The material exhibited varies from rough sketches and models relating to the beginning of the design process, to detail design and construction drawings at the end, and includes photographs and films of recently completed projects. The presentation for each project has been developed by the respective design teams in the London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai studios, demonstrating the desire to address cultural, professional and intellectual challenges. Current work is described in a manner appropriate to the project, illustrating the ideas behind it. While the majority of the exhibition focuses on active work, the first space in the centre provides an introductory overview of key buildings completed since the practice was founded in 1985, representing an established body of work.
In an age dominated by images, the identity of David Chipperfield Architects can be difficult to define as it is rooted in a particular attitude to design and teamwork, rather than a fixed style. Revealing the processes of designing and creating architecture is therefore crucial to understanding the values that unify an international body of work.
“We hope to expose in a more open manner, not a glossy presentation of an overview of our work, but a more open explanation of the work of the architect. The development of ideas is not consistent from project to project. Every process is subject to different possibilities and limits. Some projects develop intensely through a concentrated process of competition while others evolve through changes in circumstances and demands. Some are elaborated through sketches and modifications and some evolve through a more mechanical process of revision and the examination of alternatives. We have tried to give more insight into the process of design, showing it not as an act of individual genius, but as a collaborative and iterative method that is messy and unpredictable. A process which seeks to find ideas through a deeper understanding of place and purpose, rather than the imposition of ideas that confirm the formal prejudices of the architect, the client or even public opinion.”
Current and recent projects include: Inagawa Cemetery chapel and visitor centre; Royal Academy of Arts masterplan, London; Neue Nationalgalerie refurbishment, Berlin; Valentino store concepts; Brioni store concept; Hoxton Press residential development, London; Zhejiang Museum of Natural History; James Simon Galerie, Berlin; Amorepacific headquarters, Seoul; West Bund Art Museum, Shanghai; Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich; Edinburgh music venue; Lah Contemporary, Bled; Private house, Zurich; Cavea Arcari performance space, Zovencedo; SSENSE, Montréal; Fundacion RIA research project, Galicia.
The exhibition marks the return of contemporary architecture exhibitions to the Salone Superiore which was closed for extensive restoration 12 years ago and emphasises the important role that architectural culture plays in the history and identity of the city. The exhibition is promoted by the city development department of the Vicenza council in collaboration with the cultural association Abacoarchitettura, and the Order of Architects, Planners, Landscapers and Conservationists of Vicenza. The institutional partners are Confindustria Vicenza – Builders and Plant constructors division, Fondazione Inarcassa (National Social Security and Welfare institute for Engineers and Architects) and the Order of Engineers of Vicenza, together with media partners Designboom and Il Giornale di Vicenza.