How do buildings talk? Embodied experience in the Rolex Learning Centre

Jing Yang, Jonathan Hale, Toby Blackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Venice Architecture Biennale in 2010, curated by Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima, co-founder of Tokyo-based practice SANAA, included a remarkable twenty-four-minute 3D film by the German director Wim Wenders depicting the practice's Rolex Learning Centre in Switzerland. Entitled If Buildings Could Talk, the film ran in a continuous loop, without a tangible beginning or end, much like the building itself. Invited by SANAA to develop the film, Wenders found himself confronted with a new type of space that he had no prior experience of, and no vocabulary to describe: 'The Rolex Learning Centre', said Wenders during a talk given at the Biennale, 'is more landscape than building.'

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
JournalArchitectural Research Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2021


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