Nature´s laboratory. Geology / Biology / McCullough Mulvin Architects
Contemporary architecture is made everywhere but struggles for meaning and relevance. Many architects are forced to provide standardized imagery reflecting magazine culture; works are consumed quickly, briefly pleasing an audience fixated on the New. While speaking loftily of supporting architecture, the State, law and high finance in fact adds huge burdens to it, excessive regulation, the requirement to explain everything in the name of democracy, the imposition of additional layers of management. These remove architects from decision-making and eat up time which should be spent designing, leveling architecture, gradually exiling originality, materiality and difference. Real architecture drifts to the margins – repetitive and pointless branding by big names or a minority craft pursuit.
This should not be the case. The world is a tyranny of centralizing, homogenizing forces but there is still a possibility of carving out practice in a region, a city or a country which addresses the quality of place (RCR in Olot, Catalonia are the essential masters of this
local-universal world). The scale of work is unimportant. Leading the Venice Biennale 2016, Alejandro Aravena, has engaged with a spirit of what architects can do – demonstrating achievements of ordinary life, the achievements of 1mm.
The work of McCullough Mulvin should be seen in this light, as an attempt to work in a small island at a small scale and make things which are universal. Their practice is also about exploring the breadth of architecture beyond the standard expression of form and materials, through the medium of film and critical writing.
Tadeáš Goryczka a Jaroslav Němec
Curators: Tadeáš Goryczka a Jaroslav Němec