Vita Contemplativa 21.05.15

Gruppe

Gruppe's series of modular structures created as part of CDW Presents have been inspired by ancient architectural forms, marking the district's edges and offering spaces for its inhabitants to relax

"Vita Contemplativa will bring a certain calmness and dignity to an otherwise hectic city," said Gruppe's Nicholas Lobo-Brennan about the Swiss studio's CDW project, which comprise a series of modular structures dotted around the district.

Briefed to re‑evaluate the boundaries and gateways of Clerkenwell, Gruppe found the area's shape resembled that of a Roman city and that it had almost all the ingredients required to be an autonomous hub. However, it lacked spaces for unplanned social interactions, so the studio has designed a series of geometric structures, made from the fibre-cement material Equitone, based on architectural forms such as the basilica, stoa and forum.

"They host the unexpected nature of street life, but also add some decorum, some time, some space – the city contemplative within the city," Lobo-Brennan says of these structures. It is hoped that inhabitants will use them to dwell, have lunch, even perform, and they will act as markers of the district's edges.

 

Words

Laura Snoad

quotes story

They host the unexpected nature of street life, but also add some decorum, some time, some space – the city contemplative within the city

     

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