|Author:||Eva Franch i Gilabert|
The OfficeUS Atlas collects the exhibition research in an archive of nearly 1000 architectural projects. Organized according to individual firm histories, the Atlas documents the development of U.S. architectural offices working abroad from 1914 to the present. Offices and their projects are illustrated by over 1200 photographs and architectural drawings. OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion for the 2014 International Architecture Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia, reframes the history of U.S. architecture through the lens of export in two interrelated constructs: "The Office" and "The Repository." The Repository presents 1000 projects designed by 200 US offices working abroad in a chronological archive of the last 100 years. Collectively these projects tell multiple, imbricated stories of U.S. firms, typologies, and technologies, as well as a broader narrative of modernization and its global reach. The Office engages these projects, revisiting their premises and conclusions over the course of the Biennale. It functions as a laboratory staffed by a diverse group of resident design partners collaborating with outpost offices and a rotating cast of visiting experts. Together, these two halves of OfficeUS create both an historical record of the U.S. contribution to global architectural thought, and a petri dish in which that record is submitted to contemporary agents of disruption and critique.