Skrei began its practice in 2009 with an inquiry into the qualities of Portuguese raw materials. By experimenting with mortars and construction tools, Skrei was able to develop specific materials and started administrating its own works. It has become a workshop of architects of experimental constructions where construction techniques and craftsmanship have combined with sophisticated engineering for refined clients. Skrei’s architectural practice is based on a close relationship between design, construction, and cultural production. It’s an approach that shows how materials can incorporate knowledge and how this knowledge can be instrumental in defining the praxis of architecture.
Skrei was founded by Pedro Jervell and Francisco Adão da Fonseca. The two Portuguese architects, graduates of the Architectural Association and Delft University respectively, were initially attracted to the built environment because of ‘the plain physiognomy of things’ and the ‘naïve appeal of form’. Rapidly, they realized that it is all the ‘invisible dynamics’ shaping forms that are much more fascinating – politics and economics, technology and the environment, education and power. They traded things for processes.
Francisco Adão da Fonseca is an Architect and MSc from the Technical University of Delft, Faculty of Architecture. Member of the Dutch Architects Association and the Order of Architects in Portugal. He collaborated with Leembouw Nederland in the study of low-energy building techniques (2004-09). In 2010 he started Skrei Lda, which is today a leading collective in the field of sustainable architecture in Portugal.
Francisco will be speaking about the “Integrative Architecture – a working model for contemporary architecture”.
Current architecture seems unable to tackle grand questions of our time, from the scarcity of resources to energy and water security, questions of identity and privacy. Skrei’s integrative practice is a working model that extends the architect domain into areas such as sourcing of materials, building construction, engineering, and applied research so that architecture may effectively take a role in answering these questions.