For the Venice Architecture Biennale, 2000 the British Pavilion was given over to four ‘City Visionaries’: Alsop & Stormer, Nigel Coates & Doug Branson, David Chipperfield and Zaha Hadid were each given a gallery to exhibit their work.
The work of this London-based architectural designer encompasses all fields of design, ranging from urban scale through to products, interiors and furniture. Central to her concerns is a simultaneous engagement in practice, teaching and research, in the pursuit of an uncompromising commitment to modernism. The British pavilion featured a series of recent projects that worked with ribbons: folded, twisted, bundled, splintered. Three of them were bridges funnelling and distributing various trajectories. The fourth project also foregrounded movement and trajectory, moving visitors through the story of the MIND.
William Alsop OBE
Was born in Northampton in 1947, Alsop was educated at the Architectural Association in London between 1968 and 1973. While a student he was awarded the William van Allen Medal for Architecture in New York, and the Bernard Webb Scholarship in Rome. The formative years Alsop spent with Cedric Price (1973 to 1977) established a foundation from which he was encouraged to expand, experience and exchange ideas with other architects. It is as a result of this that he now works in close association with contemporary artists. He invariably uses painting as a medium for initial design exploration before producing architectural drawings.
Nigel Coates & Doug Branson
Perhaps more than any other architectural studio in Britain, Branson and Coates have shown that the practice of architecture can span from the building to the product. They have consistently pitched theory against practice, the emotive against the pragmatic. Through all their key buildings of recent years, such as the iconic National Centre for Popular Music in Sheffield (1999), the Geffrye Museum in London (1998) and the much publicised giant figures in the Body Zone at the Millennium Dome (2000), a sensual attitude underpins their work. They refer constantly to architecture as the bridge between the body and the city, and as such how it can engender desire, movement and tactility. They are also well known for their highly successful exhibition designs and Nigel Coates furniture and products.
David Chipperfield Architects
Since its foundation in 1985, David Chipperfield Architects has developed a diverse international body of work including cultural, residential, commercial, leisure and civic projects as well as masterplanning exercises. The reputation of the office is established by both a commitment to the collaborative aspect of creating architecture and a strong focus on refining design ideas to arrive at a solution which is architecturally, socially and intellectually coherent.
Commissioner for the British Pavilion: Andrea Rose (British Council).
Assistant commissioners: Jules Breeze (British Council) and Brendan Griggs (British Council).