Team Ten Farwest
by Pedro Baía

The latest studies on Team 10 gained visibility from 2005 with a research project promoted by the Netherlands Architecture Institute and the Delft University of Technology Architecture Department. It should be mentioned that this moment coincides with the death of Giancarlo De Carlo, the last survivor of Team 10’s core group. The project involved an international team of researchers who contributed to comprehensive documentation on the group, resulting in the collation of the proceedings of the congress “Team 10: Keeping the Language of Modern Architecture Alive”, together with the exhibition “Team 10 – A Utopia of the Present”, curated by Suzanne Mulder and Max Risselada, and the book “Team 10, 1953-1981, In Search of a Utopia of the Present”, edited by Max Risselada and Dirk van den Heuvel. This international cooperation project is considered today an essential reference for the study of Team 10, while leading to a later more in-depth study of more peripheral experiences, conducted by architects outside the core group composed of Georges Candilis, Shadrach Woods, Aldo van Eyck, Jaap Bakema, Giancarlo De Carlo, Alison Smithson and Peter Smithson.

2014 saw the publication of the book “Team 10 East: Revisionist Architecture in Real Existing Modernism”. The book, edited by Łukasz Stanek, was the result of an international seminar held in the Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, in 2013, and a research project which uses the term “Team 10 East” as a conceptual instrument to explore the work of Eastern European Team 10 members, such as Oskar Hansen from Poland, Charles Polónyi from Hungary and Radovan Nikšic from the former Yugoslavia. This conceptual instrument, therefore, opened the way to careful research which reveals how “Team 10 East” architects dealt with the revision of the Modern Movement in a context peripheral to Central Europe.

The idea for the Team Ten Farwest project came from the image which accompanied the call for papers email of the “Team 10 East” seminar – a black & white photo of a debate of the last CIAM in 1959, with the following caption: “In the photograph: Jerzy Soltan, Oskar Hansen, Ralph Erskine, Kenzo Tange in Otterlo, 1959 (ASP Archive, Warsaw)”. Only four architects were identified in the photo’s caption. A gentleman holding a pipe behind Jerzy Soltan’s head, looking attentively to the photographer’s camera, remained unidentified. This unidentified architect was Alfredo Viana de Lima, the representative of the Portuguese group to CIAM (1928-1959). It was in this recognition, then, that the desire was born to create the Team Ten Farwest project to offset and complement the Team 10 East project, exploring the relationship between Portugal and Spain in the context of the debates that took place on the ideas, the work and the members of Team 10.

Team Ten Farwest sets out to debate the uptake and assimilation processes of the architectural ideas of Team 10 under the critical revision of the Modern Movement in the Iberian Peninsula. With this objective in mind, an international conference will be hosted at FAUP – Porto University School of Architecture, in 2019, the year marking the 60th anniversary of the last CIAM in Otterlo, in 1959. Two meetings were held prior to this conference: in Guimarães in 2017, for Portuguese researchers, and in Barcelona in 2018, for Spanish researchers.

Various research perspectives were presented in Guimarães and Barcelona around the influence of Team 10 in Portugal and Spain – from anthropology to cinema, from the main protagonists to the architectural projects, from education to research, from language to theory, from housing to tourism, from image to representation, from critique to dissemination.

(The book “Team Ten Farwest: Guimarães 2017, Barcelona 2018”, published by Circo de Ideias, gathers the texts presented within the context of the meetings held in Guimarães and Barcelona, together with background notes from Joan Ockman, Łukasz Stanek and Dirk van den Heuvel.)