All objects shown in the gallery are related to everyday objects, from chimney to columns – constructive but also hiding technics. All objects are changing constantly the cubical form of the room. They are objects in space. Every day objects.
Architecten De Vylder Vinck Taillieu: Every Day Theatre
May 4, 2018 – June 23, 2018
Betts Project Gallery
100 Central Street, London
aDVVT practice focuses on the construction of a banal and everyday existence, in which it finds opportunities to greatly surpass what expected. They go back to the basics of the craft of architecture embracing “making” in its broadest sense. Only through an understanding of how to build something, the architect is able to build an everyday reality, safeguarding architecture from becoming a mere solution.
“And so much more. A cabinet of lost objects. objects that furnish a room. and hide absent ideas but cover what we all know. Empty detais of abstract rooms. And never without. All those drawings. All kind of drawings. Just all together. Seemingly having nothing to do with each other but finally do. just ensemble. Drawing is an action. Drawing is a relieve. Drawing is a moment. That last for ever. Even longer then its reality. Even without any ever reality.”—aDVVT, 2018
Their aesthetics makes no overarching claim other than to bring out the beauty and potential of what is found on site. The ordinary becomes the foundation, the cornerstone. Through their work, aDVVT demonstrates how a critical attitude is not just a gesture, but, rather, a perspective on architecture to go beyond all requirements.
aDVVT is an architectural practice founded by Jan De Vylder, Inge Vinck and Jo Taillieu who all studied at Sint-Lucas in Ghent. The practice was nominated for the Mies Van Der Rohe Award in 2013 and 2015 and has won several Belgian Architecture Awards. Their work was exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2010,2012 and 2016. They curated the ‘Bravoure’ installation for the Belgian Pavilion in partnership with the photographer Filip Dujardin and interior architects Doorzon. The firm participated in the exhibition ‘Theater Objects. A Stage for Architecture and Art’ in 2014 at ETH Zurich and in 2015, always at ETH Zurich, for their own show, called ‘Carrousel’. In 2015 they partecipated at the Chicago Architecture Biennale. Their appeared in many publications and three monographs were published to date: in 2011 by MER Paperkunsthalle and De Singel (Book 1, 2 and 3), in 2013 by 2G and in 2016 by De Aedibus International. All the three founders teach at Sint-Lucas in Ghent and Brussels (KU Leuven’s Department of Architecture) and at EPFL ENAC in Lausanne.
ABOUT. ARCHITECTEN DE VYLDER VINCK TAILLIEU
Text by Daniel Rosbottom
The Belgian architect Kersten Geers says about the work of advvt that “The context itself becomes the project”. This is a context that is understood beyond place – as a situation that can encompass time, programme, history, art and culture. Context precedes concept. They read it: seeing, listening, understanding. The found becomes the means through which their architecture is found and everything that is there, that becomes revealed, or that is already known is allowed to be the design in some sense. For Jan de Vylder, their architecture is “about lots of things that have nothing to do with each other. And yet do…The answer as a question.”2It is an architecture in permanent negotiation between what is found and what is placed, “where reality is taken apart and put back together in a different way.”Where the future emerges, idiosyncratically, in the relations between the past and the present. Where the exception is the rule.
The process of design moves between the world and the world of the drawing – for advvt drawing becomes a complete, independent system; a daily practice; a relentless, but deeply lyrical means through which they both appropriate and simultaneously distance themselves from a situation. Attaining precision while rendering abstract. Drawings develop slowly, accretively, layer upon layer, iteration after iteration, through the actions of pencil and rubber, pen and tippex; testing, departing and returning to ideas. This process slowly subsumes the found context, appropriating, transforming and recomposing it as the architectural project; encompassing reality while also acting as a form of resistance to it. The drawings are an act of authorship. They take physical and intellectual possession of a site before building begins. In this way the projects exist from the moment they are drawn.
And yet this is not a paper architecture, these are architects who like to build. In fact they love to build and to make, at a prodigious rate of production. They make drawings and models and they draw and model so that things can be made. Sometimes drawings appear on buildings, 1:1.Like their drawings their built work is at once brut and delicate, with an intense physicality. It is an architecture to be experienced in a bodily way as well as through the eye and the mind. It is architecture as experience. This physicality is defined through the balance between intentionality and contingency. It is highly receptive and precise in relation to what exists, but with a playfulness and a sense of empathy rather than nostalgia.
Elements, or sometimes whole buildings are copied, repeated, adjusted, rescaled, reordered or made intentionally redundant. Things might initially appear recognisable, as known types or tropes, but are then adjusted – made strange. Some elements within a spatial or constructional composition might be carefully wrought, while those immediately adjacent can appear assembled with the seemingly reckless directness of the bricoleur. Repair and imperfection are celebrated as forms of beauty.
There is no pre-ordained hierarchy in the relations between the parts: new or old, cheap or expensive, found or made, they are each allowed to co-exist, more or less in harmony with one another. In this appropriated world, everything takes its place and combines to precisely articulate and resonate the atmospheres of a particular place and time. Yet the expectations through which we might generally understand things are simultaneously confounded in the process. Tectonic hierarchies are subverted or inverted or eliminated; in the work of advvt, tectonics are what comes together in the eye. Spatial boundaries are similarly called into question, in ways that mirror their drawing process. The accretive layering of lines and erasings, sometimes crisply rendered, sometimes loosely sketched,stretch and test the actual thresholds between things. Insides and outsides dissolve into a spatial thickening, like paper layers worked over time and again.
Their approach has been described as “anti-classical”. It is certainly deeply critical of accepted orders and conventions. Yet it can equally be understood as a sometimes radical reinterpretation of ideas that remain deeply rooted in the body of architecture. Recall Michelangelo’s entrance to the Laurentian Library, where the columns sink into the body of the wall; where each element is understood individually, freed from its place within a larger order of things. Or consider the façade of the Palazzo Rucellai by Alberti, where every line is designed; a drawn rustication that does not correspond with the actual scale and order of the stones.
Such ideas find their correspondence in the works of advvt. Columns become autonomous figures, freed from their structural responsibilities while walls are literally drawn in space. Yet in each case theyescape monumentality and attain lightness through their reinterpretion within the circumstances of the here and now. The work is mannerist in the manner of Venturi at his best moments, with a complexity that is deeply aware of its own codification, as an appropriate agent for complicated times; both poetic and political5. It understands that refined composition always contains opposing forces and allows the tense equilibrium that results to remain tangible and visible, taking its place as a form of expression. Indeed, as Paul Vermuelen suggests, for advvtit is perhaps equilibrium itself that is the radical choice.