An encounter With the architecture of Wiel Arets with the diversity of language, scale, program and context that he tackles, and the different responses that he comes up with can be baffling. It is not easy, in fact, to place the Dutch architect’s work in a category, in a genre, in a single system capable of explaining the multiple lines of research that he pursues. Arets’s architecture is difficult and cryptic. First of all, it is hard to understand and not immediately interpretable. It is difficult to observe: it does not rely on repetition and can be considered from many points of view. These difficulties stem, in the first instance, from the complexity concealed behind the impression of Clarity, concision and simplicity that is conveyed by his constructions. A superficial interpretation, moreover, cannot grasp the complicated cultural references and precedents on which the architect draws. The objective of his architecture is not complexity of form, but complexity of content. Yet the puzzlement stirred by Arets’s architecture can help us to find the right approach to the interpretation of a body of work that is by its nature multiform, varied and eclectic.
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