Hans Ibelings and Boris Brorman Jensen introducing Powerhouse Company in their first monograph, Ouvertures, published by Hatje Cantz Verlag.
‘When de Ru started working for Koolhaas and Bessard for Nouvel, context was nothing and concept everything. At the turn of the millennium, just before their office was founded, the productive value of the paranoid-critical method for injecting vigor into conceptual design began to decline. A new global economy— with booming cities even more delirious than New York—took over and started demanding bigger and more cosmological schemes. A short era of ‘genius logo’ architecture gave us some grand, involuntarily comic architectural icons to study. Pompous emblems were popping up all over the place, islands shaped like palm trees, seahorses, and other funny designs appeared like peculiar zodiacs on the great financial bubble. And then came the crisis of 2008. So I deeply understand why Powerhouse Company—not believing in God—decided to return to context. Despite all my apprehensiveness, I also have great faith in the potential of rethinking contextualism. I support Powerhouse Company’s effort to redefine luxury by giving more space to cost-free qualities like sunlight and introducing a new kind of “middle scale” in between detail and architectural object that seeks to accommodate the human body by means other than pure wealth or an overabundance of limited resources. Architectural luxury beyond the style of the nouveau riche—that is something to look forward to.’