At the time LAVA was founded in 2007, each of the three directors, Chris Bosse, Alexander Rieck and Tobias Wallisser, had already gathered extensive experience in architectural practice, research and teaching.
Bosse and Wallisser met at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2004 where two projects they had designed won awards (the Mercedes-Benz Museum and the Beijing Watercube). Rieck’s groundbreaking work as senior researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Occupational Economics and Organisation in Stuttgart was a perfect fit for their goals.
Right from the beginning the target was to embark on a new architectural approach whilst learning from each other’s diverse experience and expertise.
Alexander Rieck brings vital knowledge of innovations in the fields of working environments and building processes of the future. Tobias Wallisser researches and teaches cutting edge, digital planning technologies as Professor of Digital Design at the Academy of Arts in Stuttgart. Chris Bosse bases his work on the computerised study of organic structures and resulting spatial conceptions.
LAVA operates as a unique network with branches placed strategically worldwide - Sydney, Stuttgart and Berlin. LAVA operates on a ‘augmented network office’ platform, a mobile and highly flexible network of specialist designers, collaborators and external consultants. Director Tobias Wallisser is based in Berlin, Alexander Rieck in Stuttgart and Chris Bosse is based in Sydney.
LAVA’s first project in 2007 was to develop an indoor ski slope in the desert near Abu Dhabi. Soon after they worked on the Schumacher Tower, with plans inspired by the geometric structures of snowflakes, and Bionic Tower which featured intelligent systems and skins that respond to air pressure, temperature, humidity, solar-radiation and pollution. Smaller projects like the Architonic Trade Fair Stand and the Green Void in Sydney were manufactured directly from design using CNC.
The competition winning design for the city centre of Masdar – the first zero energy, zero waste and zero carbon city to be planned in the world – was one of the biggest challenges that LAVA has faced. Tower Skin, the reskinning technology developed for aged icons across the globe, won a UN partnered Zeroprize award. Smaller projects such as the solar charging station EIGHTPoint.One, Digital Origami Emergency Shelter and the Martian Embassy allow LAVA to actively explore and often develop new construction processes, building upon concepts and ideas, and opportunities for more innovation.
LAVA was the 2016 European Architecture Laureate awarded by the Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.
LAVA has won numerous project awards including International Architecture Awards; International Iconic Award; WAFX Prize; European Property Award; Premier’s Award NSW Architecture Awards; Australian Interior Design Award; Australian Timber Design Award; ZEROprize Re-Skinning Award; and German Design Council Awards. Full list of project awards