aDVVT is fascinated by craftsmanship as well as by industrial materials. In ODE TIXIT the architects made use of the TIXIT industrial storage system, which they often use in their own projects too. aDVVT composed four bookshelfs using these storage units. In contrast with the industrial look of the structure, each shelf is hand-painted with visible brush strokes. The colours of the shelves come from all the colours which the practice has used in its projects up to now. The pieces also refer to Gerhard Richter’s Cologne Cathedral Window composed of more than 11.000 four-inch squares in 72 colours. The glass window is based on Richter’s 1974 painting 4096 Colors, a grid of monochromatic squares which was organized and designed according to a mathematical formula. ODE TIXIT responds to the partly arbitrary application of Richter’s colours by means of the highly defined choice of colours that refer directly to each of the firm’s projects.
Another tribute to a master is to be found in the polished steel side-tables that form part of ENSEMBLE. aDVVT designed four low tables with a circular plate supported by three thin legs. Two of them are finished with perfectly mirroring surfaces, whereas the other two are covered with metal tape. The latter refer to a fascination for a poorly repaired steel balustrade that Mies van der Rohe designed for the Tugendhat Villa in Brno. The anonymous attempt to repair this element with metal tape changed the initially perfect surface to one with numerous cracks. In a similar way, aDVVT’s polished steel pieces are subject to time and usage and are expected to rust.
ENSEMBLE also includes a series of columns. aDVVT is fascinated by columns and their capacity to create space. The architects often use columns to transform interiors even if they are not load-bearing or necessary to the structure. Here, the artificial ensemble of columns includes a simple white column – fake since it does not touch the ceiling – and a low polished steel column which becomes more of a pedestal and makes reference to the series of side-tables. In the same configuration, aDVVT also displays a large column with a drawing in crayon. This piece is a one-on-one reproduction of the columns aDVVT created in their ‘Carousel’ show at the ETH School of Architecture in Zurich last year. The metal columns in the exhibition space are covered for purposes of fire protection. As this covering hides the beauty of a clear structure, the perspective view of the hidden columns was drawn on the cladding. The drawings on the columns also show aDVVT’s fascination with the work of Sol LeWitt.
The third group, entitled KAMER RENEE, was created differently. Without referring to any context, the architects have developed a family of furniture in a series of delightful drawings. The challenge was to make a structure in which the shortest vertical wooden plate would carry the longest horizontal one. They examined different tectonic arrangements suggesting shelves, tables, chaise-longues, chairs, lamps and, again, columns. To refine the ideas on paper and to determine the dimensions of the pieces, aDVVT looked for a real context and found it in a conductor’s Parisian flat. The pieces were tested as if to furnish the study in the flat. While doing so, the architects adapted their designs. This mental exercise was taken as far as the execution stage of the pieces and resulted in an ensemble of domestic furniture. The vivid pink given to the elements is taken from an old carpet on the floor of the conductor’s study.