Apr/23
Christine Binswanger

30th Arthur H. Schein Memorial Lecture: Christine Binswanger in conversation with Jason Frantzen, Hashim Sarkis, and students

MIT Architecture | Spring 2021 Lecture Series
30th Arthur H. Schein Memorial Lecture
12:00 PM, webcast

Herzog & de Meuron 
Christine Binswanger and Jason Frantzen 
The Hospital / The Allure of Complexity
A 30-minute talk by Christine Binswanger will be followed by a conversation with Dean Hashim Sarkis and Jason Frantzen. After the presentation, Christine Binswanger, Jason Frantzen, and Hashim Sarkis will be joined by MArch students Latifa Alkhayat and Eytan Levi. 

For far too long hospital design has been an exclusive discipline of healthcare specialists. While functionality and technical requirements are large components of hospital architecture, there is great space for creativity. Just as the human body works only when each organ, limb or tendon is healthy enough do its job, the hospital - as a complex organism - can succeed only when its parts are efficiently designed and coherently interconnected. From mediating between various stakeholders to navigating technical requirements, from imagining how a patient room can contribute to healing and how better connections between medical departments can increase doctor collaboration; the architect, inherently fascinated with complexity, is the perfect ‘generalist’ for the job. 

As a typology, the hospital is one of the most pressing to address; hospital stock is aging and in need of replacement. Within this context, Christine Binswanger and Jason Frantzen will discuss the hospital as a healing habitat and its role as an integral organ of the city. Starting with REHAB Basel which opened in 2002, Herzog & de Meuron are developing a reputation for designing hospitals that care – for patients, for relatives, for employees; for cities and their surroundings. The University Children’s Hospital in Zurich and the New North Zealand Hospital in Hillerød, Denmark are both under construction; a project to expand the University Hospital in Basel is on the boards. Herzog & de Meuron are also currently collaborating with HDR on the UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center in San Francisco. 

Christine Binswanger

Christine Binswanger joined Herzog & de Meuron in 1991, became a Partner in 1994, and has been Senior Partner since 2009. She is responsible for projects in many countries, with particular focus in Switzerland, France, Spain, and the US. She has been in charge of many museum projects, including the expansion of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; the PAMM Pérez Art Museum Miami, and the extension of the Musée Unterlinden in Colmar, France. REHAB Basel, Centre for Spinal Cord and Brain Injuries, and the new Kinderspital Zürich, are notable examples of a number of hospital projects she leads. Her experience in urban development includes large civic planning projects, such as the Master Plan for Lyon Confluencein Lyon, France, and the Nordspitze project in Basel, Switzerland. Her expertise also extends to buildings that redefine existing typologies, such as 1111 Lincoln Road, a mixed-use structure for parking, retail, a restaurant, and private residence in Miami Beach, and the FORUM UZH, a new building for the University of Zurich in the city center. Christine studied architecture at the ETH Zurich from 1984 to 1990 and received the Meret Oppenheim Prize in 2004 in recognition of her active leadership in the architecture and art community.

Jason Frantzen began his collaboration with Herzog & de Meuron in 2005. From 2006 to 2010 he worked between Miami and New York to oversee 1111 Lincoln Road and to participate in the design of the Pérez Art Museum.  He became an Associate of the firm in 2011, and a Partner in 2014. Appointed to Senior Partner in 2019, he is the Partner responsible for multiple ongoing projects including the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem, the New North Zealand Hospital in Hillerod, Denmark, and both the Potrero Power Station and the Helen Diller Medical Center in San Francisco. Jason studied architecture at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, from 1997-2001. From 2003 to 2005 he attended the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Subsequent to his studies he was awarded the SOM Fellowship for Urban Design.

Hashim Sarkis is an architect, educator, and scholar. He is principal of Hashim Sarkis Studios (HSS), established in 1998 with offices in Boston and Beirut. He is also the Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 2015 and the director/curator of the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale. Before joining MIT, Sarkis was the Aga Khan Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at Harvard University. The architectural and urban projects of HSS include affordable housing, houses, parks, institutional buildings, urban design, and town planning. HSS has received several awards for its projects including for the Housing of the Fishermen of Tyre, Byblos Town Hall, and the Courtower Houses. The firm’s work has been exhibited around the world, including at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at the biennales of Venice, Rotterdam, Shenzhen/Hong Kong, and Valparaiso. The work has also been published extensively, most recently in a monograph by Ness.docs. Sarkis earned a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a Master of Architecture and a PhD in Architecture from Harvard University. He is author, co-author, and editor of several books and articles on modern architecture history and theory, including The World as an Architectural Project; Josep Lluis Sert: The Architect of Urban Design; Circa 1958, Lebanon in the Projects and Plans of Constantinos Doxiadis; and Le Corbusier's Venice Hospital.

Eytan Levi is a dual degree student at MIT between the Master of Architecture and the Master of Science in Real Estate Development. Eytan grew up in Paris received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland and spent a year as an exchange student at the University of Tokyo. Eytan worked at Junya Ishigami in Tokyo and Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, Switzerland prior to joining MIT. He is currently exploring the connection between architectural design and real estate development, particularly through Roofscapes-a green roof startup he-cofounded in 2020 at MIT DesignX-and through an ongoing research project about the renovation of Soviet mass housing from the 1960’s.

Latifa Alkhayat is a Bahraini Masters of Architecture student at MIT. She pursued her undergraduate degree at the University of Bath in the UK, during which she worked at Grimshaw Architects and then spent a year at MICA (Rick Mather Architects) in London. Latifa’s current explorations at MIT span across material and energy-based circular economies, building technology and a long term project on digital craftsmanship in  Khaleeji cities. She is a co-founder of Harness the Heat, a venture under the DesignX incubator program 2021 cohort. 

The Arthur H. Schein Memorial Lecture and Exhibition Series was established in 1983 by his wife Carole Starr Schein and his family, friends, colleagues, and clients. Arthur Schein was an alumnus of the MIT Department of Architecture, receiving his BArch degree in 1951.  He went on to practice in the family firm in Boston. Since then, the lecture has allowed us to bring renowned architects to MIT, including Giancarlo de Carlo, Rafael Vinoly, Ricardo Legorreta, Zaha Hadid, Ryue Nishizawa, and most recently Pezo von Ellrichshuasen, Angelo Bucci, Tatiana Bilbao, and Francis Kere.

Image Credits:

01 Christine Binswanger portrait. Courtesy of Christine Binswanger.

02 University Children’s Hospital in Zürich. Copyright Herzog & de Meuron.

03 Jason Frantzen portrait. Courtesy of Jason Frantzen.

04 University Children’s Hospital in Zürich. Copyright Herzog & de Meuron.

05 Hashim Sarkis portrait. Credit: Bryce Vickmark.