Architesculpture

Architecture: the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings.

Sculpture: the art of making two-or three-dimensional representative or abstract forms , especially by carving stone or wood or by casting metal or plaster.

These two definitions could appear straightforward in the first place. Nevertheless, nowadays it seems that these two expressions of Art are tending to become closer  in such a way that the boundary between them has become diffuse.

Over the years we have accepted as valid the definition of Architecture as something that involves the construction of what we know as a “building”.  Four walls, a floor and a ceiling which accommodates an internal space.  This space would have a function; it has to be habitable in the broadest sense of the term.

On another hand, we use to think that the only purpose of any sculpture is to be contemplated from the exterior, while the space within it is not linked to any function but rather a residual and unusable space.

In the last few years however we have seen examples of sculptures which generate internal spaces. We have also seen buildings which, in their exterior, appear to follow sculptural principles. But still, these pieces of Art use to be included into one of the terms and excluded from the other.

The work of Frank Gehry, for instance, has been cause of numerous debates about its sculptural appearance, but they are still generally considered as buildings rather than sculptures.

Image by http://picdit.wordpress.com/page/242/?pages-list

Another example is the work of Richard Serra, which has been more than once considered as architectural, given the way his sculptures  shape the space within them.

Image by http://pequenamoleskine.wordpress.com/2007/03/31/la-materia-del-tiempo/

Nevertheless, it is the actual artist who declares that an architect creates functional and usable things, while a sculptor creates things which are functionally useless in their purpose, and denies any type of relationship between his work and Architecture.

But now we have a new case to study.  The London firm ReardonSmith Architects, in collaboration with the famous sculptor Antony Gormley are aiming to revise the traditional  relationships between Architecture and Sculpture, and together they are working on what will probably be the first friendly  agreement between these two expressions of Art. Four walls, a floor and a ceiling which contain an internal space, but this time they will be carefully created by the expert hands of a sculptor.

Image by ReardonSmith Architects
Image by Hayes Davidson

The project consists in a luxury Boutique Hotel located in central London, which will accommodate a rather peculiar room, the one within the sculpture. “The Art work is considered an integral component of the building to be inhabited rather than ‘stuck on’ ” (Patrick Reardon), in order to “translate to the interior the experience that we have from the exterior” (Antony Gormley)

Image by ReardonSmith Architects

An architectural project which includes a sculpture, or a sculpture which contains an architectural project?? Maybe both statements are correct, or… perhaps… we are just talking about the first Architesculptural project  in the history of Art.

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