“We Live in the Office” – A Commission by Giles Round at RIBA London

Round was invited to explore the RIBA Collections, and through extensive research has created an exhibition for the Architecture Gallery that focuses our attention on one of the most familiar and unavoidable architectural features of the city: the façade.

 

Chiat Day Offices, Venice, Los Angeles, 1991, by Bruggen, Coosje van (1942-2009) Gehry, Frank O. (1929-) and Oldenburg, Claes (1929-) © Oliver Perrott_RIBA Collections

Chiat Day Offices, Venice, Los Angeles, 1991, by Bruggen, Coosje van (1942-2009) Gehry, Frank O. (1929-) and Oldenburg, Claes (1929-) © Oliver Perrott_RIBA Collections

 

This autumn the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) presents a new commission by multi-disciplinary artist Giles Round. Inspired by the work of a wide-range of architects represented in the RIBA’s world-class architectural collections, Round explores the increasing tension between the static exterior and changing interior of the architecture around us.

He highlights the aesthetic qualities of facades in their original conception, and the subsequent contemporary use and reuse of these buildings. Round also explores the ways in which we currently ‘collect’ and preserve facades, creating an archive of buildings in real space and time.


 

Practical information

“We Live in the Office”
September 22, 2016 – February 5, 2017
The Architecture Gallery,
RIBA, 66 Portland Place,
London, W1B 1AD

 


Original works of iconic façades by Berthold Lubetkin, Venturi Scott Brown and Jane Drew feature in the exhibition alongside representation and re-appropriation of façades from other architectural periods with unique graphic qualities – from Greek Revival and Art Nouveau, to Modern and postmodern architecture. A key component of the exhibition is the transformation of the gallery to a production studio. Here, façades from a ‘stylebook’ compiled from RIBA’s Collections are applied to architectural sculptures that mimic the structure of buildings. Over the course of the exhibition period these will form an installation recognisable to visitors as an assembly of façades – a new city scape. The sculptures will be on sale in the gallery during the exhibition period.

 

Cladding panels from Best Products Showroom, Langhorne, Pennsylvania by Venturi Scott Brown & Associates, 1973-78 © RIBA Collections

Cladding panels from Best Products Showroom, Langhorne, Pennsylvania by Venturi Scott Brown & Associates, 1973-78 © RIBA Collections

Minoan palace of Knossos, Iraklion, Crete: facade of the shrine on the central court and its system of colouring by Sir Arthur Evans, 1911 © RIBA Collections

Minoan palace of Knossos, Iraklion, Crete: facade of the shrine on the central court and its system of colouring by Sir Arthur Evans, 1911 © RIBA Collections

 

“Factories have been abandoned, offices have been emptied; schools and university campuses have been created in industrial areas; historic buildings have been transformed into banks and information technology centres; artisan sheds have become ateliers for design and fashion; industrial deposits have been recycled to create shopping malls; warehouses have become homes or theatres, offices have become art galleries or hotels; garages have become recording studios; basements have become research laboratories. One works at home and lives in the office.”Andrea Branzi

Giles Round: “Central to the exhibition, an idea reflected in the title, is the re-appropriation and repurposing of buildings that no longer fulfil the functional requirements for which they were designed. Working with the RIBA Collections, I focused on particular facades that I found interesting either graphically or due to their backstory. Throughout the exhibition the graphic quality of the selected facades are appropriated, stylistically altered, into new forms and different media.”

 

Berthold Lubetkin - Unexecuted alternative design for a prefabricated house front, 100 Houses Scheme, Thorntree Gill Housing, Peterlee New Town, Co. Durham, 1944 © RIBA Collections

Berthold Lubetkin – Unexecuted alternative design for a prefabricated house front, 100 Houses Scheme, Thorntree Gill Housing, Peterlee New Town, Co. Durham, 1944 © RIBA Collections

 

Marie Bak Mortensen, Head of Exhibitions: “This is the second year running of RIBA’s artist-architect commission in which we invite creative practitioners with an interest in architecture to create an exhibition for the Architecture Gallery. A key aim of the commission is to introduce new ways of engaging the public with architecture and RIBA’s Collections, recognised as one of the most important architectural resources containing drawings, models, photographs and archival material from the Renaissance to the present day. By inviting an artist to work with us, we hope to show the contemporary relevance of the collections to creativity and artistic and architectural endeavours. The Giles Round commission will follow this line of enquiry and bring new unexpected, rigorous and provocative interpretation of architecture material to our audiences.”

 

Children climbing a concrete screen, Higher Secondary School, Chandigarh, 1956 designed by Jane Drew © RIBA Collections

Children climbing a concrete screen, Higher Secondary School, Chandigarh, 1956 designed by Jane Drew © RIBA Collections

Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire, 1575. Photograph 1956 © Edwin Smith_RIBA Collections

Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire, 1575. Photograph 1956 © Edwin Smith_RIBA Collections

 

GILES ROUND

Giles works between art, architecture and design. Previous projects and exhibitions of his have bridged graphics, design, art, architecture, interiors, and set design. He has created immersive installations in a multitude of settings from the home to galleries and outdoor spaces. The works range from small objects to large-scale sculpture, wallpapers and installation. A firm believer that design and architecture play an active role in well-being, Giles’ work uses these tactics to create immersive and thought-provoking viewer experiences.

 

'14 Centrepoints in Southwark?' Photomontage following the controversial proposed redevelopment of Hay's Wharf, Tooley Street, Southwark, London by Bill Toomey, 1980 © Architectural Press Archive_RIBA Collections

’14 Centrepoints in Southwark?’ Photomontage following the controversial proposed redevelopment of Hay’s Wharf, Tooley Street, Southwark, London by Bill Toomey, 1980 © Architectural Press Archive_RIBA Collections


 

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