Façade: Through a glass darkly

Das Na­tio­nal Glass Cent­re NGC, Sun­der­land, prä­sen­tiert vom 18. März bis 10. Ju­li 2011 Ar­bei­ten von Bau Kunst Er­fin­den. Er­öff­nung am Don­ners­tag, den 17.März 2011.

Alex­an­der Apó­stol / Fos­ter + Part­ners / Ge­li­tin / Gre­gor Schnei­der / Ian Kiaer / Jef­f­rey Sar­mi­en­to/ Mi­cha­el Ra­e­de­cker / Mos­ses­si­an and Part­ners / Ola Ko­leh­mai­nen / Phil Coy / Sau­er­bruch Hut­ton / Hei­ke Kluss­mann and Thors­ten Kloos­ter.

"In ar­chi­tec­tu­re the fa­ça­de of a buil­ding has al­ways be­en a key de­sign fea­tu­re - de­fi­ning the iden­ti­ty, or face, of a buil­ding. This ex­hi­bi­ti­on will ex­p­lo­re th­rough ar­tists’ and ar­chi­tects’ work, how fa­ca­des can be used to both re­veal and con­ceal – and of­ten what, upon clo­ser scru­ti­ny, lies be­neath the sur­face: the ten­si­on bet­we­en ap­pearan­ce and rea­li­ty.

One of the most striking ar­chi­tec­tu­ral de­ve­lop­ments over the last 50 years has be­en the in­c­rea­sing pre­sen­ce of glass fa­ça­des, which ha­ve be­co­me all but ubi­qui­tous, at least in lar­ger towns and ci­ties, af­fec­ting both our en­viron­ment and peo­p­le’s li­ves. First­ly shops, then of­fices and mo­re re­cent­ly apart­ment blocks ha­ve be­en clad in­c­rea­sin­g­ly in ever grea­ter ex­pan­ses of gla­zing.

This ex­hi­bi­ti­on ex­p­lo­res so­me of the orig­ins of this in the ra­di­cal wri­tings and ar­chi­tec­tu­re of the 1910s on­wards, the sub­se­qu­ent de­ve­lop­ment of glass tech­no­lo­gies, and the ran­ge of its ma­ni­fe­sta­ti­ons and ef­fects sin­ce.

It al­so throws this see­ming ‘tri­umph of tran­s­pa­ren­cy’ in­to re­lief, by con­tras­ting it with its in­ver­se: the blank, dark or bro­ken/blind fa­ça­de in ar­chi­tec­tu­re.

And re­f­lec­ting con­tem­pora­ry de­ve­lop­ments, it will look at how new gla­zed-fa­ça­de tech­no­lo­gy seems to meta­mor­pho­se bet­we­en the tran­s­pa­rent and the opaque, hin­ting at a mo­re am­bi­guous play bet­we­en ma­te­rial sur­face and its depth - what lies be­neath."

Ku­ra­tiert von Rob Wil­son, nach ei­ner Idee von Grain­ne Swee­ney, NGC.

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