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Spatial Art

By: Mike Louw

A look at a striking concrete sculpture feature at the entrance to a Constantia home.
Images: ©Tatjana Meirelles Images: ©Tatjana Meirelles

Reminiscent of British artist Rachel Whiteread’s temporary East London installation House (1993) and with a nod to Italian architect Carlo Scarpa (1906−1978), this concrete sculpture forms a striking entrance feature for a home in Constantia. It demonstrates the plasticity of concrete, and the ease with which a visually complex form can be generated with minimal means.

Figure 2 and 3_Plan and elevation
Figure 2 and 3_Plan and elevation

With the increasingly widespread use of three-dimensional drawing software and the possibilities that Building Information Modelling (BIM) offers, it is surprising that more architects and artists aren’t experimenting with the sculptural possibilities of small-scale casting.

The sculpture was inspired by Antonio Zaninovic’s plan for additions and alterations to the house, and the idea of gradation from hard to soft − most visitors won’t realise that the essence of the house is subtly revealed upon one’s arrival. The work echoes the stepped entrance pathway, and it engages the senses with its sharp shadow lines and apparent tactility.

Le Corbusier’s well-known statement is rather appropriate in this instance: ‘The plan is the generator. Without a plan, you have lack of order, and willfulness. The plan holds in itself the essence of sensation’  (Le Corbusier, 1927: 45).

Architect/artist: Lorenzo Nassimbeni, commissioned by Antonio Zaninovic Architecture Studio

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