drake house 2007

site responsive intervention in a house scheduled for demolition

in collaboration with Campbell Drake

three days

“Approaching the reworked house, the first noticeable change was the roof. The right-hand side and front corner had been cut up and peeled back, revealing not merely the surfaces below, but a change in the form of the roof itself. The single plane of corrugated iron had been transformed into a series of aesthetic objects in their own right, an almost organic pattern of miniature coils and spirals; diminutive sculptural shapes with unknown potential. Artists Campbell Drake and James Carey had reworked part of the roof and left the rest intact, creating an ambiguous relation between figure and ground, where the aesthetic element was connected yet distinct from its functional relation. This tension between form and function was especially pertinent with respect to its object. After all, the very essence of a house is its roof, from the most primitive makeshift shelter to the modern home. Now an ambiguous shelter, a mixture of the functional, the exposed and the aesthetic, the peeled-back roof, both opened up and exposed the spaces of the house, rendering it more fragile perhaps but revealing a new significance – the little coils of iron suggesting stored energy rather than passivity and obsolescence.”

Simon Cooper


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