Supermodels Exhibition London King’s Cross, Piercy&Company Architects Design Studio, English Architecture Office
Supermodels Exhibition London King’s Cross
25 November 2022
Supermodels: an unmissable showcase of architectural super models opens in London’s King’s Cross
Photos © Andy Stagg
Supermodels Exhibition London King’s Cross News
Friday 25th of November 2022 – A new exhibition from Piercy&Company celebrates the art of model making, bringing architecture and ideas alive through movement, sound, scent and film.
Supermodels is a creative body of work which represents the distillation of 20 years of Piercy&Company’s design thinking around the importance of the haptic, sensory and experiential in architecture. Employing mechanical automata, projection, sound, light and scent, the exhibition experiments in how far the architectural model can be pushed as a tool for engaging audiences and communicating ideas around buildings and the built environment.
The free exhibition opens to the public on Friday 25 November at Regent Quarter, King’s Cross London N1, and runs until Sunday 11 December 2022. It takes place in an atmospheric meanwhile space, in the Jahn Court building, a short walk from King’s Cross station.
Each model is based on a building or building concept by Piercy&Company, abstracted in order to capture the quintessential idea behind the scheme. The models were made by the studio’s architecture team to explore and test experiential aspects of architecture, including the spatial, the tectonic and the tactile. Collectively they represent Piercy&Company’s work across typologies from large commercial developments to churches, memorials and one-off family homes.
The first of the Supermodels made by the studio was Steel House. Steel House is based on an experimental modular steel house that was fabricated off-site and craned into a constrained urban site in Kew, London. The model separates out into parts to describe the off-site fabrication process, but then overlays the technical story with all the stuff of ‘home’- the rhythms, rituals, warmth and eccentricities of family life. The sounds of alarm clocks and childrens’ voices, the scent of cinnamon and the puff of chimney smoke from the model evokes the sensory architecture of ‘home’. The interweaving of the technical with the human in the Steel House model set the agenda for the rest of the Supermodel series.
Other models in the exhibition include a Georgian villa that opens to reveal laughter, conversation and music; a contemporary church tracing the church’s daily rituals through sound, scent and changing light; and a film-based model posing the question of ‘what if our work spaces could feel like civic buildings with a sense of theatre, openness and generosity?’. The exhibition culminates with Flythrough, a critique of the predominance of the image over the haptic experience of buildings. Here, visitors are invited to view the work via a live camera feed projected onto the adjacent wall. The camera lens travels through the physical model, where surfaces outside of the camera’s field of view have been removed, leaving only an abstract assemblage.
Materials used in the exhibition range from plaster, black valchromat, birch ply, aluminium, photo etched copper, white laser cut Perspex and walnut veneers, to elements more unusual to model making, such as speakers, atomisers, LED strips, motors, and film.
Piercy&Co’s Founding Director, Stuart Piercy, said: “The ‘coming alive’ of the models through film, sound and movement plays into the mysterious allure of objects with a miniature life of their own – the doll’s house, the cuckoo clock, the model railway. Supermodels seeks to reconnect digital and physical worlds to evoke a universal and childlike sense of wonder.”
Fiona Neil, Piercy&Co’s Studio Director (Interiors), added: “The choice of a raw space – currently at the often unseen stage between strip out and refurbishment – forms the perfect counterpoint to the models in Supermodels. To heighten this creative tension, our exhibition concept explored the language of construction works. We used an exposed timber framework system for all the freestanding elements and exhibition furniture, in a celebration of the utilitarian economy of the building site.”
The exhibition lighting design was by 18 Degrees, with lighting equipment courtesy of Reggiani.
Paul Beale, Director of 18 Degrees, said: “We have seen first-hand some of the amazing models that have been produced by Piercy&Co over the years, so to have the opportunity to light them in this important exhibition was too good to miss. It has been a privilege to be involved and we are grateful to lighting manufacturer Reggiani who supported this exhibition through the provision of top-quality lighting.”
The graphic identity for the exhibition was designed by Wolfe Hall. Built around a bespoke typeface that takes cues from the modular construction method of the artwork to produce characterful geometric letterforms in a slim, ‘CAD routed’ weight, it was then overlaid with intricate shapes found in the original model drawings to create bold and textured compositions.
Supermodels runs until Sunday 11 December.
Supermodels runs from Friday 25 November until Sunday 11 December, at Jahn Court, Regent Quarter, 34 York Way (entrance of York Way), London, N1 9AB (7-minute walk from King’s Cross Station). Entry is free.
12pm-7pm Monday to Friday
12pm-5pm Saturday and Sunday
or by appointment [email protected]
The Exhibition Site
The planned extension and refurbishment of the Jahn Court building, where the exhibition is based, forms part of Endurance Land’s ten-year vision to revitalise Regent Quarter – a mixed-use 3.5 acre urban quarter east of King’s Cross station. Piercy&Company is leading the design strategy of the redevelopment and are lead architects on the retrofit of three existing buildings – Jahn Court, Times House and the Laundry Buildings.
Piercy&Company is a London-based studio founded in 2002 by architect Stuart Piercy. The interdisciplinary practice comprises 95 architects, designers and researchers with a shared passion for materials, form, technology and craft.
The studio works on projects at every scale, from masterplans and large-scale buildings to interiors and objects. No matter the scale or typology, all are fuelled by the ambition to improve the human experience of how projects are made and how they feel.
Creating new forms with traditional techniques while investigating familiar forms with experimental materials, collaborations with specialist craftspeople and partnerships with academics, universities, engineers and ambitious clients provide our studio with an endless source of energy, inspiration and optimism for the future.
Wolfe Hall (Graphic Design)
Wolfe Hall is a narrative and research-led graphic design studio based in London, founded in 2019 by Luke Hall and Jason Wolfe. Together, they have over 20 years experience collaborating internationally with cultural institutions working in the arts, fashion and academia to create collectable publications, exhibitions, identities, typefaces, signage and digital platforms.
The studio has previously designed the exhibitions, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 58 (Natural History Museum), Claudia Andujar: The Yanomami Struggle (Barbican), Ann Veronica Janssens (South London Gallery), Beyond Bauhaus: Modernism in Britain 1933–66 (Royal Institute of British Architects), and Not Without My Ghosts: The Artist as Medium (Hayward Touring). As well as numerous publication designs for clients such as Lisson Gallery, Nasher Sculpture Gallery (Dallas, USA), Tate Publishing, Lund Humphries and Waddington Custot, plus identity projects for the Royal Academy of Dance, PUP Architects and ublication. They are currently working on the design of the exhibition Alice Neel: Hot Off The Griddle (Barbican).
18 Degrees (Lighting Design)
18 Degrees is a specialist lighting design consultancy based in London. Their work spans the retail, hospitality, workplace and residential sectors for internal and external spaces alike. Their practice is motivated to create exceptional lighting outcomes for its clients.
Lighting equipment for Supermodels was provided by Regianni, which is used to good effect to show the models in all their splendour.
The exhibition runs until Sunday 11 December 2022.
Friday 25 November until Sunday 11 December
12pm-7pm Monday to Friday
12pm-5pm Saturday and Sunday
or by appointment [email protected]
Jahn Court, Regent Quarter
34 York Way (entrance of York Way)
Getting There: 7-minute walk from King’s Cross Station
Enquiries: Please contact [email protected]
Previously on e-architect:
Piercy Conner Architects
Piercy Conner Architects – Key Design Projects – selection:
Turnmill, Clerkenwell, London, England, UK
photo courtesy RIBA
A RIBA National Award Winner 2016 in the Office, commercial category.
Martello Tower Y, Suffolk, England, UK
Architect: with Billings Jackson Industrial Design
Martello Tower Y
Symhomes Mk1, Kolkata, India
Living Steel Restello
Address: The Centro Building, 39 Plender St, London NW1 0DT, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7424 9611
London Architectural Designs
London Architecture Designs – chronological list
London Architecture Designs – architectural selection below:
London Architect – design practice listing on e-architect
Piercy Conner projects
Comments / photos for the Supermodels Exhibition London King’s Cross by Piercy&Company Architects – Architectural Firm page welcome
Website: Piercy&Company London Architects