British architects Caruso St John -Adam Caruso and Peter St John- have prepared a very special installation exhibition at the Architektur Galerie in Berlin. The exhibition features three elements which attempt to draw a narrative on the architect’s approach to architecture: from emotion and attention to details, rather than from abstraction.
These three elements – a central model area, a curtain-like surface as imageboard, and a series of large colour photographs of their works- have been specially arranged by the architects themselves for the Galerie’s main exhibition space.
Caruso St John. Constructions and References
May 12 – June 24, 2017
Architektur Galerie Berlin
Karl-Marx-Allee 96, Berlin
CURATORS NOTE. Caruso St John pursue an architecture that is in close dialogue with their surroundings. In doing so, they deliberately avoid the kind of sensational abstraction that characterizes much of the global architectural circus. They aim to resist this trend with buildings whose emotional content is perceived slowly and unobtrusively. Of utmost importance is the careful attention they pay in their work to materials and details, in order to achieve sophistication and a particular atmosphere.
For their exhibition at the Architektur Galerie Berlin, Adam Caruso and Peter St John have created a dense arrangement of three elements that can be read both separately and together. Standing in the middle of the room is a city-like tableau with five large models that are colored, yet interestingly devoid of three-dimensional details.
Isolated from their context, they appear like autonomous architectural ideas. Their simple, almost monumental form is neither obviously sculptural nor neutral, but instead implies an in-between space that allows for atmospheric associations.
The space around the models is dressed by a large, elegant, and classically pleated emerald-green curtain. On second glance this backdrop turns out to be flat paper, wallpaper specially made by the artist Thomas Demand, whose influence on the work of Caruso St John, and on their working method is evident in the exhibition.
A selection of reference images is mounted directly onto the wallpaper. They depict places, works of art, and architecture from the broad history of Western culture. Many of these images have been repeatedly used by Adam Caruso and Peter St John to support competition submissions.
Large color prints of photographs of their current projects by Hélène Binet are hung on the remaining two walls of the gallery. These show buildings that have recently been completed in London, Zurich, St Gallen, Bremen and Lille.
ADAM CARUSO & PETER ST JOHN established their firm in 1990 in London. They have since undertaken numerous projects, including the Tate Britain Millbank (London, 2013), Europaallee Baufeld E (Zurich, 2013), St Gallen Cathedral Chancel (2013), Newport Street Gallery (London, 2015), and the Bremer Landesbank (2016). Since 2011, Adam Caruso has served as Professor of Architecture and Construction at the ETH Zurich. Peter St John is currently a visiting professor at London Metropolitan University