Unique Instruments, Expectant Spaces
Hall McKnight were invited to participate in the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Freespace, curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara.
The exhibition was guided by a manifesto in which the curators define their concept of Freespace Click here, and ran from 26th May to 25th November 2018.
Our response, located within the Corderie Building at the Arsenale, addressed the manifesto statement that ‘Freespace addresses the unspoken wishes of strangers’ – we created a Freespace for occupation, a kind of gallery, based upon the stepped gardens and courts of our proposals for a large–scale residential project at Plot 18.02 at Greenwich Peninsula. From within this real architectural space, the visitor may view a series of models of Freespaces from our current project portfolio through apertures.
The models are contained within large vessels held within the architectural form of the piece. They have been constructed as mirror images of the proposals, as a visitor standing at one of the apertures will use a mirror to view the ‘expectant’ space. When viewed through the mirrors the models appear to occupy a space outside of their containing vessels – the image is projected beyond the physical limits of the piece. The experience of any space is dependent on the experience of the visitor – it is their collection of memories and experiences that will ultimately define their personal experience of a space. The view of the scheme is dependent upon a viewer looking through the aperture – these are the ‘Unique Instruments’ referred to in the title – their presence projects the experience of the spaces beyond the physical dimensions that the model occupies.
The sides of the vessels are inscribed with the base of the mirrored model, which, when viewed from its underside allows the proposed plan of the project to be revealed. As architects seeking to make successful Freespace, we must become adept at experiencing and seeing the world also as non–architects, immersed in life, whilst interpreting this individualised experience through an architectural filter. This is the challenge – to address the unspoken wishes of strangers within the plans of our projects.
Ipswich Cornhill Click here
The Yellow Pavilion Click here
King’s College Quadrangle Click here
St Mary’s, Wantage Click here
Photographs by Rory Gardiner