We Live in the Office
The Architecture Gallery, RIBA
22 September 2016 to 5 February 2017
“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
This autumn the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) presents a new commission by multi-disciplinary artist Giles Round.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.”
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.
Recent solo and collaborative exhibitions include: Design Work Leisure, part of ‘Underline’, Art on the Underground, London, 2015–2016; Printshop!, with Edwin Pickstone, Tramway, Glasgow, 2016; Ettore. Sorry!, J.W.Anderson Workshops, London, 2016; Ljubljana, 1955, Galerija Jakopič, part of Over you/you, 31st Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, 2015; AGAIN! SORRY! AGAIN! SORRY!, YOUNG TEAM, London, 2015; The Grantchester Pottery paints the stage, Jerwood Visual Arts, London, 2015; Untitled 1943/44, (SORRY!), SPACE: Mercer Union, Toronto Canada, 2014-15; ARTIST DECORATORS, The Grantchester Pottery, ICA, London, 2013; Studio Wares, The Grantchester Pottery, David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, 2013; Zero Hours, Art Sheffield Biennial, Sheffield, 2013; Décor, The Grantchester Pottery, ROWING, London, 2012; The Studio of Giles Round, Serpentine Gallery, London, 2010; The Form of the Book, SWG3, Glasgow, 2010; Living Structures, S1 Artspace, Sheffield, 2009. Group exhibitions include: Répétition, Villa Empain, Brussels, 2016; Faux Pas, Fahrenheit, LA, 2015; Over you/you, 31st Biennial of Graphic Arts, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, 2015; London Open, The Grantchester Pottery, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2015; Natural Beginners, Nuvolari, Paris, 2015; The Politics of Craft: After Ford 151, Grizedale Arts at Reid Gallery, The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, 2015; The Nuisance of Landscape: Grizedale - The Sequel, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Cumbria, 2014; Love Among the Artists, WALDEN AFFAIRS, Den Haag, Netherlands, 2014; The Influence of Furniture on Love, Wysing Grange Farmhouse, Cambridgeshire, 2014; Commons Room, Grizedale Arts at Anyang Public Art Project Biennial, Anyang, 2014; Hey, I’m Mr Poetic, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, 2014.
The commission is curated by Corinne Mynatt, Curatorial Programmes Coordinator at RIBA with Colin Sterling, Project Curator at RIBA and Lotte Juul Petersen, Artists & Programmes Curator at Wysing Arts Centre.
The exhibition is sponsored by Wedge Group Galvanising and is supported by Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation. The RIBA has worked closely with Wysing Arts Centre in the collaboration with Giles Round.
Notes to editors:
- For further information contact Beatrice Cooke in the RIBA press office: firstname.lastname@example.org; 020 7307 3813.
- The Architecture Gallery at RIBA is open from 10am – 5pm Monday to Sunday and until 8pm every Tuesday. Free entrance. RIBA is at 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD. Nearest tubes are Oxford Circus, Regent’s Park and Great Portland Street. The exhibition is part of a RIBA season of wide ranging events and workshops, designed for all ages and experience levels.
- The Architecture Gallery opened in February 2014 in the RIBA’s Grade II* listed Art Deco HQ. Through regular, free exhibitions that explore the past, present and future of our built environment the gallery programme will help visitors discover and explore architecture. The gallery offers the opportunity for the RIBA to display its world class collections contained in the British Architectural Library.
- About the exhibition sponsors: with nearly 150 years of history Wedge Group Galvanizing is the UK's largest hot dip galvanizing organisation. They have 14 plants around the UK which are designed and equipped to set industry-leading standards for sustainability and low environmental impact. For further information go to: www.wedge-galv.co.uk
- For further information about Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation go to: www.londoncf.org.uk
- The Royal Institute of British Architects (@RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Architecture.com
- The RIBA is a registered charity and it relies on the generosity of individuals, companies, trusts and foundations to preserve its world-class collections, to maintain free public access to its exhibitions and develop a diverse and exciting public events programme.
- Wysing Arts Centre, established in 1989, develops new ways to support artists and enables art and ideas to engage a wide range of people in unexpected ways. Programmes include artistic residencies, retreats, study days, summer schools, courses, programmes for young people, schools and families as well as an experimental music festival. In 2011 Giles Round was an artist-in-residence at Wysing and has since created new commissions and curated the exhibition The Influence of Furniture on Love, 2014.