Ever since Scheherazade saved her own life by using her narrative skills, it has been clear that telling stories is of existential importance. Victor Hugo believed the same was true for architecture’s ability to communicate, something that he thought was threatened by the printing industry. Architecture may have survived, but what about its eloquence? And what can the art of storytelling mean for today’s architecture? The notion encompasses much more than the architecture parlante of the revolutionary period, the iconic expressions of postmodernism, or the metaphor of architecture as a form of writing.
Mastery of architectural narrative refers to a form of architecture that can incorporate the narrative strand of a (hi)story in an exemplary fashion, speaking about—and to—its location and user.
In the autumn semester four masters of their field will have their say. Although their works are fundamentally dissimilar and they view architecture and history from different perspectives, there is one thing they all have in common: their buildings speak not only with themselves. Their works ensure that the narrative strand of the history of architecture continues uninterrupted.