Ben Joseph Speltz

Having lived in the beautiful city of Zurich for 5 years, BS gained his Diploma in Architecture at the ETHZ in 2015. His Free Diploma project ’UMBAU am DENKMAL: Potential Monuments of Unrealised Futures’ set the path to move to London and start working for Caruso St John Architects, where he has discovered a shared work ethic, an appreciation for history, a sense of humour and perhaps most importantly the exquisite taste of jacket potato with tuna and cheese. BS is currently working on a book, which is the result of a three-week-long tour to the United States of America, sponsored by the 2016 D-ARCH Reisestipendium. The book serves as a meditation on the notion of beauty and time, and the title itself - Beauty and Ugliness - already raises numerous questions:
Doesn't beauty always cause some form of emotional and intellectual chaos? And vice versa: isn't a disorder often the trigger to generate a simple way of beauty? Is it the perfect form or composition, or mathematically harmonious balance, that we find attractive, or is the asymmetrical, with a combination of the smooth and incomplete: imperfect, as we ourselves are? Beauty pleases our eye, our imagination and our sensitivity. Art and architecture have the power to redeem ugliness and create pathos. They can also shock us and lead us out of complacency while enlarging our intelligence and our conscience.
Currently, BS is teaching together alongside Peter St John at The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, during which his other colleague JH raised the following question at their Berlin study trip in Winter 2019: Is BS a Romanticist, with a contemporary romantic taste? Is he a classicist? JH got the following answer by BS: I do not believe that architecture can, or should try to, express the spirit of an age. To become mythical, to transmit a perennial message and value, I think that the architect's work has to transcend the particularities of its era of creation.