The Façade is the Window into the Soul of Architecture
Central Pavilion, Venice Biennale Venice, Italy 2018
In response to the Biennale’s theme of Freespace, Caruso St John presented an exhibition celebrating the historical richness and the social generosity of the façade.
Whether a building is public or private, whatever its intended use, its façades have the responsibility to make a positive contribution to the public realm and should have the capacity emotionally to affect people who may only have a fleeting relationship to the building. Good buildings, like Georgian townhouses and Victorian warehouses, can accommodate new uses over time, and while programme can be fleeting, it is the physical presence and the image of these buildings that underpin the formation of great cities. The premise of the exhibition was that the façade has been missing from the architectural discourse for too long.
The exhibition presented elevation drawings of a number of Caruso St John’s own projects, some built and some in development, where the façade and its relationship to the city was a central theme. These façade portraits were complemented by a series of images by the photographer Philip Heckhausen showing buildings and urban spaces in five European cities. Within these complex images appeared some buildings that have been longstanding influences on the practice’s work, as well as glimpses of buildings by Caruso St John set within their wider context. In the centre of the room stood a large bench, whose patterned surface referred to the elaborated ground of the venetian piazza.
Photographs by Philip Heckhausen
Central Pavilion, 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Italy
26 May - 25 November 2018
Celebrating the historical richness and the social generosity of the façade, this exhibition presents elevation drawings of the practice’s projects alongside photographs by Philip Heckhausen of the completed buildings and other urban situations that have influenced the practice’s approach.
La Biennale di Venezia
Caruso St John Architects
Adam Caruso, Peter St John
Elena Balzarini, Simon Davison, Kristina Grigorjeva, Christian Sager, Nora Walter
B4 Moebel GmbH