“Manthey Kula: Postludes” at Betts Project

Manthey Kula is widely recognised in Norway and abroad for their unique and acutely site-specific architecture which works at the intersection of art, architecture and landscape architecture.


“Manthey Kula: Postludes” © Manthey Kula


Betts Project is pleased to present Postludes, an exhibition of newly made paper works by Norwegian architectural practice Manthey Kula. This exhibition marks the architect office’s debut solo presentation in the UK and will be accompanied by a new catalogue.


“Manthey Kula: Postludes”
25 January — 7 March, 2020
Betts Project Gallery
100 Central Street, London
United Kingdom


Their practice takes on distinctively sculptural and expressionistic qualities which pay special attention to site, form and narrative. Established in 2004 by Beate Hølmebakk and Per Tamsen, Manthey Kula’s work has been presented in architecture exhibitions and collections worldwide, with projects nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award in 2009, 2011 and 2019.


MK, Exhibition view, Skreda © Manthey Kula

“Manthey Kula: Postludes” © Manthey Kula


The exhibition Postludes takes its title from the last and conclusive element one might add to a construction, and draws attention to the nature and post-potential of architectural drawing. The repertoire of roles and characteristics during the development of architectural drawing is manifold. For instance in its early stages sketching is a method used to explore and cultivate concepts, often allowing intuition and impulse to play out. Later, the drawing develops into a field for thoughts to become measurable and ideas realisable. In the final phases the architectural drawing becomes schematic in its attempt to communicate instructions to those carrying out its construction.

The works found in Postludes operate as creative endeavours to afix a new and conclusive stage to this design process. Each work departs from one of Manthey Kula’s ongoing or completed projects from the last ten years, and instead of facilitating a schematic representaiton of the project, this new stage takes a more expressive exploration into form and architecture. The variously coloured papers are delicately cut, juxtaposed and layered over each other, creating motives that deviate from their original plans yet hint at architectural features such as railing elements, gutter holes, ramps, elevations, walkways or columns. This process of cutting and further abstracting architectural forms and functions can be seen as methods of freeing content from their original meanings and reappointing it to new systems of architectural awareness, thereby unveiling new narratives and posing new enquiries into the possibilities of architectural drawing.

Manthey Kula is a Norwegian architectural practice established in 2004 by Beate Hølmebakk (b.1963) and Per Tamsen (b.1967). Tamsen has an architectural degree from Lund University, Sweden. Hølmebakk studied architecture at the Oslo School of Architecture (AHO) under Sverre Fehn and Christian Norberg-Schulz, and as a visiting student at the Cooper Union under John Hejduk. Since 2007 Hølmebakk has been a professor at AHO. She has had several international teaching positions and lectures frequently outside Norway. Among other venues she has lectured at the Barbican (UK), the Cass (UK), Kingston University (UK), Harvard GSD (US), Cornell University (US), Hong Kong University (HK) and Politecnico di Milano (IT). Currently Manthey Kula is working on the National Memorial at Utøyakaia, the Permanent exhibitions at the new Munch Museum, the Norwegian Veteran Monument and a viewing platform for the National Tourist Routes.

They recently exhibitied at Deutschen Architekturmuseum (DAM) in Frankfurt in 2019, and were commisioned for the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2012. Aside from private collections, Manthey Kula works are in institutional collections including the FRAC Centre collection, France, and the National Museum of Architecture in Norway.

Please see the Manthey Kula website for a full list of built projects: www.mantheykula.no


News source and text: Betts Project
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