‘The Auto Drives Architecture’ at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Together with the students of The Berlage Centre, the research team led by Kees Kaan, Juan Benavides, Salomon Frausto, and Dick van Gameren presents "The Auto Drives Architecture" - a contribution to the exhibition "Motion. Autos, Art, Architecture," curated by the Norman Foster Foundation at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao from April 8 to September 18, 2022.

How will the future car transform the architecture associated with twentieth–century highways and interchanges, from gas stations and car washes to parking garages and motels? What new types of architecture will emerge alongside the future car in the second half of the twenty-first century? How will the private space of the car continue to merge with the public realm?

The Motion. Autos, Art, Architecture finale is devoted to works by a young generation of students who were invited to imagine what mobility may be like at the end of this century. The exhibition’s journey comes full circle by considering the same problems that auto inventors faced more than a hundred years ago— urban congestion, resource scarcity, and pollution—all exaggerated by climate change and now projected onto the future.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao – catalogue image

Fifteen selected international schools of design and architecture from four continents were given complete freedom to share their visions for the future of mobility. Among them are the Delft’s Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment and their Berlage Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture and Urban Design. The Auto Drives Architecture is a research project consisting of a multiformat program of expert symposiums and lectures, a design master class, a series of documentary films, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao installation, and the publication entitled Architecture by Auto.

Organized and designed by the Berlage, the installation in the Guggenheim is sized according to the footprint of a typical parking spot and the volume of a car—featuring an animated road trip to twelve different buildings across the Netherlands. Travelling from an underground parking garage, filling station, drive-in pick-up point, drive-thru shopping mall, motel, and ridesharing hub, to a drive-in funeral home, drive-in cinema, battery replacement centre, auto camp, car wash, and showroom, the animation tells the story of how the future car—a Mini, the exemplar of a car designed for efficiency in the face of environmental crisis—could offer design opportunities for our buildings, cities, infrastructures, and territories.

Watch the full animation or find more information here.