Javier Fernández Contreras (Granada, 1982) is a Geneva-based architect, architectural theorist, and the head of the Department of Space Design / Interior Architecture at HEAD – Genève. His work explores the relationship between architecture, representation, and media, with a specific focus on the role of interiors in the construction of contemporaneity. Contreras is the director of several BA, MA, and research programs, including MAIA (Master of Arts in Interior Architecture) and Scènes de Nuit, a research platform that investigates the entanglements between night and architecture.


For centuries, architectural theory has been dominated by solar and diurnal paradigms. References to night in Vitruvius' De Architectura are scarce, as they are in the Renaissance treatises by Alberti or Palladio. However, the night has been, for millennia, a central laboratory in the development of new forms of space. This book offers a first chronological attempt at A Nocturnal History of Architecture, spanning over 2000 years across different geographies and societies. From the elusive darkness of Greek temples to the overlit American suburbia, and from moon-inspired Japanese aesthetics to Italian nightclubs, it reveals how the evolution of human beings and their material environment is inseparable from the night.

Essays by: Sébastien Grosset, Efrosyni Boutsikas, Maria Shevelkina, Murielle Hladik, Maarten Delbeke, Amy Chazkel, Lucía Jalón, Carlotta Darò, Yan Rocher, Alexandra Sumorok, Chase Galis, Cat Rossi, Léa-Catherine Szacka, Hilary Orange, Nick Dunn, Youri Kravtchenko

Category: Book. English
Editor/s: Javier F. Contreras, Vera Sacchetti, Roberto Zancan
Collection: COLUMN (2)
ISBN: 978-3-95905-674-8
Research Platfom: Scènes de Nuit
© HEAD – Genève, Morgan Carlier
(Leipzig: Spector Books, 2024)

Screens Within Screens

This essay examines Twitch's influence on contemporary interior spaces, delving into the interplay between architecture, online interaction, and digital empathy. From its origins as Justin.tv in 2007 to its rise as a dominant platform in gameplay streaming since 2011, Twitch mirrors 20th and 21st-century TV programs in which audiences watch individuals react to audio-visual content. The research highlights the emergence of a novel, seemingly domestic landscape: the "non-circadian interior," where broadcasts within screens neither depict time nor reveal windows or daylight. By analyzing the practices of leading Twitch streamers such as xQc, Ninja, or Pokimane, the essay reveals how live broadcasts and archival content blend with architectural materials whose chromatics, reflections, and tectonics operate within the digital topos of the screen.

Category: Essay. English, Spanish
Author/s: Javier F. Contreras
ISSN: 2813 – 8058
Download PDF (English)
Download PDF (Spanish)
Twitch Analytics: Charlene Claveria, Lisa Divorne, Noémie Castella

Burning Farm. December 22, 2023 / PLOT, No. 72 (February 2024): 164-173

The Interiors of Social Media

Analyzing the most followed Instagram accounts worldwide, this essay investigates the role that social media plays in the contemporary redefinition of our material environment and its virtual boundaries. Operating within a framework of production/consumption, Instagram establishes hierarchies based on the success of content, the most valued body types, and the types of architecture presented for public consumption. From the members of the Kardashian-Jenner family to Leo Messi, and from Beyoncé to Cristiano Ronaldo, the most followed accounts predominantly feature heterosexual celebrities, reinforcing norms and stereotypes that are regularly framed within interior spaces. Addressing these interiorities through a typological classification is to recognize that they are producing architecture, and therefore spatial behaviors and norms.

Category: Essay. Spanish
Author/s: Javier F. Contreras, Paule Perron
ISSN: 1853-1997
Download PDF (Spanish)
Download PDF (English)

PLOT, No. 72 (February 2024): 174-183


No other building better represents the dissociation between the facade as decor and the interior as domestic pragmatism than Villa Cuadrada. Originally constructed in 1904, its exterior resembles that of an Italian palazzo with symmetric proportions, while its interior is an accumulation of rooms whose disorderly plan does not correspond to any classical structure. The renovation project for the building recovers spatial schemes from the Renaissance that explore pre-modern domesticity: sets of connected rooms, axial symmetries, absence of corridors, and multiple trajectories construct spaces connected in various forms of privacy and collectivity. Ultimately, if architecture has largely reassessed the iconography of the elevation since postmodernism, the project proposes the interplay of classic domestic schemes and modern plans as one of the most unexplored issues in recent architectural history.

Category: Project. Built
Architect/s: Javier F. Contreras, Ignacio Hornillos, Manuel Torrejón
© Federico Cairoli
Madrid, 2021-2023