Dr Urs Bette

Urs Bette
Senior Lecturer
School of Architecture and Built Environment
Faculty of the Professions

Urs Bette is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide and Director of Urs Bette : Design. He holds a Masters degree in Architecture from the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, and a PhD from RMIT University Melbourne. His design works have been shown at the Architectural Biennale Venice, the AEDES Architecture Gallery Berlin and the FRAC Centre Orléans. His research investigates the role of ‘the unreasonable’ in the design process, revealing strategies that facilitate the poetics of architecture within a professional discourse dominated by expectations of quantifiable performance. The context of this research is set by the relationship between existing urban fabrics and a secondary layer of architectural form. The work contributes to the discourse on sustainable models of urban growth, by developing strategies for urban densification that tap into local histories and voices, including those of the seemingly inanimate - the architecture itself and the ground it sits up-on - to inform the site-related production of architectural character and space. Urs leads practice-based research at the School of Architecture and Built Environment.

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Dr Urs Bette

Urs Bette is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide and Director of Urs Bette : Design. He holds a Masters degree in Architecture from the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, and a PhD from RMIT University Melbourne. His design works have been shown at the Architectural Biennale Venice, the AEDES Architecture Gallery Berlin and the FRAC Centre Orléans. His research investigates the role of ‘the unreasonable’ in the design process, revealing strategies that facilitate the poetics of architecture within a professional discourse dominated by expectations of quantifiable performance. The context of this research is set by the relationship between existing urban fabrics and a secondary layer of architectural form. The work contributes to the discourse on sustainable models of urban growth, by developing strategies for urban densification that tap into local histories and voices, including those of the seemingly inanimate - the architecture itself and the ground it sits up-on - to inform the site-related production of architectural character and space. Urs leads practice-based research at the School of Architecture and Built Environment.

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) — email supervisor to discuss availability.

Appointments

Date Position Institution name
2016 - 2013 Lecturer - Fixed term contract University of Adelaide
2013 Lecturer - Continuing Position University of Adelaide
2006 - 2007 Design Architect Sam / Ott Reinisch
2004 - 2004 Design Architect next ENTERprise Architects
2004 - 2004 Design Architect K.Stattman, Office for Architecture & Research
2004 Director Urs Bette : Design
2001 - 2003 Design Architect Eichinger oder Knechtl
2000 - 2001 Design Architect Designbureau Chavanne
2000 - 2000 Design Architect next ENTERprise Architects
1997 - 1998 Design Architect Atelier Lange Monteagudo
1992 - 1994 Designer Coop Himmelb(l)au

Awards and Achievements

Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
2016 Teaching Award Executive Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching Faculty of Professions - The University of Adelaide Australia
2016 Achievement OLT innovation and development grant Office for Learning and Teaching Australia $497.000 - jointly awarded to 14 Universities
2015 Research Award Aiming for the Stars University of Adelaide - Faculty of Professions Austria $4.000
2015 Research Award Cluster Evolution Support University of Adelaide - Faculty of Professions Australia $7,500
2013 Scholarship RMIT University HDR Scholarship RMIT University Australia $16.800
2010 Award Artist in Residence Studio, 1. Prize, Architectural Design Competition Australian Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide Australia
2009 Award Thalia NEU, 1. Prize, Architectural Design Competition Austria
2000 Recognition Experimental Tendencies in Architecture Austrian Federal Chancellery Australia
2000 Scholarship Tische-Scholarship The Austrian Federal Chancelor Austria

Language Competencies

Language Competency
English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
German Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review

Education

Date Institution name Country Title
2011 - 2015 RMIT University Australia PhD
1993 - 2000 University of Applied Arts Austria MArch
1987 - 1992 University of Applied Sciences Germany DDes

Certifications

Date Title Institution name Country
2003 Architect Chamber of Architects Germany

Research Interests

Book Chapters

Year Citation
2012 Bette, U. I. (2012). Artist in Residence Studio. In T. Court, F. Bonnato, & J. Cys (Eds.), Design South Australia (pp. 145-147). Adelaide: Integrated Design Commission.
2012 Bette, U. I. (2012). Urs Bette Architecture. In A. Sánchez Vidiella (Ed.), Contemporary Architects 1 (pp. 590-599). Barcelona: LOFT Publications.
2010 Bette, U. I. (2010). Expo 2010 - Uralla Court. In J. Fajardo (Ed.), Starchitects Visionary Architects of the Twenty-first Century (pp. 526-530). Harper Collins.

Original Creative Works

Year Citation
2016 Publication status: Published
NTRO sub category: 2 Design/Architectural work
Title: Tindaya Whale
Authors: Bette UI
Publisher: Adelaide Fringe Festival - GRIT
Publisher URL: https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/4c99decb-5224-41fd-bef4-81bf2dcd7c58
Place of publication: Adelaide
Publication date: 19 February 2016
Extent: Dimensions 300x150x200cm
Description: Tindaya whale is the most recent step in an ongoing series of installations. Their aim to explore and test the topics of my architectural design in a medium that is free from program or functional constraints, revealing aspirations and contradictions that are present in my work.
Source URL: http://www.rustsalttar.com/grit-gallery.html
Author URL: http://bette.at/
Record created at source: 29 February 2016
2016 Publication status: Published
NTRO sub category: 2 Design/Architectural work
Title: the dragon in the sea
Authors: Bette UI
ISBN-13: 9783990434406
ISBN-10: 3990434403
Publisher: Birkhäuser Verlag GmbH
Place of publication: Basel
Publication date: 1 June 2016
Pagination: 50-51
Extent: 150m2
Abstract: The eroding island Okinotori-shima is situated in Japan’s southernmost territory, in the South Pacific Ocean. At high-tide two rocks, three and five meters wide, are all that remains of the island. Without these rocks the Japanese territory would end with Iwo-Jima and the country would loose 400 000 km2 of its territorial waters and, thus, the rights to fish and minerals located there. Each typhoon dimishes the rocks’ protruding surface area, which is why the Japanese government is willing to spend 250 million Dollars to protect the island. It’s crucial that no part of the supporting structure touches the island, as that would render it an artificial island with no rights to an exclusive economic zone.

The dragon in the sea is the choreography of an annual ritual. Orientated on its volcanic origin, rock material from its interior is smelted onto its peak to replace the loss from erosion. This will save the island from legal issues of territoriality for approximately 600 years. A scientist, a machinist and a registrar travel to Okinotori-shima by ship. They survey the island, calculate last year’s erosion loss, excavate rock material, smelter and deposit it on the peak of the island. The symbolic act that follows constitutes the “inhabitation” of the island. They fish, trade the catch among themselves, cook and have dinner together. Everything needed is stored inside the rock. Power and air are provided by their ship anchored besides the atoll. The island is entered through an airlock 3m below sea level. Above sea level nothing indicates the existence of the machinery and equipment.
Other output evidence: http://bette.at/project/dragon-in-the-sea/
Record created at source: 16 May 2016

2014 Publication status: Published
NTRO sub category: 2 Design/Architectural work
Title: Dissecting the whale
Authors: Bette UI
Publisher: RMIT University - School of Architecture & Design - Design Hub
Publisher URL: http://designhub.rmit.edu.au/exhibitions-programs/practice-research-symposium
Place of publication: RMIT Design Hub
Publication date: 2014
Extent: 30m²
Description: Working on installations has substantiated my design process and revealed how its expression has changed over the past years. My architectural figures have become more and more monolithic and hermetically closed. Closing the object has confined space to the void underneath the object, denying it the possibility to bridge the gap and branch out into the architectural character and along the ground. This quality was last noticeable at Uralla Court I & II. While the characters have developed and gained ‘radiant space’ through their increased presence, they have lost the ‘sequential space’ that develops along a timeline of events. In my forthcoming work I intend to re-initiate ‘spatial flow’ by dissecting the object. The installation at Spinoza’s Cabinet had been a first attempt in this direction. There, space began to flow between segments of the character and the void beneath. The ground contributed to the development of the object and thus was silently activated. My aim is to achieve a balance between breaking up the body to further the flow of space and protecting the identity of the character. The installation at RMIT will be the next instance in which I can test and develop this strategy, hoping that it might function as a synthesis of my past practice and give an outlook into future research.
Other output evidence: https://www.flickr.com/photos/35009461@N04/sets/72157648644745630/
Author URL: http://bette.at/current/dissection/
Medium: Cardboard
Record created at source: 1 February 2016
2014 Publication status: Published
NTRO sub category: 2 Design/Architectural work
Title: HTMTI Training Hotel
Authors: Bette U, OttReinisch I
Publisher URL: http://www.ottreinisch.at/
Place of publication: Thimpuh, Bhutan
Publication date: 2014
Extent: 1300 m2
Keywords: Sustainable & Culturally Sensitive Architecture
Other output evidence: http://www.ottreinisch.at/
Verification-status: Verified
Record created at source: 1 February 2016
2014 Publication status: Published
NTRO sub category: 2 Design/Architectural work
Title: HTMTI Training Hotel
Authors: Bette U, OttReinisch I
Publisher URL: http://www.ottreinisch.at/
Place of publication: Thimpuh, Bhutan
Publication date: 2014
Extent: 1300 m2
Keywords: Sustainable & Culturally Sensitive Architecture
Other output evidence: http://www.ottreinisch.at/
Verification-status: Verified
Record created at source: 1 February 2016
2013 Publication status: Published
NTRO sub category: 2 Design/Architectural work
Title: Thalia NEU
Authors: Bette UI, Ott-Reinisch I, Sam F
Publisher: Acoton. Thalia Errichtungs and Vermietungs-GmbH
Place of publication: Graz, Austria
Publication date: 2013
Extent: Addition/rooftop extension and integration of existing buildings
Description: “Thalia New” is the result of an architectural design competition for a fitness studio plus offices, with the aim to restructure the existing building complex opposite the State Opera house, which, after only partial implementation of previous projects, had been left in an inhomogeneous state. The design is based on the premise that all existing roofs and facades, with the exception of those that are heritage listed, will be regarded as the site. Hence building mass is distributed equally along and above four existing buildings, and nestles into all available niches. This allowed the perceived cubic volume to be kept low, and relevant lines of sight maintained.
Other output evidence:
http://bette.at/project/thalia/
Verification-status: Verified
ERA Research Statement - 2000 character limit: "Research Background: ‘Thalia NEU’ was a winning competition entry to design a fitness centre and offices above a building complex opposite the State Opera House in Graz. Research Contribution: The project for a rooftop extension to a building in the centre of Gratz explored an ongoing interest of the architect, documented in his recently completed PhD, in how propositions come to both affect but also respond to an existing condition or ‘ground’. While no project is located on a tabula rasa, urban consolidation policies are increasingly challenging architects to work in sites of rich histories which are articulated by multiple custodians and stakeholders. This work explores not just how these identified interests are accommodated buts asks about the architect’s responsibility to find even more histories and potential voices, including those of the seemingly inanimate – the architecture itself – which can actualise unrecognised or unspoken potentials and desires. Research Significance: The project deals with a full range of functional and practical issues, structural and planning, which are typical to adaptive reuse and urban heritage sites. However it is formal exploration beyond these considerations which researches the further significance and responsibilities of contemporary architecture and its role in complex development of future cities, recognising the need to discover new sensibilities and techniques to appreciate the unique conditions of each situation and realise unique interventions.
Record created at source: 20 November 2014
2012 Publication status: Published
NTRO sub category: 2 Design/Architectural work
Title: River Torrens Footbridge
Authors: bette
Publisher: State Government of South Australia
Place of publication: Adelaide
Publication date: 2012
Extent: 3500m2
Notes: http://bette.at/project/riverbankbridge/
http://www.archive.indaily.com.au/default.aspx?iid=74592&startpage=page0000001#folio=1
- http://www.sensational-adelaide.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4035&start=300
- http://www.theplan.net.au/interview-with-designer-and-theorist-sam-spurr/
Verification-status: Verified
Record created at source: 20 November 2014
2012 Publication status: Published
NTRO sub category: 2 Design/Architectural work
Title: To the Islands
Authors: Bette UI
Publisher: South Australian School of Art (SASA) Gallery
Place of publication: Adelaide
Publication date: 2012
Pagination: 70
Journal: LIBRARY JOURNAL
ISSN: 0363-0277
Volume: 135
Issue: 8
Extent: Unknown
Language: English
Author URL: http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/
Notes: Published in Design South Australia
Integrated Design Commission, Wakefield Press
South Australia 2012

[attachments include design drawings and other material. Following links for our/internal ref.]
http://bette.at/project/to-the-islands/
curated exhibition, SASA Gallery, Adelaide
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/artarchitecturedesign/sasagallery/docs/invite%2011/Islands%20web.pdf
Verification-status: Verified
Record created at source: 20 November 2014

2009 Publication status: Published
NTRO sub category: 2 Design/Architectural work
Title: Australian Experimental Art Foundation (AEAF) Artist in Residence Studio
Authors: Bette UI
Publisher: Australian Experimental Art Foundation
Place of publication: Adelaide
Publication date: 2009
Extent: 50m2
Notes: Research Significance:
(evidence of excellence/peer recognition/public and peer published or otherwise documented interest and debate, other prestige factors)

Published in Design South Australia
Integrated Design Commission, Wakefield Press
South Australia 2012

[attachments include design drawings and other material. Following links for our/internal ref.]
http://bette.at/project/aeaf/
Verification-status: Verified
Record created at source: 20 November 2014

2007 Publication status: Published
NTRO sub category: 2 Design/Architectural work
Title: Uralla Court ll
Authors: Bette UI
Place of publication: Adelaide
Publication date: 2007
Extent: 130m²
Description: Residential building in Adelaide, Australia. UC-2 is the redesign of the project 'Uralla Court' with changed parameters; the reduction of the usable space by 2/3. The spatial concept remains the same, previously enclosed spaces at the lower level are now used as sheltered outdoor spaces.
Source URL: http://bette.at/project/uc-2/
Other output evidence: http://www.labiennale.at/2006/Rock/rock_02.html
Record created at source: 1 February 2016
2005 Publication status: Published
NTRO sub category: 2 Design/Architectural work
Title: Uralla Court
Authors: Bette UI
Publisher URL: http://bette.at/project/uralla-court/
Place of publication: Adelaide
Publication date: 2005
Extent: 330m2
Description: The project was developed from the individual ´users´ own needs which can be found in the atmospheric and spatial qualities of the structure. The central question was ´How would you like to live?´ and not ´How should your house look?´ The essential element of the project was the ´reading´ of the clients as individuals and ´feeling into´ the way they see their lives.

The result is an internally defined ´spatial sculpture´ with a range of different possibilities within its interior. It sets out a way of living and working together in which the opportunity to choose and personal freedom play an important role. The occupants can decide between different atmospheres, paths and spatial situations which determine the degree of interaction with the other or the intensity of thought over work. There are areas where the space flows and moves and others that are stable, interweaving various purposes and creating different awarenesses. Distance and openness interact with narrow ravine-like gaps, extroverted zones with sheltered niches and closed units. The whole house is a dance around ´open shelter´.

The existing landscape remains present throughout the whole project, the terrain being ´echoed´ in the different levels which flow through the interior of the house. The two structures form a pair whose deliberate independence, in a topographical and cultural context, is the result of the intense consideration of the brief and the qualities of the location itself. They create an exterior space that gives an unexpectedly urbane quality to the area between them and divides the block into private and open areas.
Other output evidence: http://www.labiennale.at/2006/start.htm
Author URL: http://www.labiennale.at/2006/Rock/rock_02.html
Record created at source: 1 February 2016

Curated or Produced Public Exhibition or Events

Year Citation
2017 Urs Bette, U. B. (2017). Thalia at GRAIN (No. Of Pieces: Medium: dye ink print, Dimensions: 100 x 70) [Exhibition]. Adelaide: 2017 Adelaide Fringe Festival.
2015 Final Year Students, A. L. A. U. D. (2015). Divergent (No. Of Pieces: 1 week) [Exhibition]. Adelaide University - Hub Central.
2014 Final Year Students, A. L. A. U. D. (2014). Masters of Architecture, Landscape Architecture & Urban Design (No. Of Pieces: 1 week) [Exhibition]. Adelaide.
2013 Final Year Students, A. L. A. U. D. (2013). Masters of Architecture, Landscape Architecture & Urban Design (No. Of Pieces: 1 week) [Exhibition]. Adelaide.

Theses

Year Citation
2015 Bette, U. I. (2015). Unreasonable Creatures | in dialogue with an activated ground. (PhD Thesis, RMIT University).

Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
2017 Co-Supervisor Architectural Design: Research by Practice Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Anthony Quentin Donald Coupe
2017 Co-Supervisor Design by Research that Investigates the Capacity of Architecture to Facilitate New Types of Social Situations Through Denaturalisation of 'Normal' Behaviour Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Richard Joseph Le Messurier
2017 Co-Supervisor Landscape Architecture; Perceptions of Public Spaces Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Janelle Arbon
2016 Co-Supervisor Adaptive Reuse and The Architectural Profession : An Inquiry by Design Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Meherzad Behzad Shroff
2015 Co-Supervisor Unexpected Expectations: Material Collision for a Purpose, Ensemble of Imperfections through Adoptive Process Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Mirai Morita

Memberships

Date Role Membership Country
2003 - ongoing Member Chamber of Architects NRW Germany
Position
Senior Lecturer
Phone
83134590
Fax
8313 4377
Campus
North Terrace
Building
Horace Lamb Building, floor 4
Room Number
4 71
Org Unit
School of Architecture & Built Environment

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