art is created in their own country… During an exclusive day trip with boat, lunch and dinner, five Ghent artists from different art disciplines will open their studios exceptionally and welcome you, in dialogue with the architect of their workshop. Would the creative process be influenced by the composed space?

Not least because of such striking figures as Le Corbusier, Rogelio Salmona and mayors Mockus and Peñalosa, Bogotá has become the fascinating city it is today. On the mountain-surrounded sabana, a metropolis of red skyscrapers has risen amid abundant green spaces.
Like Bogotá, this second largest city in Colombia possesses a legacy of modernist architecture and a cadre of young architects such as Simón Vélez, Daniel Bonilla, Camacho y Guerrero, Juan Pablo Ortiz and Giancarlo Mazzanti who are being diligently nurtured and promoted.
If you asked architects and planners for proof of the power of public architecture and open space, they would point to these cities. Indeed, thanks to (landscape) architecture, murder rates in Bogotá and Medellín have been reduced to one-sixth.

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