Eduardo Souto de Moura, Free Standing Doors
25.01.2014 - 06.04.2014
These two replica door cases are precise facsimiles of those in the Royal Academy and play on the tensions that exist between original and copy. Freestanding sculptures, these 3.5 m high structures are made from ultra high-performance reinforced concrete (UHPRC). Cast in precision-made joinery moulds, this advanced concrete product allows even the finest detail of the door cases to be replicated, with a relief as shallow as 0.2 mm being perfectly formed. Despite their apparently simple composition and construction, cutting-edge finite-element analysis was run using computer software to predict how the 30 mm thick concrete frame, without the aid of a supporting wall, would perform structurally and react in the event of impact.
Eduardo Souto de Moura states clearly that his installations are not in themselves works of architecture. Instead, he describes them as sculptures, which he sees as reflections of architecture; an assertion that draws on both the literal and notional meaning of the word reflection. By making copies of two of the Academy's existing door cases, Souto de Moura is not only reflecting the gallery's architectural detail in physical form, but is providing two new architectural devices that cause the public to become aware of and to reflect upon subtle spatial notions (of scale, axis, threshold and transition) that may otherwise be overlooked.
In the day-to-day use of space, people typically move unaffected by the spatial nuances of passing through a door frame. In response to this, Souto de Moura's freestanding door cases impose a material and geometric shift that makes passing through the apertures a more present experience.
This experience gives us the opportunity to more consciously focus on the sensations associated with movement and transition, and helps to make us more aware of the architectural elements that form the limits in architecture generally. Souto de Moura considers these limits, edges and thresholds to be the architect's principle medium for defining space, underlying the fact that it is impossible for architects or architecture to actually create space. As these pieces make manifest, architecture defines the limits of our spatial experiences.
From 25.01.2014 to 06.04.2014 (from Tuesday to Saturday 1pm - 7pm and by appointment)