2014 Residencies

Mechthild Stuhlmacher



While in residence, Rotterdam-based architect Mechthild Stuhlmacher looked to develop case studies around the theme: healing architecture, and the relationship between architecture and landscape.

Mechthild  researched the relationship between inside and outside, buildings and context, architecture and landscape, specifically within the context of to care- related programs, which may be a key to the design of well working, ‘healthy’ buildings for care and education-related programs.

Mechthild was guest critic at a series of workshops to postgraduate architecture students at University of New South Wales. Alec Tzannes was also her host practitioner while she in Australia.

While in Australia, she researcehed widely, meeting architects, and developing a series of case studies which were inspired from conversations, and from Australian examples and projects. Mechthild also collaborated with the Benevolent Society on a project relating (broadly) to early childhood intervention and development. We anticipate that this will result in a case study that will be of significant and enduring value for the community.

Mechthild Stuhlmacher was born in Germany. She studied music and architecture in Germany and the Netherlands, graduated in 1992 and worked at various offices in the Netherlands and the UK from 1992 such as Mecanoo, Zeinstra vd Pol, Maccreanor Lavington and David Chipperfiels architects. From many years she has been a member of the editorial team of the magazine OASE and of the editorial team of the architecture yearbook of Flanders and has since been involved in various other publication projects. She teaches architectural design at Delft University of Technology at the chair Interiors Buildings Cities and has been regularly invited for lectures and workshops in the Netherlands and abroad. Since 2010 she is a member of the Welstandscommissie in Rotterdam, is member of the architect’s initiative Agenda Rotterdam and of the recently established architect’s platform Rotterdam, organised by the Rotterdam Architecture Institute AIR and the municipality of Rotterdam.

Inaugural Resident
Dr Carmen Fiol-Costa

March-May 2014

carmen fiol 2

Dr Carmen Fiol-Costa, the inaugural AIA Droga Architect in Residence, arrived in Sydney on 1st March 2014 to take up residency at the Droga apartment for 12 weeks.   Carmen is an architect, urban designer and co-founder of the practice ARRIOLA & FIOL, Barcelona. A prominent academic and architectural theorist, she directed the research for her influential book Barcelona Periferia  Cubista and earned a Doctor Europeus from Universitat  Politècnica de Catalunya in 2007 with the new book Grids and Diagonals.

Carmen studied at ETSAB and at Columbia University and received the William Kinne Fellowship. Always involved in education, in parallel to running her own practice, she has taught at Harvard, Leuven, IUAV, UNICA, as well as ETSAB.

Carmen also participated in URBAN CIVIC PROJECTS for the City of Liverpool, which provided the framework for her Residency project.  In this she also collaborated with the City of Liverpool, NSW Government Architect, and the University of Sydney.


Carmen’s skills and passion has instigated powerful architectural works and public spaces throughout Barcelona. Her professional focus is on the importance of urban realm where the goal is to regenerate urban spaces in consideration of social well-being and environmental responsibility. She has illustrated this concept in numerous projects by reconstructing fragmented public spaces and successfully transforming them into urban landscape; unearthing its identity and urban presence.

In her words: ‘My goal at the Droga Residency was to highlight the importance of public realm, embedding architecture and design into the cultural life of Australian cities’

      foto 14

Foto 1

Parc Central De Nou Barris Barcelona 2007
Photography courtesy of Beat Marugg