Building Beauty: When Artists Design for Architecture


Building Beauty: When Artists Design for Architecture

Whether or not architecture is an art, buildings and spaces shape everyday life. Pushing the boundaries of architecture and the categorization of art, contemporary investigations between disciplines rethink tradition. As transformations rooted in human experience, these installations and structures share qualities of purpose, function and creative expression. At the same time, they redirect the limits and possibilities of each profession.

© Gareth Gardner© Young-moon Ha© Eric Gregory Powell© Wolfgang Volz+ 7

Showcasing work that explores the limits and potential of collaborations between architects and artists, each of the following projects straddles this line. As Camilla Ghisleni has already pointed out, the idea of ​​integration between art and architecture goes back to the very origins of the discipline, but it took on a new meaning and a new social purpose during the movement of avant-garde of the early 20th century. Today, the work expands the definition of architecture to encompass more than buildings and, in turn, expands our understanding of art.

© Eric Gregory Powell
© Eric Gregory Powell

Art, in general, is produced to be seen or experienced by another, an interlocutor, who, in turn, establishes various relationships with the work. However, this does not appear to be the case with the Bataan Chapel, built by Swiss artist Not Vital in the Philippines. Punished by constant winds, the work stands on a hill in the countryside of Bagac, a town of just under 30,000 people located about 50 kilometers west of Manila. The remoteness of the installation makes it difficult to access and makes travel a task that takes on the air of a pilgrimage – part of its grace lies precisely in its inaccessibility.

© Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin
© Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin

Ellsworth Kelly died in December 2015 at the age of 92, less than a year after announcing the donation of one of his most enduring creative contributions: plans for the artist’s only building, which stood in his New York City studio since 1986. Titled Austin, this 2,715-square-foot work on the grounds of the Blanton Museum of Art on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin would be his final, and perhaps largest, effort. , an immersive space whose artistic value matches that of the marble panels and sculpture within. Unlike the Rothko Chapel in Houston, in Austin the artist and architect are one, says Carter E. Foster, assistant director of curatorial affairs at Blanton.

© Gareth Gardner
© Gareth Gardner

Gateways was located at the central fountain in Granary Square, King’s Cross. It was designed to celebrate the DesignJunction event, an interior design show by and for industry, held in challenging industrial locations as part of the great London Design Festival. The installation was made up of four bold and unique arches, each characterized by its own profile, patterns and colors. The four meter high arches were clad in vibrant and rich Turkish ceramic tiles designed by artist Adam Nathaniel Furman in collaboration with Turkishceramics. Each of the arches told a different design story.

© Young-moon Ha
© Young-moon Ha

Korean artist Jazoo Yang has created one of his most iconic pieces, titled “Dots: Motgol 66”. The work covered a house slated for demolition in the small Korean village of Motgol, Busan, with Yang’s thumbprint. Working 4-5 hours a day, 3 days a week, “Motgol 66” was the first time Yang was able to achieve his project goal, with two previous incidents of early house demolitions. The book draws attention to the nuances of corruption and apathy in the Korean real estate market. With its economic growth, housing construction in Korea has continued at an unprecedented pace.

© Wolfgang Volz
© Wolfgang Volz

Internationally acclaimed – and often controversial – artist Christo unveiled the “largest indoor sculpture ever” in 2013. Prepared for its public exhibition debut, the inflated “Big Air Package” was designed to occupy a old gas 117 meters high. tank known as Gasometer Oberhausen in Germany. The 90 meter high and 50 meter wide sculpture was made from 20,350 square meters of semi-transparent polyester fabric and 4,500 meters of rope, with a total weight of 5.3 tons and a volume of 177 000 cubic meters. The seemingly endless inflatable installation was conceived in 2010 and was Christo’s first major work after the death of his wife and artistic partner Jeanne-Claude in 2009.

© Rice University
© Rice University

The highly anticipated “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace, designed by American artist James Turrell, opened its doors to the public with a sunset light show. The abstract pyramid structure complemented the natural light present at sunrise and sunset, creating a mesmerizing light show that connected the beauty of the natural world to the surrounding campus. This experience is enhanced by an LED light performance projected onto the 72-by-72-foot thin white roof, which offered a view of the sky through a 14-by-14-foot opening. Additionally, the Turrell Skyspace was designed acoustically for musical performances and as a laboratory for music school students.

More items to consider:

This article is part of the ArchDaily topics: Architecture Without Buildings. Each month we explore a topic in depth through articles, interviews, news and projects. Learn more about our ArchDaily topics. As always, at ArchDaily, we welcome contributions from our readers; if you want to submit an article or a project, contact us.

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