Breeding Architecture
Farshid Moussavi (FOA) & Alejandro Zaera-Polo (FOA)


Farshid Moussavi & Alejandro Zaera-Polo

©Monica Pidgeon

FM: Well I'm Farshid. AZ-P: And I am Alejandro. FM: Well we met at Harvard, being students, but our collaboration started when we were working at OMA in Rotterdam, and on the side we were beginning to work on competitions etc. together. Eventually decided that, in order to produce any work with enough focus, we had to actually leave the office; that we couldn't run the intensity that working at OMA needed and working on our own projects together. So we left OMA, applied to teach at the AA also, because to run an office with no projects was obviously not feasible; so teaching meant starting to do research obviously having a minimum, and it was really minimum, financial setup to be independent of an architectural office. Brought us to London, we started teaching at the AA. It was a great time at the AA, because there were a number of individuals there that somehow supported us and excited us if you like and...


Yokohama International Port Terminal, Japan. View From Arrival

©Valerie Bennett

FM: ...during the first year of being there, we took part in the Yokohama international competition, and won it and that's how then the office emerged. AZ-P: Maybe it was not as smooth as Farshid was saying; the first year was actually quite hard because as much as, indeed, there were a lot of people who wanted to see us think about maybe what we were doing or we were interested in - which was fundamentally large-scale urban projects - there was also a lot of resistance to computers and urban design at that time; at that moment the AA was still very much exploring ideas of craftsmanship and smaller scale or kind of ideological positioning...

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