Advanced Design Studio: Porphyrios

Porphyrios: Zurich

Embassy of the Confederation of European States


Design and Visualization



Zurich, Switzerland

Over the years, I have spoken extensively about architecture as the representation of construction and use. This semester, my design studio will focus on architecture as the representation of venustas.

An ancient preoccupation of architecture and a term imbued with various meanings -- proportion, beauty, propriety, social meaning, symbolism – venustas invariably reveals the priorities, values, sense of judgment, and aspirations of a given culture and period. In all cases venustas demonstrates the power of ideas and their ability to change and regenerate society.

The background of the studio's narrative is that the European Union, as we know it, will in time dissolve and reconfigure itself as the Confederation of European States.

The embassy of this confederation in Europe will be located in 'neutral' Switzerland and will comprise a research and development, financial and cultural centre. The embassy buildings will be located in Zurich. The studio will travel to Zurich, Geneva and Lugano.

Dr. D Porphyrios