- Urban Oasis is a grass-covered bar, where people
can take their lunch, a drink or meet friends in a
different urban setting.
- The Urban Oasis is at the Piccadilly Basin, Dale
Street in the Northern Quarter from Wed 3 to Wed 10
For one week only, Dale Street in the Northern
Quarter will become a grass-covered bar of natural wonders.
It’s all part of the Office of Subversive Architecture’s latest
project, Urban Oasis, which comes to Manchester with a little
help from Urbis. The osa are a group of architects committed
to making the link between art and architecture that challenges
people’s concepts of public space. We asked Bernd Truempler
to explain the ideas within Urban Oasis and osa.
How did you get involved with
the design of the Urban Oasis?
"Cow PR has seen projects osa has done in the
past. Because they were looking for a more concept-led approach
for their promotional campaign than a conventional brand focused
campaign, they called us and asked for an idea after they briefed
Was it a difficult concept to
bring to life?
the tables and chairs need mowing!
"As soon as we presented the idea and the concept
to them, they loved it and supported our work. We only had problems
with the short time frame. We had only three days in London
and have also three days in Manchester for the set-up. Therefore
it was necessary to prefabricate all elements in our workshop
in Cologne in a two week period. They have been very progressive
and left us the space for developing our ideas because they
agreed that we would consider the project if the branding is
been treated in a very subtle way."
Where does it fit in with the
rest of your work?
"Every new project is a new experience for us.
Even exhibitions we take part in are projects for us and we
won’t just show our work. After Intact, the illegal makeover
of the signal box (in London), it was challenging for us to
do a project which is almost the opposite regarding the conditions
– legal and paid.
But conceptually it has exactly the same approach.
We again are looking at derelict spaces and challenging people’s
view in a different direction. We are provoking awareness and
discussions about public space. This, by the way, stands for
the subversiveness in our work."
What is the philosophy behind the Office For Subversive Architecture?
"osa is a network of eight full
time architects in five different cities and three different
countries. We are actively involved in developing projects that
work between art and architecture. The work is focused on the
reinterpretation of public space, on its use and how people
interact with it. We have new untraditional problem approaches
and attempts to find appropriate solutions beyond the limitations
of common architectural practise. osa’s urban interventions
can help discovering lacks of urban developments and kick off
discussions and improvements of neglected spaces. We often collaborate
with professionals from different disciplines. This enables
us to spread our ideas by using urbanism, architecture, art,
music, videos, photographs, sculptures…"
You've been called guerrilla
architects, what do you say to that?
taken from the Spanish word ‘guerra’ meaning war. It’s
something destructive, but our work is rather constructive."
|Bernd Truempler on
being branded guerrilla architects
"Guerrilla is taken from the Spanish word ‘guerra’
meaning war. It’s something destructive, but our work is rather
constructive. The word might fit to the makeover of the signal
box but not if you consider our whole work over the last eight
Which project are you most proud
of and is there a place that you'd really love to give the osa
"There is no particular project we are ‘proud’
of. Our concept of communication is based on the fact that we
try to misunderstand and contradict ourselves to achieve the
best results in surrealism and quirkiness. Our projects are
always questions about space not answers. Therefore there are
millions of places we'd love to give an osa treatment."