An Englishman in New York

Wiel Arets, ‘An Englishman in New York’, in Modern Architecture and the Lifeworld: Essays in Honor of Kenneth Frampton, eds. Karla Cavarra Britton and Robert McCarter (London: Thames & Hudson, 2020), 258-264.

When the Japanese novelist Jun'ichirō Tanizaki arrived in Kyoto in 1923, in order to leave behind a Tokyo devastated…

The Architecture of Freedom

Wiel Arets, Wiel Arets Architect (Rotterdam010 Publishers, 1989), 16-19.

When Paul Valéry, during work on his Cahiers, turns out a poem like ‘Le cimetière marin’–the churchyard by the sea–we might view it as an arbitrary coagulation of his thoughts. It is a product that may be described as only temporarily finished, from…

Nowness Files

Wiel Arets, Nowness Files: IIT Architecture Chicago 2012-2018 (Chicago/New York: IITAC/Actar, 2019), 1-2.

Nowness has been our approach since it was launched in 2013, in order to present the dreams and goals of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Ar­chitecture to the world. Nowness Files is a printed me­dium that…


Wiel Arets, 2008

Interiority is a term we can use to express architecture's ability to give a sense of space that rules out an exterior. We think verbally about our perception of moving in public space or inside a building, but also of reading a book or watching a film. Interiority is…

Toward A Hybrid Metropolis

Wiel Arets, 2015

Twentieth century societies witnessed the rise of major technological inventions and innovations—such as the car, the plane, the computer, the phone, and the internet. Whereas those societies experienced the advent of such technological advances as spectacle, since they were then still new, today they are essential components of…


Wiel Arets, NOWNESS 1 (Chicago: IITAC Press, 2013), 34-36.

Being a stranger is a preferable condition. It enables the relaxing of preconceptions, to absorb, to learn. A stranger’s status is one of freshness, enjoying the privilege of seeing difference within society, where sameness is said to be the current condition. The College of…

Veneto Narrative

Wiel Arets & Wim van den Bergh, Wiederhall 1 (1986): 10.

'The owner and the creator of this superb solitude have even had ruins, temples and ancient buildings built there, and times as well as places are brought together in a splendor that is more than human.' 

Although this eighteenth century quotation…

Moscow Resistance

Wiel Arets & Wim van den Bergh, Wiederhall 1 (1986): 7-8.

There might always have been people attempting to find their own existences as individuals by means of resistance within supervised society. Always and everywhere people get aware of themselves as being independent individuals. They have got the powerful will to…

Tokyo Style

Wiel Arets & Wim van den Bergh, Wiederhall 1 (1986): 1-6.

‘Time is not a whole, for the simple reason that it is itself the instance which prevents the whole’

–Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs

If we think of architecture as a Proustian recherche, as a research towards future and as a search for truth…

Grid & Rhizome

Wiel Arets, An Alabaster Skin (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 1991), 37-47.

The new buildings for the Amsterdam School of Arts need to accommodate a diversity of functions. The client wishes the complex to express the unity newly attained by the school, which at present is spread across several premises in the city. This unity…

A Wonderful World

Wiel Arets, Wiel Arets: Autobiographical References (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2012), 489-492

To understand the world we are living in we have to redefine the ‘Map of the World’, a mental construct which at least since 1492 has undergone many reinterpretations. We could read the world anno 2020 as a collective living space for all,…

Transition: Beyond the Cult of Imagery

Wiel Arets, An Alabaster Skin (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 1991), 21-27.

Ours is a global age. As technology starts to destroy reality, living today entails acceleration—or deceleration—in order to pass from one code to another, to translate one impulse into another and to engage different situations from different vantage points. Architects do not…

A Virological Architecture

Wiel Arets, A Virological Architecture, A+U Architecture and Urbanism, 1994, pp. 38-43

Lately, architecture has been regarded as a means in which to criticize urban development. More and more, one hears the metaphor that it is up to architecture to make the city healthy once again. If one accepts the metaphor that…

Casa Come Me

Wiel Arets and Wim van den Bergh, The AA Files, no. 18 (1989): 9-12.

In his novel La pelle, Curzio Malaparte describes how he showed Field Marshal Rommel around his house:

'I accompanied him all over the house, going from room to room, from the library to the cellar, and when we returned

An Alabaster Skin

Wiel Arets, An Alabaster Skin (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 1991), 5-8.

Architecture may be considered a desire for purity, a striving for perfection. The principal color white marks a process in which the undecidable is respected; it is not a question of meaningful or meaningless. The whiteness of newly fallen snow in the morning light,…

Videre: Theater, Body and Brain, Thought

Wiel Arets, An Alabaster Skin (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 1991), 21-27.

Our perception is subject to constant change. Not only visual perception but also how we perceive intellectually and how we accommodate this perception in our thinking. Biological engineering has been a major science since the mid-nineteenth century. Its technology has altered the way…