SPACES FOR ART DAVID ADJAYE Horizon Wednesday 13th February 2008 18.OO David Adjaye – Art and Architecture Lecture introduced by Stefano Boeri and Francesco Garofalo Consecutive translation British School at Rome 20.00 Opening 13th February11th March Casa dell’Architettura Rome “Buildings are deeply emotive structures which form our psyche. People think they’re just things they manoeuvre through. But the makeup of a person is influenced by the nature of spaces.” David Adjaye Following John Miller, Tony Fretton, David Chipperfield, Jamie Fobert, Caruso St John and Future Systems, David Adjaye will conclude the series of lectures and exhibitions dedicated to the relationship between architecture and art. Adjaye is one of Britain’s leading contemporary architects, creating buildings that emphasize the experience as much as the function of architecture. In his work Adjaye combines the sensual and emotive with a conceptual approach to the fundamental elements of the discipline. Born in Tanzania, his influences range from West African art and architecture to contemporary art and music. His exploration of scale, measurement, space, light and materials has led to numerous collaborations with artists who include Olafur Eliasson and Chris Ofili. Adjaye set up his practice in 1994 and quickly developed a reputation for the successful refurbishment of cafes, bars and private homes including; Elektra House, London 2001 and Dirty House, London 2002. In 2001, Adjaye Associates won the competition to design two Idea Store libraries and lifelong learning centres in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The Idea Store Chrisp Street won the RIBA 2005 Building Award, the Idea Store Whitechapel was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize in 2006. The success of these projects led to several public commissions, among them the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo (2005). In Autumn 2007 three major public buildings opened in London to wide acclaim; Rivington Place, a new visual arts building for Iniva and Autograph ABP in Shoreditch, the Stephen Lawrence Centre and the Bernie Grant Arts Centre which gives form to the aspirations of the late MP and civil rights leader. Adjaye’s first public commission in the United States the new home for the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver – opened in October 2007. The Rome exhibition will include Horizon and the Monoform collection. Adjaye’s most recent pavilion, Horizon is influenced by the landscape and terrain of Africa and the Middle East. Adjaye took particular inspiration from the architectural forms and Aswan stones he encountered in Egypt. Adjaye has been exploring the notion of pavilion architecture and design since 2003 when he was invited to collaborate with Chris Ofili at the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Temporary structures for the Frieze Art Fair, London followed in 2003 and 2004. Adjaye then worked on two more pavilions in London and New York and this work led to a collaboration with Olafur Eliasson on Your black Horizon at the Venice Art Biennale, 2005. For Adjaye, Horizon brings a new dimension to the architectural form. With this pavilion he has created a meditative space, where on entry the individual is faced with a beautiful landscape obscured behind opaque fretted glass. The black stained spruce timber pavilion gives an indication of space through illusion as the perception of the horizon is contained within the architecture and the building’s walls. Monoforms is David Adjaye’s first foray into furniture design. Also influenced by the architect’s trips to Africa, the pieces have evolved with particular reference to the Horizon pavilion. The consideration of relationships between the landscape and architectural form, between ancient civilisations and the recent built environment have resulted in the creation of four types of Monoforms, each named after African or Middle Eastern towns. Each of the four types has been fabricated in Hassan Green Granite and Solid Walnut with pieces in Polyurethane Foam & Glass Reinforced Polymer currently in development, raising questions about natural and synthetic materials, the ancient and the modern. These dialectics are continued in the method of fabrication, prompting consideration of traditional techniques for making sculpture, furniture and architecture in relation to contemporary computeraided design. While Adjaye utilises contemporary technologies in the design and development of the works, each piece is finished by hand. The Rome exhibition is the first European public display of Monoforms, which were premiered at Design Miami in December 2007. Horizon was originally exhibited at Albion in London. Curated by Marina Engel for the British School at Rome in collaboration with the Casa dell’Architettura, Rome and Albion, London. With the support of the John S. Cohen Foundation, the Bryan Guinness Charitable Trust, Buro Happold,the British Council and INARCH.
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